We all have needs and we also have desires. There is a difference between desires and needs. We need certain things to live, like food and shelter. There are also things that we desire and lust after. Those things lead to sin if we allow our desires and lusts to drive us. We are all tempted in various ways, every day, but unless we resist temptation we will fall into sin and end up in hell.
We read in James 1:13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
The wages of sin is death. “The soul that sins will die,” he will perish, in hell. That is why we need to repent of sin, stop sinning and SIN NO MORE. Jesus grants forgiveness and pardon of past sins if we accept Him, repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sin and then SIN NO MORE, but if we keep on sinning we will end up in hell. We read in Hebrews 10:26 “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.” We have to, at all cost, avoid temptation because it leads to sin, and sin leads to death, eternal damnation.
How shall we avoid temptation? Should we lock ourselves away or go live in seclusion in a monastery? Certainly not. Let us learn from those who followed Jesus before us.
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, a young man and follower of Jesus in 2 Timothy 2: 22 “Now FLEE FROM YOUTHFUL LUSTS and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
The apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:15 “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the LUST OF THE FLESH and the LUST OF THE EYES and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.“
How will we do the will of God so that we will live for ever? We need to be led by the Holy Spirit, as Paul wrote in Romans 8:13,14 “ 12So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.“
This begs for another question: How do we receive the Holy Spirit? Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to all those who believe in Him and therefor obey Him, repent and are baptized in water. He will baptize them in the Holy Spirit and give of His Spirit to dwell in them, to teach and guide them into holiness and fruitfulness, into doing His will. Those who have received the Holy Spirit must follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Paul further writes in Galatians 5:16. “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
What does it mean to crucify the flesh? Crucifixion means to nail it to a cross and thereby utterly destroy it, kill it. We have to kill our fleshly desires, ignore them, regard them as dead. We have to crucify our flesh, and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then we will not run after the desires of our flesh which will cause us to sin and end up in hell.
We do not only need to stop sinning and be holy, we need to bear fruit for the kingdom of God. We need to testify of Jesus, bring others to Him, so that they can also obey Him and have eternal life. If we do not bear fruit, we will get cut off and burned as Jesus explained. We read in John 15:1,2 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard. 2He CUTS OFF EVERY BRANCH IN ME THAT BEARS NO FRUIT.
We need to actively follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be pleasing to Jesus and have eternal life.
Have you been born again? Have you accepted Jesus, repented, been baptized in water for the forgiveness of your sins? Have you been baptized in the Holy Spirit and do you follow His guidance every day? If you keep on following after your fleshly desires, you will sin and end up in hell.
May Jesus bless you.