Scriptures give a clear picture of the precarious position of any sinner. Those of us who know the Lord must remember their desperate plight as we share the gospel of our salvation in love, trusting the Holy Spirit to convict the sinner and bring him to salvation. We must remember that it is the work of God in the heart of the sinner that brings about repentant faith in the Lord Jesus Christ since the sinner is completely impotent to do anything about their lost and damned condition. Here are verses from the Scriptures that reveal how entrapped the sinner is to sin, the devil and the world.
As we diligently search the Scriptures a clear picture surfaces from the Old and New Testaments showing how impossible it is for any person to deliver themselves from their sin.
21What wilt thou say when He shall punish thee? For thou hast taught them to be captains, and as chief over thee: shall not sorrows take thee, as a woman in travail?22 And if thou say in thine heart, Wherefore come these things upon me? For the greatness of thine iniquity are thy skirts discovered, and thy heels made bare. 23Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. Jeremiah 13:21-23
1Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither His ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear. 3For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. 4None calls for justice, nor any pleads for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity. 5They hatch vipers’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eats of their eggs dies, and that which is crushed breaks out into a viper. 6Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. 7Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. 8The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goes therein shall not know peace. 9Therefore is judgment far from us, neither does justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. 10We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. 11We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. 12For our transgressions are multiplied before Thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;13In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. 14And judgment is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. 15Yea, truth fails; and he that departs from evil makes himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment. Isaiah 59:1-15
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. John 8:34
Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slave’s whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness? Romans 6:16
These verses from the Old and New Testaments paint a very bleak picture depicting the enslavement of the sinner to sin. Slaves have no freewill of their own. Slaves are held captive by their master. Slaves of sin cannot do the good that God requires. They are blind to righteousness, captive by the lies of their own hearts, too feeble to turn from wickedness and pursue righteousness. They of themselves cannot answer general call of salvation given to all sinners by the Savior. They are dead in their trespasses and sins led astray from the truth of God by their enemy the devil who feigns great love and compassion for the wretched wicked sinner as he deceives the whole world leading them to perdition.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Revelation 12:9
…and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:26
1And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:1-3
14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. Hebrews 2:14-15
Dead men fearing death are non-responsive to the gospel call. They are captive to the enemy of their souls who leads them astray through his multi-hued dark doctrines of deception. The sinner enslaved by his sin and held captive by the enemy is twice bound with chains of destruction incapable of receiving the grace of God held forth in the gospel. Only the powerful act of God in the life of the sinner is effective to save the ensnared sinner from deception and destruction. However, often times the lost compelled by regret look for a way to turn around, but they reject the gospel and look to the wisdom of the world to lead them in right living. This third trap binds the sinner in a wicked web woven with lies that confirms them in their headlong plunge into damnation.
18If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. 21But all these things will they do unto you for My name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. 22If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin. 23He that hates Me hates My Father also. 24If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.25 But this comes to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated Me without a cause. John 15:18-25
42Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love Me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of Myself, but He sent me. 43Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear My word. 44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45And because I tell you the truth, ye believe Me not. John 8:42-45
18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness;24But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18-24
4Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5Do ye think that the Scripture says in vain, The Spirit that dwells in us lusts to envy? 6But He gives more grace. Wherefore He says, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:4-7
The world is at enmity with Christ and His gospel of salvation. The world, led by Satan, will put forth a facsimile of the genuine gospel of grace but will mar it with the smudges of lies that attack Jesus Christ and His work of salvation done on behalf of the beleaguered sinner. God is gracious and sends out His gospel call to all who will repent and put their faith in His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.
16“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:16-21
God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), however, the general gracious call of God to lost sinners will never be answered because of the triple bonds of captivity that bind the sinner in her night of darkness. Unless and until God works in the heart of the sinner no flesh will be saved! The con perpetuated by the flesh, the devil and the world will only lead the sinner into great depravity, many times all the while believing they know and are serving even Christ Himself. The efficacious call of God upon the life of the sinner is the only way a rebel will turn from their own way to God’s way. Those who believe and teach decisional salvation are sponsoring a knave’s ruse that guarantees the sinner’s condemnation in hell. From the bible passages quoted it is clear, as Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:25, Luke 18:27) As we share the gospel of Jesus Christ, exhorting and encouraging the lost to put their faith in Christ, may we with humble hearts trust the living God to do the work which He alone is capable of doing, reconciling lost men, women, and children to Himself. We must leave the results with Him. Let us throw off the wiles of the enemy and know it is God who saves the sinner.