There’s a famous quote of the Puritan divine John Owen that many preachers have used in the last several hundred years. “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.” To illustrate this, I’d like to share with you something I read recently in a book I’m reading, entitled Churchill by Paul Johnson. It gives practical gravity to Owen’s quote when seen through the lens of a sobering story from last century.
[Churchill’s] ideas, when they prospered, sometimes had a huge effect on the future. When they foundered, they left a desolating feeling of what might have been. He regarded Lenin’s Bolshevik coup of November 1917, his subsequent murder of the czar and his family, and the creation of a Communist state as one of the greatest crimes of history. He was determined to reverse it and send troops and armies to Russia…This intervention had begun before Churchill took over the War Office but he increased its scale and inflated it with his rhetoric, and had he been allowed he would have done more, and for longer. It did not seem to be working, and his colleagues insisted he pull out. Once again, he was ‘conspicuous,’ and got all the blame…If it had succeeded, more than 20 million Russian lives would have been saved from starvation, murder, and death in the gulag. It is most unlikely that, with Bolshevism crushed, Mussolini could have come to power in Italy, or still less, Hitler in Germany. Imagine the post-war world without either triumphant Communism or aggressive Fascism! (pp. 59-60)
Brothers and sisters, there are sins in our lives that we know are dangerous and can lead to our destruction. Do not allow your fallen reasoning to tell you in any situation or circumstance, “Your pursuit of Jesus isn’t practical!” Do not allow this fallen world’s colleagues – even from within the church – to sway you from your holy course of action to slay the smallest movement of sin in your soul. For, like socio-political climates, any sin, given the right circumstances, has the ability to morph into a dark stronghold that – similar to the dictatorships of Lenin, Mussolini, and Hitler – can ultimately destroy us and countless other lives. Let us look to our Warrior-King, Who has provided both the power to fight and the victory to conquer from His own battle-resulting blood!