“Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As to be hated needs but to be seen;
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
we first endure, then pity, then embrace”
English Poet, 1688-1744
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:18-24).
Theologians have long debated if Paul was writing as a converted man, or an unconverted man. I have always maintained that if Paul was not writing as a Christian who struggled with sin, I would testify that such a struggle exits.
In the heart of every person is a vice called Sin that rages to be unleased. The monster is usually confined from fully expressing itself by the laws of society, the restraints of the police and the courts, the teaching of the church which appeals to the conscience and, for many, the new birth. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
However, there are times when the monster of Sin breaks free of all restraints in a person’s heart to express itself fully. When the monster of Sin is let loose, in any life, it is like a wild beast seeking to devour. No one is safe. Those closest to the monster are the first to be hurt, for the monster of Sin does not care what it says, or who it hurts. The monster of Sin is blinded to truth, deaf to the Word of God, and willful beyond belief. There is a search and destroy tactic that drives the wild beast on the prowl. It acts, not on reason, but on raw instinct.
The person under the control of the monster of Sin becomes no better than the Muslim suicide bombers that blow up people in airports, or slaughter those who rush to help the fallen. Lives can be destroyed by hurtful words as effectively as they can be destroyed by bombs.
The person under the control of the monster of Sin expresses an emotional revolt of the soul. Reason is banished, righteousness is cast aside, and nothing matters but the will to power. The wild beast will not be denied what it wants.
The person under the control of the monster of Sin will behave like king Saul, who, in his madness, took a spear to cast it into the heart of a loyal friend and family member. No one is safe when the monster of Sin is on the loose.
Paul knew about the monster of Sin in his soul. Paul knew that if the monster was unleashed, he would act like he did before he met the Lord Jesus on the Damascus Road. In fact, Paul would be worse than his days as Saul of Tarsus for he had more gospel light and grace. Therein was Paul’s struggle. He wanted to be good, but the monster of Sin wanted him to be bad. Paul confessed he was a wretched man because of the conflict in his heart.
Who can subdue the monster of Sin when it does break free and is manifesting its rage and terrorizing anyone, and everyone that comes near? There is only one person who can tame the Monster in the heart of man, Jesus Christ the righteous One.
When Jesus said, “I will deliver you”, Paul rejoiced.
But what happens if Jesus does not come to subdue the monster of Sin in a person’s heart? I shall tell you what will happen. The monster of Sin will break loose, and drag the soul back to its natural habitat in the world. Paul knew a man named Demas, and wrote, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia” (2 Tim. 4:10).
The monster of Sin will roam to and fro trying to find an ally, trying to find comfort. But there will be no comfort found.
The monster of Sin will find no comfort in the church, for good Christians are rightfully alarmed at the monster of Sin, having escaped its ravenous appetite. Furthermore, Christians are under a royal command to avoid the monster of Sin. “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Rom. 16:17).
The monster of Sin will find no comfort in Christ, for Jesus condemns the hardness of the heart. Jesus will allow no one to justify that which is unjustifiable. Our Lord will not allow wrong to be called right.
The monster of Sin will find no comfort in the Word of God. The Holy Bible is cast aside, and not opened, for it condemns sinful behavior.
The monster of Sin will find no comfort in the flesh, but will only burn with illicit passions of malice, hate, anger, and lust.
The monster of Sin will find no comfort in friends, for they realize they are not safe around an irrational personality. All sin is irrational.
The monster of Sin will find no comfort in death, because the soul will be cast into the dark bottomless pit.
If Christ does not subdue the soul, the soul will discover that while it has tasted the goodness of God, it has not be able to truly reflect God’s goodness to others. It has never been truly converted.
There are causalities in Christendom. That is one of the saddest chapters being written in the history of the church, but it is being written.
One day all men will be judged according to their works. Those who have allowed the monster of Sin free reign to work evil deeds will be cast into the Lake of Fire. “For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie” (Rev. 22:15). Therefore, “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2:19).
God will not allow any monsters into His heaven, especially the monster of Sin. The Christian will put to death the monster of Sin. There will be a struggle, but Christ will give the victory. The non-Christian ceases to struggle and allows the monster of Sin free expression.
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit of the Lord says.