To The Person Who Thinks They Are Too Far Gone

A while back, I was on a mission trip and my evangelism group met an elderly man who invited us into his home for a bible study. We studied with him for around an hour and he understood that he was in sin and needed to be saved, he knew what he needed to do, but something held him back.

“I’ve done too much evil in my life,” he told us. “There’s no way for me to be forgiven for what I’ve done. There’s too much evil in me. I’m too far gone.”

We continued to study with him about forgiveness, about how our sins are washed away when we are baptized into Christ (Galatians 3:27, 1 Peter 3:21), but over and over again he repeated the same thing: “There’s too much evil, I’m too far gone.”

Eventually, we left, but we invited him to the gospel meeting we were putting on every night that week.

Later that evening, I looked for him in the crowd but didn’t see him, I assumed he hadn’t accepted the invitation to come until I saw him standing in the very back.

I wish I could say he was baptized that night, but he wasn’t.

I wish I could say that I knew if he ever did, but I don’t.

I can only pray that he did or that he one day will. I can only pray that one day he’ll realize that the blood of Jesus is stronger than all of his sins combined.

When I was younger I watched a lot of veggie tales.

I remember the one covering the story of Jonah, and in it, there was a song about God being a God of second chances.

I don’t believe that our God is a God of second chances; I believe that while we are here, alive on earth that He is a God of continual chances.

I believe that every day, every hour, every minute, and even every second is a chance that we are given because God wants us to be saved.

He wants you to be saved.

 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”-1 Timothy 2:1-6

Today, no matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what you’ve done, you need to know that you have not lost your chance.

In Acts 22, Paul speaks about his past life, he tells about how he murdered and persecuted Christians.
Then, he tells about how he changed.

God wanted Paul as His child even when he was Saul.

David was a man after God’s own heart who committed a terrible sin of adultery and murder, many of his Psalms are about his sorrow and guilt, yet, he was still a man after God’s own heart despite his mistakes.

Samson made many mistakes when it came to women, especially Delilah. He could have easily given up and died believing his life was ruined by his pride, but instead he got back up again and did good in the end.

It’s never too late to turn things around, to change, to come back home.

God’s love and mercy is greater than all of our sins.

None of us are worthy of anything, especially God’s love, and yet He knew us and everything we would ever do to sin against Him and still called us beloved, perfectly and wonderfully made.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”-Ephesians 2:10

We were made good. We were made for good, and if you’re reading this, it’s not too late to walk in the light and be the Christian and child of God that God wants you to be.

If you know better, do better. If you are living in sin, I want you to know that you are so much more than the life you’re living.

You have a chance, the darkness and emptiness you might feel now doesn’t have to be your reality.

This doesn’t have to be how it ends.

It’s not too late.

 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”-Romans 5:8

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”-Titus 2:11-14

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”-1 John 1:9

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”-2 Corinthians 5:17

“And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”-Acts 22:16

Your Nike Shorts Aren’t Modest

“For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. 

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 

Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 

But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”-Luke 6:43-49

Hey guys, summer is coming up, if you haven’t noticed by how increasingly harder it is to find shirts that aren’t missing their lower halves and jeans that don’t have rips all the way up your thighs.

With summer also comes an increase of immodesty, sadly even from members of the church.

I’ve already written a post about immodesty, which you can read here, but since this is an ever reoccurring issue, I thought I should write another post, perhaps this one more blunt, hence the title.

Modesty, it’s a very vague word and definition for many people as I went over in my last post. Today, I’m going to be very direct, I think a lot of people choose to not infer and apply certain scriptures and implicit commands to their lives so they can use the excuse of ignorance, but this post will lay it all out so you, dear sisters (and brothers, perhaps! Modesty applies to both girls AND boys) will leave this blog today with zero excuse.

So, if you want to honor God by obeying His word in every aspect of your life, please read on.

To make it perfectly clear, as already stated in the title of this post, your Nike shorts aren’t modest.

Your shorts that go above your knees aren’t modest (I’m looking at both guys and girls here).

Your yoga pants aren’t modest.

Your skin tight athletic wear isn’t modest.

Your bikinis and one pieces aren’t modest.

Your crop tops aren’t modest.

Your jeans with the rips past your knees aren’t modest.

Your low cut dresses and shirts aren’t modest.

Your short dresses and skirts aren’t modest.

I’m sure you get the point by now.

At this point, I’m sure you either agree with me or are slightly upset and thinking, “Grace, who are you to define what is modest and appropriate and what isn’t? Who are you to tell me what to wear?”

I understand where you’re coming from, I felt the same defensive, indignation when I first was told my clothing wasn’t modest, but I didn’t define modesty, God did.

Which brings us to probably your next question:

What does the Bible say about modesty? 

A popular and often used verse is 1 Timothy 2:9:

“In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array”

  • Shamefacedness: a face that can blush, immodesty, or being immodest should shock you.
  • Sobriety: Control, clear judgment.
  • Broided hair: oftentimes women would braid gold into their hair to show off their wealth, other times they wore gold to advertise that they were selling their bodies.

All in all, this verse seems pretty vague on the standard of modesty, right?

That’s because modesty had already been defined in the old testament, the people hearing this didn’t need a definition for modesty, they already had one.

Gen 3:7 tells us about Adam and Eve realized that they were naked, thus they made “aprons” for themselves.

  • Chagowr means a loin covering, basically, they covered their private parts.

In verses 9-10, Adam and Eve knew that they were still naked and hid from the Lord.
In verse 21, the Lord made them coats and clothed them.

  • Kethoneth, a tunic, a coat that covered from the shoulders to the knees.

In Isa 47:2, it talks about bringing shame by “making bare the leg, uncover the thigh”. This should bring shame on anyone because it is immodest, and thus nakedness.

In John 21:7, it talks about Peter fishing naked but putting on his coat when he spotted Jesus on the shore to swim to him.
The word for naked that was used is “gymnos” which means “undergarments or clothing that didn’t cover your shoulders and went to your knees”.

I’m not saying that this dismantles the whole “swimming in fewer clothes is okay because it’s swimming” argument… well, actually, I am. Because it does.

There are more verses that talk about clothing and they are:

Lev 16:4, 2 Sam 10:4, Exo 20:26, 1 Thess 4:4, Proverbs  7:10, Proverbs 11:22

I would greatly encourage anyone to study these verses.

In my old modesty post, after I wrote this definition, I wrote that if you know better, do better.

This applies today too, if you’ve read this post all the way through, congratulations! You know better, now you have the choice to honor and obey God by doing better.

As Christians, we need to obey God, immodesty is a sin, and we cannot keep on sinning.

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”-Romans 6:1-6

“…in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”-2 Thessalonians 1:8-10 

Let’s Talk about Purity Culture

**TW: sexual abuse is talked about in this post.

Hello dear readers,

I’m sorry about my infrequent posting, life is getting busier and it’s hard to always gather up my thoughts and get them out of my head and onto my laptop.

Today I wanted to talk about purity culture because even in the Lord’s church, I think we have some harmful ideas and things we say about sex, virginity, our worth, and forgiveness.

I. The Problem With Our Attitude Towards Purity

“What are your thoughts about dating someone that isn’t a virgin?” I’ve asked this question to a few people and a few groups, curious about what answers I would get.

“It’s not fair.

That’s the common theme of the responses.

“It’s not fair that I’ve waited and then am going to marry someone who didn’t wait and can’t share that first time with me.

Another concern people have expressed to me is about the emotional baggage a partner like that could bring.

The attitude in those statements is the real issue.

Let me set the stage for another example:

The lights in the room are dim as the speaker takes the stage, he’s holding a rose up for all to see.

“Who wants this rose?” he asks, arm extended out towards the audience of young adults and pre-teens.

A ton of people raise their hands, and proudly, the speaker leans down and hands it to one of the youth. Then, he tells them to touch it, maybe pull off a petal or two and then pass it to the next person to do the same.

He then stands and begins to compare the rose to purity. Each hand it goes through symbolizes a relationship, a kiss, sex, giving away pieces of your hearts, etc.

Finally, the rose makes it around the room and is handed back up to the speaker, torn, wilted, crumpled, and missing the majority of its petals.

“Who wants this rose?” he repeats like before, but unlike before, no one raises their hand. The room is silent and grim, and it’s full of hopelessness because those kinds of speakers never said what they should have said to us next:

God does.

Our worth has never been found in how pure we have been sexually, it’s found in Christ and in the fact that God made us in His image.

I know purity talks such as the one I described above are to warn us, and overall I agree with the message–God created sex for marriage, going outside of God’s design is sin and we are told that in the end, those who are walking in sin will be condemned.

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.“-Hebrews 13:4

However, I think so often we focus on the “don’t fall short” which should be something we strive not to do because we are told to walk in the light, that we forget the “if you’ve fallen short” .

Ephesians 5:3 tells us that there should not even be a hint of sexual immorality among us as Christians, and that is true, like Joseph in Genesis 39:12, we need to always flee from sin.

When the adulterous woman in John 8 was brought to Jesus, He didn’t compare her to a torn rose, he didn’t call her dirty water, chewed up gum, or any of the other metaphors we use to make people feel like our worth is merely found in our bodies and physical purity.

Jesus didn’t do any of that, instead, he said to her, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

So, with all this in mind, what attitude should we have?

We need to understand that sex is for inside a marriage, not outside of it, and that we shouldn’t be living in sin, including sexual sin.

However, we also need to understand that like all sin, when we repent and turn from it, that God forgives us and others. God blots out our sins (Isaiah 43:25).
We need to get rid of the idea that someone is filthy for having sex in the past because that’s not true. Sin is filthy, and we’ve all sinned, thankfully we know that there’s a way to be cleansed from our sin.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”-1 John 1:7

II. The Ones We Hurt With This Attitude

Now that we’ve talked about the wrong attitude that we often have when it comes to this issue, let’s talk about the people we hurt, alienate, and silence with our metaphors and purity talks that only focus on “Don’t do it”. Who do we hurt when we misplace worth with sexual purity?

a. The Survivors

What message are we sending to victims of sexual abuse?

What do they hear when they listen to sex talks or overhear conversations about how it’s unfair to the people who have stayed pure to date or marry someone with a sexual past?

Do they hear that they have lost their worth? That their “baggage” is not fair to their future partner and will be a burden?

It’s terrible. When people compare sexuality to a rose losing its petals or to dirty water, or say things like: “why would you want something stale when you could eat something fresh?” I don’t think we stop to realize how awful, untrue, and damaging our words are, and that we may be speaking in front of a sister or a brother who may have had a lot of things stolen from them.

“I think it goes even beyond fear, for so many children, especially in sex trafficking. It’s feelings of self-worth. It’s feeling like, ‘Who would ever want me now? I’m worthless.’

That is what it was for me the first time I was raped. I was raised in a very religious household, one that taught that sex was something special that only happened between a husband and a wife who loved each other. And that’s how I’d been raised, that’s what I’d always been determined to follow: that when I got married, then and only then would I engage in sex.

After that first rape, I felt crushed. Who could want me now? I felt so dirty and so filthy. I understand so easily all too well why someone wouldn’t run because of that alone.“-Elizabeth Smart, a survivor who was kidnapped and raped at age fourteen

Elizabeth also went onto talk about how purity talks hurt her as someone who had gone through abuse, “I had a teacher who was talking about abstinence, she said, ‘Imagine you’re a stick of gum and when you engage in sex, that’s like getting chewed, and if you do that lots of times, you’re going to become an old piece of gum, and who’s going to want you after that?”

How awful and untrue of a thing for her teacher to say, yet, sadly metaphors and allegories such as that one aren’t uncommon and are often used, even though it’s inappropriate and harmful to compare people to gum, flowers, or any other object without a soul.

b. The Forgiven

Sadly, the world is sinful, and most people who didn’t grow up in the church and converted later in their teens or adulthood aren’t virgins.

Sadly, sin and temptation are hard and even people raised in stable Christian households can stumble and fall.

However, it’s not our past that matters, it’s our present. We are not defined by our past mistakes, and I think that’s something we’re all grateful for, so why would we try to define a brother or sister on their past that has been forgiven and forgotten by God?

c. The Silent

Growing up, I knew many “silent kids” as heartbreaking as it is to write. I knew kids who were struggling with being attracted to the same gender, kids who felt guilty and lost for giving in to the sexual pressure of their significant other, and many things along those lines.

When one of my denominational preachers gave us the typical purity talk, my heart broke for the ones I knew were in the sin he screamed about, I watched as they flinched, and I quietly despaired as I realized that a lot of those kids would never speak up to get the help and support they need to go in the right direction. I silently begged the preacher to tell them about how our sins are washed away when we repent, how Rahab, a former proustite, became a direct ancestor to Jesus Christ and was mentioned for her faith in the New Testament.

Sometimes we pounce on issues such as this one and just scream “Sin!” and that is the truth, but we forget the important and needed “if”

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”-1 John 1:9

III. The Conclusion

We have been shown time and time again in the Bible that there is hope and forgiveness, and we should never forget that when it comes to ourselves or anyone else.

If you are struggling with a sin that falls under sexual immorality, or if you have committed one in the past, you are not lost. You are not broken beyond compare. Your worth isn’t gone because it’s always been in Christ.

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

This is the message repeated in most of the purity talks and books I have listened to and read and it’s usually the overall tone of the message, but it’s not the end of the verse.

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”-1 Corinthians 6:9-11

And such were some of you.

Past tense.

How powerful is that?

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.”-2 Corinthians 5:17