“My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
---End of Scripture verses---
1 Peter 4:8 tells us that “love covers a multitude of sins.” It is tremendous love for the immortal soul that prompts a Christian to try his best to turn a brother back when he “strays from the truth” (verse 19). What a tremendous challenge it is to help steer a fallen brother or sister back to the path of righteousness once they have chosen to deviate from it! The Hebrew writer wrote as much in Hebrews 6:4-6: “For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.”
To know the truth, to be enlightened by the living word of God, to have a foretaste of heaven itself, and then to abandon the Lord and all His present and future blessings is to crucify Christ all over again in your heart and condemn yourself. Chances are you can’t tell someone who is in a situation like that anything they don’t know already. But love demands that we must somehow try to persuade them to return to the Lord just the same. That person’s soul is dead spiritually, and eternity is too long and hell is too horrible just to sit idly by and leave them in such a horrid condition. Sometimes we must deliver a sinner over “to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:5). But other times we have to try our best to snatch them out of the fire (Jude 1:23) and “save” their “soul from death” (verse 19).
Friend, there is no clearer statement in the Holy Scriptures that so plainly affirms that saved “brethren” in Christ can err from the truth and fall from God’s saving grace. To save a brother’s soul from death is to rescue him from eternal destruction. Satan accomplished one of his greatest schemes of all time with the lie that believers cannot possibly lose their eternal salvation no matter what they do. This doctrine can be found nowhere in the pages of the Bible. In fact, the opposite is true. If we have obeyed Jesus to acquire salvation (Hebrews 5:8-9), and then get caught up in some sin that we refuse to repent of, we are doomed to eternal death and destruction. God gives grace that is greater than all of our sins, but we must be willing to turn from them and beg forgiveness in order to receive it. Our merciful Lord stands ever ready to forgive!
Lord willing we will have a brief introduction to the book of Acts for tomorrow.
Have a blessed day!
- Louie Taylor