"Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been proved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren" (James 1:12-16).
The issues of temptation and sin are of utmost importance, and many of us do not have a clear understanding of them. We desire purity in our lives, but so often it escapes us and we live a life of condemnation instead of a life of triumph. Christ died so that we might live with Him, and He is in the presence of the Father. Let us consider this area again and ask the Lord for eye salve to see the way of victory, and for the deep working of His Spirit within to make the victory ours.
In the scripture we have just quoted from James, we can see there is a progression. It is being drawn away by our desires to sin, and finally to death. The admonition is: "Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren." Is it possible to be deceived to the point of death? Some would say no, or that this is physical death, not spiritual death. Our purpose here is not to consider the whole question of eternal security, but to see the seriousness of the warnings of scripture. If it were not possible to be deceived, the warning would be meaningless. If we will be honest with God and ourselves, we will recognize that the danger is real. Perhaps faulty teaching has taken the "edge" off the Word, but that excuse will not stand before God on the final day. What has God revealed to us? That is what we will give an account for.
The Holy Spirit is faithful in all of our lives. He is the one who convicts of sin and righteousness and judgment. He does not fail any of us. But even though He convicts, we still have a choice. God does not force any of us to choose Him, but He does compel us to choose. When we play with sin, we are playing with our salvation and our eternal destiny. We are playing with life and death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.