How far can we fall?
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth
take heed lest he fall.
~ 1 Corinthians 10:12
Can we fall from the promise of heavenly heights to the depths of hell? There is currently no known way which we can measure the expanse between Heaven and Hell.
Take the example from 1 Corinthians, chapter 10. Moses was the mediator of the Israelites. The Israelites with Moses were baptized into the Mosaic covenant. As a result, they were obligated to follow all the precepts of the covenant.
They were obligated to follow all the precepts of the Mosaic covenant and their example was Moses. He was a foreshadow of Jesus, our mediator. We are baptized into Christ and His covenant.
Thus, we are obligated to follow all the precepts of the Gospel. We have our example, which is Christ Jesus. I am afraid nearly all of us have failed at the very first thing we are suppose to do as followers of Christ.
The first thing is genuine repentance. Repent: Μετανοήσατε – Metanoēsate means to change one’s mind, purpose, and ways for the better. To heartily amend and abhor one’s past sins.
In Ezekiel 14:6 the Israelites are told to, Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!
In the Septuagint, the underlying idea is translated sub by epi (apo-)strepho meaning, to turn about, or to turn away from..
So, a genuine repentance is a complete abandonment of both sinful intentions and their accompanying evil deeds. Our motives and conduct is completely reversed as far as a predisposition to sin, loving our neighbor, and loving God.
A good example is Isaiah 1:16-17:
Wash you, make you clean;
put away the evil of your doings
from before mine eyes;
cease to do evil; learn to do well;
seek judgment, relieve the oppressed,
judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
This is the first step in stopping us from our current free-fall or restoring us to a place pleasing to our LORD.
Take Paul’s example:
I am verily a man which am a Jew,
born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia
yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel,
and taught according to the perfect manner
of the law of the fathers,
and was zealous toward God,
as ye all are this day.
~ Acts 22:3
Paul killed and tortured hundreds of Christians. Our works as Christians under the influence of sin harm others in much more subtle ways. But the outcome is the same. If we cause our brother to stumble and perish, we have helped kill his eternal soul.
We have already failed if we have not truly, utterly, and completely repented of our sins.
To repent in the Gospel means to turn from ALL sin. Have you turned from all your sin and are you striving never to sin again? I mean never!
The whole of scripture resounds in a chorus exhorting and pleading for us to do so. The following are examples, exhortations, explanations, and the final role sin is to (no longer) have in our life,
Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple,
and said unto him, Behold,
thou art made whole:
sin no more,
lest a worse thing come unto thee.
~ John 5:14
She said, No man, Lord.
And Jesus said unto her,
Neither do I condemn thee: go,
and sin no more.
~ John 8:11
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received
the knowledge of the truth,
there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
~ Hebrews 10:26
We are commanded to repent. It is a holy duty to abandon sin and all of its influence over us. Jesus would not have told us to sin no more unless it were possible.
that our old man is crucified with him,
that the body of sin might be destroyed,
that henceforth we should not serve sin
~ Romans 6:6
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body,
that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
~ Romans 6:12
For sin shall not have dominion over you:
for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
~ Romans 6:14
What then? shall we sin,
because we are not under the law,
but under grace?
~ Romans 6:15
Awake to righteousness,
and sin not;
for some have not the knowledge of God:
I speak this to your shame.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:34
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ,
we ourselves also are found sinners,
is therefore Christ the minister of sin?
~ Galatians 2:17
Them that sin rebuke before all,
that others also may fear.
~ 1 Timothy 5:20
If we profess to be a Christian and willfully choose to live in sin, the fall to perdition is certain. We can begin aright again and cease from our sin with sincere and vigilant repentance.
The following is one of the gospel’s greatest exhorting us faithful obedience. This is how far we are called to go in repentance, avoidance of sin, and it eternal consequences.
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood,
striving against sin.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation
which speaketh unto you as unto children
~ Hebrews 12:4-5a
This is a sobering and deadly serious subject not to be taken lightly. We need to take heed.
Heed – βλεπέτω – blepetō – means to see, be observant (watchful). 991 (blépō). To see something physical, with spiritual results (perception), eternal damnation if the heed to live in a state of repentance is ignored.
If we have this perception to understand what can happen beyond the grave, then we can take the needed action, respond, remain alert, and continue to make the right choice(s).
Please read 1 Corinthians 10:1-13. Absorb the context. Heed the warning, memorize verse 13, protect, and keep it close to your heart. Walk in it.
Strive to enter in at the strait gate:
for many, I say unto you,
will seek to enter in,
and shall not be able.
~ Luke 13:24
For wide is the gate that leads to destruction and sin is crouching at its door. Turn your head and heart from it.