“If, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.” 2 Peter 2:20
Some affirm that experienced Christians meet with no strong temptations and feel no evil suggestions from within, and, of course, no striving against the same; but it is quite the contrary. For young converts are engaged chiefly in escaping from the outward pollutions of the world, while those who are further advanced find it necessary to strive more immediately against their inward and spiritual iniquities.
Therefore take heed to your spirit, though your meaning be ever so good, and your assurance ever so great. Be not high-minded, for fear of falling. The least sin may, unawares and by degrees, draw you into many others, so that you may, at last, be entangled in such a manner that, without great watchfulness, it will be impossible to extricate yourself.
Therefore, be not deceived; flee all occasions of sin. Say not within yourself, “It is a light matter; it only concerns outward things, which do not belong to the essence of Christianity.” Such language betrays a most unbecoming levity, or rather a seared conscience. If we indulge any degree of improper conformity to the world, we so far supply the enemy of our souls with the means of ruining them, and may well fear that our latter end will prove worse than the beginning.
Lord, keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings.
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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