And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

As believer’s, we don’t have to go through the second death which is separation forever from God in the lake of fire (hell). If we die before Christ returns then we will go straight to be with the Lord. Paul said to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (II Cor 5:8)

Story: Man came to my office in Florida and his dad was a preacher. So I asked him how his dad was doing since I hadn’t seen him in awhile. He said, "my dad graduated a couple of months ago" What he meant was that his dad had died and went home to heaven. Was he sad? I suppose so but he was happy in the fact that his dad was with Jesus and not in hell. His dad was sitting at the feet of Jesus and in a far better place!

Just think of how he would have felt if his dad wasn’t saved and what he would have to think about every time he thought of his dad in hell!

II. We have Victory over Sin:

In Romans chapter five, Paul is talking about sin and the grace that takes care of our sin. Look in Romans 5: 19-21,

"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."

Then look at what Paul says in Chapter 6:1-19 (read) Paul is saying that in order to have victory over sin in our lives that we must:

  1. Reckon yourselves as dead (consider it to be so) Dead people can’t sin.
  2. Yield yourselves unto God as instruments unto righteousness (verse 13)

So you say, Brother Frank, I have a problem with a certain sin. Why is that? Because you haven’t yielded your members unto God, instead you have yielded unto sin. In verse 16 Paul says that you become a slave to the sin that you yield to. We need to have the victory in this area and we can have it by yielding to God.

You say it is so hard. I am tempted daily with this problem. Paul says in 1Corinthians 10:13

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

We need to learn to take the escape and not give into the temptation.

Just as God gives grace to be saved, I believe that He gives grace to overcome sin. Does that mean that we will be sinless? No I don’t believe so but if we do sin, we have a faithful and forgiving Heavenly Father. I John 1:9 says,

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Grace is not a license to sin. We are still able to sin but we have to be able not to. We have to learn to love God to the point that we would not want to disappoint Him by our lifestyle.

II Corinthians 5:14 Paul writes that the "love of Christ constraineth us". That means it holds us together. We must love God more than our sin and show that love by our Holy lives. Peter says in 1Peter 1:13-16,

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written (in Lev 11:44), Be ye holy; for I am holy."

We are not perfect people but we can and we should be living holy lives for the Lord, not in order to be saved but because we are saved! That is the only way to have victory over sin. If you are miserable and defeated today, don’t blame the Lord. It’s because we love our sin too much and we don’t love the Lord as much as we should. Let’s have the victory today when it come to sin! We cannot be the salt and light that we need to be and be living in sin!

God’s word will help: Psalm 119:9 &11 says, "Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

II Timothy 2:22 says, "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

Living the victorious Christian life because of victory over death, sin and lastly,

III. Victory over Discouragement & Depression:

Don’t get me wrong, the Christian life is not a life of perfection and a life free from problems but the joy of our salvation and knowing that we already have the victory over death and that we can have the victory over sin should keep us joyful most of the time.

1Peter 1:1-9 says,

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."

These believer’s that Peter was writing to were going to terrible tribulation and persecution for their faith and Peter told them that even though they may go through manifold temptations or trials for a season that they could rejoice knowing that the end of their faith was the salvation of their souls. You see the fact of the matter is that no matter what comes our way, we are going to heaven and that fact should make anything that may come our way a cause for us to rejoice

Look what Jesus told the disciples after He sent them out and they returned to Him in

Luke 10:17-20,

"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."

The fact that our sin debt has been paid and we are on our way to heaven should be enough to keep us shouting for joy and living the victorious life all of our days.

Down tonight?

Discouraged tonight?

Tired tonight?

Sulking tonight?

Feel like sin has got you down?

Rejoice!! Because we already have the victory. Now let's live like the Victorious Christian's that God saved us to be!