It is commonly taught in churches, “whom the son sets free is free indeed”. There is absolutely no question about it; God does not want us in bondage to anything, but to be free, no matter where on earth we live or what government we live under. And of course we know there are some very oppressive governments and people out there who would rule over everyone if they had the chance.
The devil would like nothing better than to rule the whole world, oppressing and afflicting mankind until he destroys them and everything else on earth, because he is a thief, murderer, and destroyer, all rolled up in one. He is actually the driving force behind every manner of oppression, whether it be political, economical, or social or physical. Let’s make sure we understand this: God is not in the oppression business, He is in the “freedom” business. Some would have us believe that we can confess our sins to God, and go our merry ways with no further action on our part, and be granted a “Get out of hell free” card, no matter what we do for the rest of our lives, but is that the whole story? Let’s have a closer look, as it is written in John 8:
Joh 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Joh 8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?
Joh 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.
Joh 8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
One might be led to think, if God wants us free, then what is to stop us from being free? Isn’t God the Supreme Being of the universe, omnipresent, all-powerful, and almighty? Yes, but there’s something we may be overlooking here. God has also granted us free will as a part of our creation, which means, we can choose to be free, or not. Here’s where things start getting complicated. Everyone wants to be free, right? Perhaps not; because we keep choosing to make more laws for ourselves to be governed by. If we truly wanted to be free, would we not do away with all laws? In an ideal world, we would not need laws. But this is not an ideal world, is it? Why do we need laws? Apparently so politicians and crooks can break them.
In an ideal world, there would be no thieves, so we would not need locks to protect our properties. Think about it, wouldn’t it be nice to park your car and not have to lock it? You wouldn’t have keys for it, just a switch to start and stop it because nobody would steal it or break in. No need to lock a house because no one would bother your stuff. There would be no such thing as a locksmith. If there were no robbers or murderers we would not need weapons. There would be no war because there would be no covetousness or oppressor. There would be no prisons, for there would be no crime. Everyone would live in harmony, and if there was a natural disaster, everyone would run to their neighbor’s aid. We would have no need of border security because we would all be securely living by our neighbor’s side. There would be no need for government bailouts because there would be the highest integrity in all levels of business, and no man would steal from another nor do them hurt.
Because God gave us freedom of choice, some choose to allow greed to run their lives, ruining the lives of others. Some have no regard for the lives of others, nor their possessions, nor their right to live safely without fear. We wonder why God allows all these oppressors to roam free, harming others. But because God honors our free will, He has allowed us to choose our own path, with Him, or without Him.
Life would be so simple if we simply chose to worship God and obey Him. And for those who do, life indeed is better, however we are not immune to the effects of the evil around us. Everywhere we look, there is waste, ruin and destruction going on around us, due to sin abounding in the earth. That’s why we look to God to walk us through the obstacle course of this life. Not everything in this life is good and pleasant, thanks to the workers of evil around us. But by making the choice to continue to follow God, willingly obeying Him from the heart, we become disciples of Christ Jesus. Notice I said “continue”, as our freedom of choice allows us to continue, or quit, anytime we choose. We can choose whether to let sin rule in our life, or not. We can choose whether to do things God’s way, or not. Only by choosing to continue to submit ourselves to the will of God are we set free from the sins of the world. The key here is “continue”. Walking with the Lord Jesus today does not guarantee you will choose to walk with Him tomorrow. Sometimes the desire to have things our way is just too strong.
Knowing the truth alone does not set you free. A person in a burning house knows that if they want to live, the truth is, they must get out. Yet they can choose to stay and try to save their belongings, thereby perishing in the flames. Will God let someone die in a burning house? Yes, if it’s their choice. I’ve often seen God set smokers free from their nicotine addiction because they truly wanted to quit, but couldn’t do it on their own. But I’ve also seen people whom God has set free, start smoking again, and become entangled once again. He will not violate your choice, even though it might be in your best interest to do so many times. How do you stay free once the Lord makes you free? by not returning to that thing which had entangled you in the first place. There is an account in the Bible of a man whom Jesus healed, let’s read about it in John 5:2-16:
Joh 5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
Joh 5:3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
Joh 5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
Joh 5:5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
Joh 5:6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
Joh 5:7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
Joh 5:8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
Joh 5:9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
Joh 5:10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
Joh 5:11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
Joh 5:12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
Joh 5:13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
Joh 5:14 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.
Joh 5:15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
Joh 5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
Jesus warned the man who was healed to go sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon him. So He clearly told the man there was a way to stay free, and a way not to stay free. There are people who have lived their lives in fear, worry, and panic attacks, and the Lord Jesus has made them free from fear and worry. Will the devil attack and try to put fear upon them again? Absolutely! He kills, steals, and destroys, remember? Once the Lord Jesus makes us free, we have to choose to resist the devil and stay free, and don’t think for a minute that you will not have to make a stand for your freedom! God’s will is for us to overcome, and you don’t overcome by letting the devil suck you back into the captivity from whence you’ve come. Again, it’s your choice! God already made His, and He chose to send His Son Jesus and buy your freedom, and He paid the price in full to make you free. But as a free person, you have the ability to submit yourself to the devil if you wish, though I certainly can’t understand why you’d want to. If you’ve been set free from alcohol or drugs, there’s nothing stopping you from going back to them, for God will not stop you. If God has made you free from sexual perversions, you have a choice, stay free, or go back to them. You can’t blame the devil or God if you don’t stay free, you can only blame yourself. We are the products of our choices, both as a society, and on a personal level.
I’ve personally seen people whom the Lord has healed of cancer, with every sign and symptom gone, and they ran back to the doctor, and the doctor prescribed a course of chemo or radiation to “make sure THEY got it all”, and that person ended up dying from the effects of the treatment. They were made free, and gave it up, because someone pressured them to go against the Lord. Did God take their healing away? No, they chose to forsake it. We can choose to forsake the freedom God gives us, and suffer for it. But there’s a better way: we can CONTINUE in the Word of God, minute by minute, hour by hour.
Sometimes we look at the big picture and say, I don’t know if I can be a disciple of Christ Jesus long term. You do it just like you eat a big steak: one bite at a time. By continuing in the Word of God, you shall be His disciple indeed: and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free! The truth of the Son of God shall not only make you free, if you let Him, He shall keep you free. Choose wisely.