Spiritual Outlaws

William C. Sexton
St. Joseph, Missouri

In the early Western United States, there was a character who still lives in history-the outlaw. He was and is a creature who operates outside the law. He refuses to be governed by the law. He does what he wants to and takes what he is "big enough" to take, using whatever forces are available to him.

There is a similar character in the spiritual realm. He might very well be described by the term. He, too, is an outlaw! Like the early western figure, he operates outside the law. Unlike the early western figure, though, he may be a respected citizen of the community. However. seen in his true light, this character is as despicable as his earlier counterpart. Especially is he such in the eyes of God, as well as in the eyes of all who understand and appreciate the "Righteousness of God."

Consider a passage of scripture, 2 Thess. 2: 17: "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work." The word, "Iniquity" means lawlessness. Thayer's Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament says, "the condition of one without law, either because ignorant of it, or because violating it." (Page 48). Men, who thus act, are acting without the law of God, and they are condemned and destined to eternal destruction. Ultimately, they shall suffer the consequences: confinement, waiting all lawbreakers. Punishment and eternal misery shall be the lot of each character. All of this is revealed clearly by the Creator, Governor, and Judge of all life, God.

Each of us needs to pay special attention to this concept, because the term may very well describe as. What? Me? That is right. You and I may fit into this category-being Spiritual Outlaws!

Are you sure that all you do religiously is authorized by the Lord? Have you obeyed the

Gospel of Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation? (Rom. 1: 16-17; 2 Thess. 1: 8). Are you performing those acts which God authorizes in His word, the New Testament'! (Col. 3:1617). According to Jesus, many will be inclined to argue with Him in the judgment day (Matt. 7:21-23). They will claim that they deserve something better than that which they are getting-rejection and destruction (Cf. Matt. 13:41-42). Their arguments will be based on: (1) That they have spoken in His behalf, 11 prophesied in thy name; " (2) Acting against His opponent, "in thy name have we cast out devils;" (3) Volume of wonderful works, "in thy name have we done many wonderful works." However, the Lord will reject them on the ground that they were working "iniquity," that is without His authority; in effect they were spiritual outlaws.

Beloved, is it possible that you are a Spiritual Outlaw? You can prove that you are not simply by showing that you have scripture authority for all that you do in the spiritual realm. I call upon each and everyone to investigate his religious practices and give authority from the New Testament for every act.

May 24, 1973