“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Galatians 6:7–8

There are many excuses given for not trusting Christ for salvation. Perhaps one of the most arrogant, and yet truthful, excuses is that the individual likes his sin too much and is not yet ready to forsake his sin. He is not finished sowing his “wild oats” he will say. The theory that is lurking in the back of his mind is that when he is done having his fun and is ready to get serious about God and faith, he will turn himself around, yield to God’s demands, and embrace God’s generous offer.

He is being honest with you that he is not ready—much like a pig is not ready to give up its mire, he is not disposed to turn away from his sin. Apparently, the Holy Spirit has not brought sufficient conviction to bear upon him that he is desperate for salvation, as happens only by the quickening work of the Holy Spirit. The sinner remains quite comfortable in his spiritual filth and decay.

Still, his supposition that he can turn about any time he pleases and personally activate God’s offer of salvation by faith in Christ is a pipe dream. He seems to see God’s offer as a “fire-escape” available to him at any moment he chooses. He could not be further from the truth. The reality is that God is always the initiator and man is always the responder. In human terms, the convicting promptings of the Spirit for the moment (John 16:8; Acts 24:25, 26:27f) may also be gone in a flash, never to return. In divine terms, authentic salvific promptings of the Spirit (Acts 8:20-23) will succeed in providing the fruit of salvation. Desperation and repentance for personal sin will become that man’s overwhelming emotion and pursuit. Soul conversion can happen no other way.

There are many Scriptures that can be shared when you come across someone with this excuse. Our passage from Galatians is a premier example. Three strong statements are driven home. First, God commands us not to be deceived. The idea of deception here is to contradict one’s language with a gesture or look. Most of the time, deception is discovered too late by the victim. It is always a mercy for someone to point out deception before “the die is cast” and to be aware that you are being played by the deceiver. In this case, the deceiver and the deceived is the sinner himself.

Second, God is not mocked. The term Paul used here means to turn up the nose, to ridicule, to ignore. In other words, no one can ignore God and avoid the consequences. No one can pull the wool over God’s eyes. God is the only one with clear perception, clear wit, and is clearly able to do something about the least slight sent His way by mortal man.

Third, and most practical for your witness, is the plain fact of nature. What you sow you will reap! You sow bitter herbs, you will not harvest sweet grapes. You sow your wild oats, you will not get eternal reward from God no matter how hard you pray for it. One of the most chilling phrases in Scripture to the unrepentant heart is “…be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

Paul explains his meaning in no uncertain terms: “He who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption.” Sin, by its very nature, masquerades as everything it is not. Instead of a carrot dangled in front of you, what you will discover too late is that a fishing lure has been dangled in front of you. Sin uses your fallen nature against you. James put it this way, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away [from safety to peril] by his own desires and enticed” (James 1:14f). Just as the fish is drawn out of the safety of the water into the fisherman’s hands, so the sinner will discover his pet sins are actually enslaving him. James continues, “Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived….” The foolish-hearted sinner always thinks he is in control. Even when he takes his last breath he may still believe he is in control!

Hebrews 9:27 tells us, “…it is appointed unto man to die once, but after this the judgment.” There will be no mocking God then. Romans 6:23 explains this further: “For the wages of sin is death….” In Romans 8:6f we learn, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God….” Back in Romans 6:16, Paul exhorts, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience, leading to righteousness?” This biblical wisdom is totally ignored by those who desire to continue a little longer in their sin.

Thankfully, Romans 6:23 does not end with death. “…But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Do not be a fool by delay, yield to Him today (Proverbs 14:9). Trust and obey.