We are addressing this message specifically to folks who have repented and escaped the judgment of God. Yet they then have turned back to their old ways thinking God’s letting them get away with what they are doing now. This scenario is so typical of men. You do something bad, the Lord catches you, you repent and in short order, you are doing bad again. Let the Bible show you that the latter end is worse with you than the beginning [2 Pet 2:20].
The latter end was worse for Zedekiah – Jer 34:4-5, 8-11, 15-17, 20-22. Nebuchadnezzar attacked once when Jehoiakim was king and attacked again when Jehoiachin was king. Jehoiachin was taken captive and Nebuchadnezzar made Zedekiah king in his place. Jeremiah prophesied that Zedekiah and the rest of Judah should yield to Nebuchadnezzar. Some of them, like Zedekiah, would go into captivity [Jer 24:3], those in captivity would live, build houses, marry, have children, and one day return. Those who were allowed to remain in Judah would live peacefully [Jer 34:4-5].
But Zedekiah did evil in the sight of the Lord [2 Ki 24:19; Jer 34:11] and rebelled against the king of Babylon [2 Ki 24:20]. As a result, rather than escape the sword and die in peace, he was captured, his sons were killed, he was blinded and carried captive to Babylon [2 Ki 25:6-7]. He had it made when the Lord prophesied that Jerusalem would escape being burned with fire. But Zedekiah went back to the sins of his fathers and the Lord destroyed him and Judah.
The latter end was worse for Israel when Jesus came – Matt 12:43-45. Jesus came to Israel and healed many that were sick [most of the diseases of which were the result of sin and the devil] and he cast out their devils. And for a while, they rejoiced in his presence among them. At the end of his reign, most of them changed their minds and turned against him. And the latter end was worse for them than the beginning. They had worse problems with demon possession than before Jesus came. And eventually, Titus came and destroyed their temple and ran those he didn’t slaughter out of the country.
The latter end is worse for a Christian who turns his back on God – 2 Pet 2:19-21. I realize that this passage is in the context of false preachers and false teachers. And I realize that these verses do not teach against eternal security. But I also realize that false preachers and teachers have been responsible for turning many true Christians away from God by the promise of liberty when in fact they are bringing them into the bondage of corruption. When a Christian turns away from righteousness and goes into homosexuality or adultery, for instance, it is often harder to turn him back to righteousness than before he believed. The latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
The latter end will be worse for you, too. There is more pressure right now for Christians to turn to sin than at any other time in the last 50 years. And naïve Christians are believing these false preachers and teachers and are following their pernicious ways [2 Pet 2:2]. You think that you are getting away with something. You aren’t. In time, you are going to find that Jesus will strip away from you every reward you hoped to find in heaven. You’ll be just like Zedekiah when Nebuchadnezzar blinded him and brutally took his children away from him. Or you’ll be like Jerusalem and the Promised Land which God destroyed and took away from Israel. Perhaps, you’ll be like Esau who forfeited his birthright and blessing.
Conclusion: Look at any Christian who once had victory over a particular sin. When he returns to it, he will have ten times more trouble dealing with it than before he got the victory over it. You cannot turn back to the stuff you did before you believed without temporal and eternal consequences that you may never get over. The latter end is worse with them. Don’t be one of THEM.