Have You Turned from a Life of Sin?
By Keith Daniel
If any man be in Christ he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are
Hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him,
and keepeth not his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word,in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
2 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea a man may say, Thou
hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?3
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know
them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy mane have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
4 If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are
become new.1 One more verse, which is familiar to many children. I remember my Sunday School teacher again and again trying to preach to us on this verse. Be sure your sin will find you out.5 Do you love the promises
of God? Thats a promise. One of the most embarrassing moments of my life was when I was a young preacher. I had so much fire, and so little wisdom. But the little bit of wisdom I had God took because there was fire. You
have to have fire, zeal. There I was, wanting to win the world to God. Then this terrible embarrassment happened to me. I remember our district superintendent, who was keeping a watch over us as young evangelists in South Africa, telling us where we were to go now, what we were to do. He said to us I want you to visit all the Christian friends. The farm areas, and the farm little town and communities, go visit all
these. Dont just preach. Go and get to know the Christians. Go learn from them.
Well, we went out, this young fellow and I, the two of us. We went from farm to farm, through the
whole day, into the night, one farm after another, in this small farming community. Towns, one house after the other, on big plots of land. I began to learn something as a young preacher in the Faith Mission of South Africa. I learned there are two things you dread. You wont believe what those two things are. One is dogs. I could spend an hour talking to you about dogs, and what theyve done to me. The other is coffee. Now you wont understand that if you dont come from South Africa. We have what we call the Boer. The Boer of the Afrikaan are white. They are a farming people, and dont like the cities, generally. Well, the Boer love coffee. Believe you me, that coffee is something to experience. One cup and you could die. They dont have these little dainty cups you know, like the English of South Africa. The
Boers haveI wouldnt say a mug, Id say a bowlfor coffee. They dont ask you if you want any. Its etiquette. They just brought the coffee out, and we had to drink it. Oh, this black poison! It reeked. I learned to put up to six spoons of sugar in to try and somehow taste it.
After six homes in one morning you felt sick. You had to go home, wherever it was, and try to eat your lunch. Then you had to face six more homes in the afternoon. You know, they actually got sick, the 1 2 Corinthians 5:17
2 1 John 2:3
3 James 2:14
4 Matthew 7:17
5 Numbers 32:23
missionaries who werent used to it, up in the Transvaal. Its really the Transvaal, the free state, thats the Afrikaaner land in South Africa. Well, this brother I was with began to twitch. I got a bit worried, and told him You know, we need to see a doctor.
He said, Well I hate doctors. He hated medicine. But eventually he said Wed better get to a doctor. So we went to a doctor.
I sat there with him and I was very worried. We were far away from our district superintendent,
from our mother and father in the faith, and here we were. The doctor looked at him, made examinations
and tests, and sat there for awhile.
The doctor asked, Do you perhaps drink a lot of coffee?
This brother looked at him and said, All the time, doctor. All day.
The doctor said You know, youve poisoned your system. Youve actually poisoned yourself
with coffee. Look at your eyes. The white is all discolored. Its coffee. You have to stop totally.
He says, Well, Doctor, how do you do that in this country?
The doctor looked at me and said, You make sure the people know that this boy doesnt have
coffee. All this sitting in a car to the next farm, then sitting for hours, and coffee, and sitting. Before you
get to the next farm get out of the car and run. Youre young. Get rid of all your energy. You cant have no
exercise and then drink coffee like old men. So he told me, You are in charge.
Even though this fellow was really my captain, I had to be sure that the people didnt give him
coffee on any account. He was to drink glasses of water all day. I had to bring it to him. I dont remember
how many glasses, it was so many years ago, but he had to drink water. No coffee. And run. We started
running around before we got to the next farm.
Anyway, we got to this town with these large plots. We were rather tired, to be honest with you,
but we knew we had to finish this town so we went into this particularly large home. As we got halfway to
the house, here came this dog, galloping. It was big. We ran. We couldnt get back to the gate, so we ran
for the house. The dog was after us. I banged on the door, and this brother was kicking as this dog was
trying to eat us up. He screamed as the dog began to get the better of him. In the end I realized we werent
going to win, and I opened the door. It wasnt locked, so I pulled him in, and we banged the door shut. We
turned around. There stood the lady of the house wondering what all this commotion was about. She had
gotten out of bed with her dressing gown, her head in curlers. The black domestic maid, the maid of the
house, stood there with a bread knife. They were frightened as they were there with this knife, looking at
I said, Oh, please forgive me Tanni. Tanni is Afrikaans for auntie. You always call them auntie
or uncle if theyre older. Sorry I came in your house. Youre dog was hurting us and we were so scared we
just had to get in.
They just looked at us.
I said, Were from Faith Mission, were from the AEB. Weve come to visit you.
The lady tried to speak after awhile. We were wondering why she wouldnt speak, but then we
realized she didnt have her teeth in. That was terrible! Now were all embarrassed. This brother of mine
was sweating. He was so fearful we had done damage here to this home, we were going to lose these
friends forever to the Faith Mission.
The maid said, Go sit in the lounge. She took her madame back to the bedroom to get dressed.
We were sat there feeling terrible. What a start. Eventually the lady came. We heard the cups rattling in the
The brother said, Whatever you do, dont tell them we dont want coffee.
Here it came, these great big things.
Just dont tell them. Weve done enough damage here. If we say we dont want their coffee now.
. . Ill drink it, just this time.
The lady went back to the kitchen, for these rusks that you dip in the coffee. I saw in the middle of
the lounge there was a fern. Now it was a beautiful fern, you know. It was in a big wooden stand, and as
she went back to the kitchen I just looked at the brother. I grabbed his cup. I grabbed my cup. I ran and
poured it in the fern. I put them down and she walked back in. There were two empty cups. I was so proud
of myself. The lady sat down, trying very hard to sit dignified and composed, and look at us. Were all
embarrassed still, and a bit tense. She started to speak. But as she tried to speak, in the middle of the
lounge, from this fern stand, we just heard this terrible noise. Thrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. The coffee went straight
through! It came out, every terrible drop. I agonized. It just carried on. I thought, When is this going to
end? She looked at this fern. She couldnt believe she didnt know what was going on. After awhile she
looked over at us and she looked at our cups. This poor brother, the red just went up his face. In the end she
looked at us horrified, as if some strange people were sitting here.
I said, Tanni, its not him, its me. We dont normally do this in a house, you know. But, uh, this
brother is sick. The doctor said I mustnt let him have coffee. And we were so embarrassed at the way we
had to get in through your door. I was so scared, and he was scared we were going to offend you. So I just
tried not offend you, and I put it in the fern.
She looked at me for awhile. Eventually she started laughing. But then she screamed. She laughed
like Id never heard a woman laugh before. We didnt know what to do. She laughed and laughed and
laughed. And you know, she loved us. She gave us a big donation. She said, Please, come back. Whenever
youre here. I dont think she normally had missionaries like that.
Anyway, Im sure that lady thought often about that verse when she thought about us. Be sure
your sin will find you out.
That verse, Id like to read, just once, if I had the opportunity today, to all of Gods people, and all
the churches across our country. Be sure your sin will find you out.
I was once walking in the town of Durban, a number of years ago now. Its a large and beautiful
city, Durban in South Africa. In the center of the town is what were called monumentsall the different
kings and queens of the British Empire in the heart of the city, as the people rush through. They have many
open air meetings there, trying to win people to Christ. As I was walking through all the bustle, all the
hundreds of people just criss-crossing to get to each part of the city, I saw a young man standing there, and
he had tracts of salvation. He was dressed clean, and he looked clean. The way he was giving these tracts
out made me stop in respect. I looked at him, and thought, Look at this fellow. He didnt want to let
anybody passed. It was like there was something of a desperation in him. Please, read this sir. Please,
please take it. Please stop. Take this. He didnt want to let anybody pass, giving these tracts out of
salvation. I looked at him in respect.
After awhile I saw he looked at me, and he recognized me. He walked up to me, and said Are you
I said Yes.
He said to me, Mr. Daniel, have you got any time? Are you in a hurry?
I said, Well, Im going somewhere, but what do you need? What do you want?
He said, Theres a tramp, a down and out, whos here in the town gardens, just sitting under the
statues. Ive tried to lead him to Christ. Theres something different about this tramp. He wasnt always in
the gutters. This man comes from somewhere good, and not too long ago. Hes just suddenly lost
everything. But I cant get through to him. Wont you please come? I know hell still be somewhere here.
Come and speak to him.
So I said, Surely I will. Lets go. We went around to one of these big statues. We eventually
found him. He stood slowly when he saw us coming to him. He was dressed like a tramp, and he looked
like a tramp, a man who gave up, sitting in the gutters now. This young fellow looked at him and said,
This is Mr. Daniel. Keith Daniel. Hes a preacher. I believe that if you just listen to him, you could
understand of what Im trying so hard, so often to tell you. I believe hes going to help you to find God, to
show you the way to God, what God can do for you. Wont you please listen to him? So the man
beckoned that I could speak.
I began to talk to him about God.
Now I found something. Oftentimes we give just our testimonies. I found to give the Word of
God. Its what God says that matters. So even if its to a tramp, leave something of what God says. I began
to quote the scriptures to him, of what God holds out to the sinner, of what God promises He can do, no
matter how destroyed the life is.
I held out the scriptures to him. As I was quoting scriptures to him, eventually he started quoting
them with me. So I quoted another scripture, and word perfect he quoted with me. I looked at him and said
But how is this possible? You know everything that I know. You know everything Im telling you. You
know everything I know. And I found tears welling up in my eyes to find a man in the gutters who knew
Then tears welled up in his eyes, and he said, I was a Dutch Reformed Dominee. A minister, a
preacher, in the largest denomination of our country. I went through a university, a theological seminary. I
attained after seven years the highest of all marks of all the theological students. I was the top theological
student of the university when I graduated. I was taken straightway to one of the largest Evangelical Dutch
Reformed churches of South Africa, right into the pulpit. There were five other ministers, but I was the one,
as young as I was, who was given the pulpit, because I could preach. I preached what youre telling me. I
preached the gospel.
I said, What went wrong? What happened?
Then the tears really came. Sin. You see, somehow sin wasnt dealt with, even though I had a
testimony. Though I went through university and I attained the highest degree, the highest marks of the
entire university in the theological section, sin was still there.
Its possible, you know. Its possible to get into a pulpit, one of the largest Evangelical churches in
a nation, because you can so preach, because youve so attained academically, in theology. They have to,
theyre obliged to put you in the greatest church right at the start. Its possible to stand up preaching the
gospel when sin is still in your life, never doubt it.
He said, It was sin. I had this problem. Sin. Oh I always used to think if my heart condemn me,
Gods going to deal with it somewhere. Someway its got to stop. I went back to sin. I sinned. Then one
day I stood up. I was preaching, calling for men to come to Christ, and suddenly I looked out and I saw a
face. Someone who knew about my sin, looking at me warning to sinners to come to repentance to God.
Somehow I got through that sermon, I dont know how I got through, holding myself up in the pulpit, my
heart just crushed. I dont know how I did it, but I got up and preached again. This time when I stood up,
and I began to preach, I didnt see one face, I saw two faces. The devil wont let you get away with it. I
couldnt preach. Here were people looking at me knowing that here I am crying to sinners, and yet Im a
sinner myself. Im still in my sin. I couldnt preach. I just walked from the pulpit, determined never to go
up again, no matter what the cost.
And it cost. I wont tell you the whole thing of what it cost me, but I lost my family, lost my
home, lost everything. One thing led to another, and now Im in the gutters. But you see what I was doing
was wrong. I had no right to stand in the pulpit of God and cry out to others when I was still in sin myself.
And I had to make a choice: either stand up in the pulpit and face the condemnation of others who I had
been guilty of sending to hell, or get out of the pulpit forever. I made a choice, and look what its cost me.
Ill never go back to the pulpit. It was wrong. I was wrong.
Young man, Ive watched you. I watched you when I saw you standing there with your Bible,
with your tracts, with your desperation, calling to people, not wanting to let anyone go by. I watched you.
Because of my background, I watched you carefully. Watched you when you spoke to me so zealously. I
watched you the other day when you stood there. Two men walked up to you. I saw you talking and
laughing. Saw you put your Bible away. Saw you go in that building with the men. I know something of
those mens sin, and I watched them. I waited until you came out, and I waited for them. I was going to
find out what you did in that building there. Young man, I want to tell you you have no right to come the
next day onto the street with your Bible, and your tracts. You have no right! Youre wrong! Youre wrong
in what youre doing, thinking you have the right.
The two of us just looked at him. I looked at this young man, who had turned white. His lips
trembling at being found out. Then the greatest shock of all came. He looked at the two of us. This man
having given up the pulpit to be honest. And this man whos clinging to God with every breath in his body
never to lose the right to be in the pulpit, to look every man on earth in the eyes and say Come to God,
and have the right to say to them.
He said, So what? Being a Christian doesnt mean you never sin. Being a Christian doesnt mean
you cant sin, ever. He turned, and walked away from us a dozen steps, back into the street, with his Bible,
and his tracts, and his sin, I believe to this day, all three.
Who you are speaks so loud that the world cant hear what you say. Theyre looking at your walk,
not listening to your talk. Theyre judging by your actions every day. Dont believe youll deceive by
claiming what youve never known. Theyll accept what they see and know you to be. Theyll know you by
your life alone.
I remember the same town, just a little way away from where I stood in the town gardens of
Durban. I was walking along the pavement of the city hall of Durban. Suddenly I saw a face coming along
the pavement past me, a face I hadnt seen in many years. The last time I had seen that face was when he
stood in a stadium with thousands of people, and was preaching the gospel. He was almost a household
name in South Africa, though he was young, because of the way he preached. I sat at his feet as a young
Christian again and again listening to him.
Then it was suddenly found out that the man was living in the most depraved sin imaginable. Not
only just once, it had been going on everywhere he was preaching. He was living in his depravity while he
preached. The damage done in the country was inestimable. The thousands that stumbled over this life
when all this shock swept across the land of this preachers sin. Here he was.
He just disappeared. No one knew where he was. I remember standing with his young fiancée,
broken, because she didnt know where hed gone. No one knew where hed gone. No one. He just couldnt
face the world. He left, disappearedgone! No one knew where hed gone. Here he came, aged, but I
recognized his face as he walked along. As he passed me I put my hand out and grabbed a hold of his arm.
He looked at me, and before I said a word the tears just swelled in his eyes. He knew I knew who he was.
I said to him, I need to ask you something. I need to know something. Were you ever real? Were
you always in sin while you preached like that? Or were you ever real that you really knew God? Were you
ever truly saved?
He took my hand and walked with me up on the steps of the city hall, and we sat. He talked to me,
asked me about myself. Then he said, Was I ever real? Keith, I was in a meeting. They made an appeal. I
came out. I prayed the sinners prayer. I was counseled. I mean, like you. I prayed the same prayer you
probably prayed. They said to me that day Now you must testify. So there was an open air meeting. I
went along and listened to all the testimonies given, and I kind of gathered Now you tell youve given
your life to Christ. So I started testifying. I stood in front of the loudspeaker there in the streets and
testified Im saved. Something about the way I spoke, they said Youre going give a testimony in the
church. They took me there, and I stood up and began to speak. Something gripped people. I was given
pulpits everywhere, testifying. Suddenly, speaking. Sermons. Small at first, little opportunities. Next thing
Youre going to Varsity, getting theological training. Youre a preacher! This is a gift.
I was sent to America, to one of the evangelical seminaries of America, paid for by all the
Christians back home in South Africa. Came back after awhile, straight into the biggest pulpits, because I
could speak. I could preach. People listened. Next thing it wasnt only the pulpits, it was the city halls. Next
thing it was the stadiums.
Did I ever turn from sin? No, for my sin was always there. Was I ever saved? I believe I was.
You wont believe it, Keith, obviously, from the mission you serve with. I was sincere. I tried to have quiet
time. I believe that I did. Somehow, I believe I am still saved to this day. And do you know, Keith, most
ministers in this country will defend me and say I am still saved. You see, I believe once saved, always
saved. Dont you believe in that, Keith? I believe somewhere along the line Gods going to get me right.
Your earnestness worries me, Keith. You seem to worry about my soul. Now Im going to be honest with
you. Im not ready to give up my sin right now. Im enjoying it still. But somewhere along the line Gods
going to get me, because once saved, always saved. Hell get me right before Him. Dont you believe once
saved, always saved in the Faith Mission, Keith? Most ministers would stand on my side right across this
country and say it there with me. Dont you people believe once saved, always saved?
I said, Yes. Once saved, always savedif you STAY saved! But be not deceived. No
unrighteous person shall enter the kingdom of heaven. Naught that defileth shall enter there. And I began
to give scripture.
This is one word thats missing in the pulpits today. I want to shout it loud and clear this morning,
bring it back in the pulpits. We could have revival with it. Just one word. Theres so many seeking
Christianity, but we missing one word when they come to give their lives to Christ.
God now commandeth all men I like that. Not some men, all men. God now commandeth all men
everywhere to repent.6 Repent ye therefore and be ye converted that your sins may be blotted out.7 Unless
youve repented from them and been converted from them theyve never been blotted out.
Repent ye therefore and be ye converted that your sins may be blotted out. Whoso confesseth and
forsaketh his sins the same shall have mercy.8 I dont see anywhere in the whole Bible where believing
saves you unless you repent. Thats one thing God cant do for you. Thats one thing you have to do. Just
turn to God. Maybe youre not able to set yourself free, but turning from sin to God to set you freethats
repentance and salvation. Repenting, confessing, believing that He is able to keep you, He is able to set you
free. If the son shall set you free, ye shall be free indeed.9 We need to tell sinners to repent so the Son of
God can set them free.
6 Acts 17:30
7 Acts 3:19
8 Proverbs 28:13
9 John 8:36
Do you come to God in utter sincerity, repenting from your sins? Im finished, God, Im not
coming with my sin. I mean, what drunk would believe you if he comes with a bottle and kneels down,
and you allow him to pray for God to save his soul and get up and walk out with a bottle still in his hand?
What sin would you like to come to God with, knowing youre going to walk out the door with it?
Knowing youre not going to give up? What?! You wouldnt accept the drunk standing there with alcohol?
You would say Get rid of it before you pray! Throw that away. You cant come to Christ with it.
You are harder on the drunk than you are on yourself. If you come to God in true repentance its
coming to God for forgiveness, but forgiveness for that which Im turning from, and looking to Him to set
me free from. When you come to God for forgiveness, you come to God in repentance, confessing and
turning from your sins, trusting Him to save you by setting you free. Repentance is vital.
The one way to survive from the moment youre saved, the only way, is to abide in Him.
Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not.10 Theres the quiet time, theres the devotion, theres the soaking
yourself in the Word of God, that keeps you from sin. Theres the discipline of the quiet time, and applying
yourself to the Word of God. Its no good to dedicate your life to God to win souls, unless you are saved
yourself. Unless you are living in victory. That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without
rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding
forth the word of life.11 You cant hold forth the Word of life as a soul winner if you arent blameless and
harmless, the sons of God without rebuke. No one can rebuke you. You dont go to a sinner and tell him to
come to Christ, and he rebukes you because youre still in sin. Youre blameless, without rebuke: God says.
Then you have the right to hold out the Word of God and all the things weve been seeking God for.
Weve been committing ourselves to God concerning soul-winning, concerning the one thing
thats desperately needed to survive and not make shipwreckthe quiet time. Devoting yourself to soaking
yourself in the Word of God as the greatest priority in your life, so faith comes, and victory. The
sanctifying power of the Word of God. Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.12 All these things
Ive been holding out to you, they keep you. God honors, even in soul-winning, what you dedicate your life
for. But if you havent repented be sure your sin will find you out. I guarantee you, even if you go to
varsity, to theological seminaries, get the greatest pulpits in the country, your sin will find you out.
I want you to deal with one thing, from the depth of your soul crying out for one thing. Give me
the right, Lord, the right to be a soul winner by dealing with my sin. He will, when you ask Him, name it,
turn from it, and when you determine to be kept from it.
Especially the quiet time. Youre as safe as your quiet time. No safer. As real as your quiet time.
To all of us who name the name of Jesuswho have the right to name the name of Jesus, oh be careful
with your walk in this time. Be careful you dont lose the right to name the name of Jesus. You do the
things weve been preaching of. You who have been seeking God. You who have been committing to God
that God keeps you faithfully, and you will never lose the right to name Jesus. If you neglect these things,
oh how swift we are guaranteed you are going to lose the right to ever name Him again.