Do not sear your conscience with a hot iron.

By Khutso Mokgehle

Do not sear your conscience with a hot iron. I do not know why, but these words have been ringing in my mind for the past hour.

As I thought more about this, I was reminded, we are living in the last days. So many biblical prophecies are unfolding right in front of our eyes, Jesus Christ is coming back soon. The Bible in the book of 1 Timothy 4:1-4 tells about the latter times; there will be doctrines of demons, the speaking of lies in hypocrisy and many other prophecies that show not only the state of the world but also the state of church in the last days.

God has given each one of us a conscience. Our conscience is that soft voice that often tells when we are off tune. The Bible warns that in the last days, people will have their conscience seared (burnt) with a hot iron. In simple terms, people will silence their conscience.

As we are modernising the church, I have realised that oftentimes, many Christians have to sear their conscience to make the “new gospel” make sense. The fallen state of the church is often disguised as modernisation, civilization and progressiveness. For many people, in order to adopt these improvements to the gospel they need to sear their conscience, this means, at first, many Christians are not comfortable with the new way of doing church, but by searing their conscience and over and over again, they eventually comply and conform.

As I thought deeper about this, I thought of tattoos. Many Christians were extremely rigorous with tattoos in the late 90s and early 2000, in 2024, tattoos seem to be an in-thing in the church. It seems like a competition of some sort. Gospel singers and preachers always make sure that they dress up in clothes that show off their tattoos. What happened?

Trust me, many Christians who now have tattoos had a bit of struggle with accepting the fact that this is a new thing. Many Christians seared their conscience that flagged that this is not appropriate. And you know what is the greatest problem; instead of getting clarity from the Holy Spirit through prayer, they rather get confidence from observing popular pastors and gospel singers endorsing tattoos - from there, whether the Holy Spirit grieves or not, it is no longer an issue because pastor so-and-so in the United States of America has a tattoo, that is all the endorsement Christians need.

I am using tattoos as that is what I have been observing lately, but it is not just that, there is so much more that the church has done that has seared its conscience. Look at the dress code, the entertaining worship, the creative church programmes and the overall leading of the church. Pastors are more concerned about branding and positioning that churches are being led like corporations instead of the pure gathering of saints.
We need to move away from checking if something is sin, to checking if it is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23). This is because many things are not listed as sins in the Bible but God knew that with the conscience that He has given us and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to make the right decisions without being taught by anybody.

In closing:

Dear Child of God,

Just because everyone, including your favourite preacher is doing it, it does not mean it is the right thing to do. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you, no man or woman should be a standard for you, let God tell what His standard is. Call unto Him and request wisdom and guidance from Him, He will reveal Himself to you.

If you are not comfortable with it, do not do it (Romans 14:22). Do not sear your conscience with a hot iron.

With love,
From Khutso, your sister in Christ.