A Course Of Study From
Blueprint For Revival Bible
©2009 Belleview, FL 34421 USA
BLUEPRINT FOR REVIVAL BIBLE INSTITUTE
BASIC BIBLE STUDY GUIDE
Dr. Ed J MacWilliams
There is great importance to studying the subject of sin. Our sin is the crucial act which separates us from our Maker. We must not only have the knowledge of what offends God, but, we must be able to teach others how NOT to offend the loving Savior.
Over the past thirty years, there has been a dramatic shift in the topics being preached in churches and public places. A person could go back those three decades, and find that the majority of messages brought to the average church relied heavily upon the Bible’s teaching on the subject of sin. In these Last Days, most preachers have abandoned the course of John the Baptist, Moses, Enoch, the Old Testament prophets, and Jesus Himself, and have left off the importance of dealing with sin. Let this condemnation never be truthfully spoken about you.
God has standards of purity which He insists must be present for anyone who approaches Him. Psalm 24:3-4 “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”
Sometimes sin is ignored, and then forgotten by mortal human beings. At other times, it can be like a burning coal of fire on our skin, and it hurts. In these last days before the return of our Lord, the devil has gone to great lengths in an effort to have sin redefined so that what is good appears to be evil, and what is evil appears to be good.
Much of this redefinition has come through the modern churches and people who claim to be “Christian theologians.” Their advent has been predicted, and they love to redefine words which the Lord meant to bring about conviction and ultimately repentance. 2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”
We are now living in the final stages of a “judgment generation.” The characteristics of such a generation were well-known in the Bible. Isaiah 5:20 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter !” This generation redefines important words so that the new definitions excuse their sins. For an example, the word “sin” has either been dropped from the world’s vocabulary, or it is redefined to mean much less than God intended.
If it was not for the committing of sin, there would have been no need for our Lord Jesus Christ to suffer as the Lamb of God, and shed His Blood for us. The consequences of sin are both now and for eternity. They cannot be minimized.
The purpose of this Bible course is for our own understanding first of all. If the dedicated child of God does not know what offends God and what the results will be, then how can he expect others to comprehend ?
We are involved in a warfare, where sin and its’ consequences are the deadly arrows which can tear apart our lives. We must be willing to search our own hearts, as David did, and follow up on that effort by asking God to search our hearts, lest there be something that we overlooked. (Psalms 139:23 “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts”).
It is only then that we can become vessels unto honor that may be filled with the Spirit of God and power. No revival has ever occurred without the people searching their own hearts for the things which had offended Almighty God, and then repenting from them. No great work of God was done without the human vessels being cleansed and purified so they could be filled with the Spirit.
A man does not take a dirty pot and fill it with clean water if he has an honorable task for that water to do. If he wants to drink it or wash himself with it, the water must come from a pot that has been cleansed. My prayer for each of you studying this course is that your understanding of the things which offend God will increase. It must then follow that we will be even more thankful to our Savior and Lord Jesus, for His grace and mercy, for we have all sinned—perhaps more than we thought—and come short of His standards. Once cleansed by His Blood and His precious promises to forgive and make new, we can move ahead to serve our Lord with the power of His strength.
Dr. Ed J MacWilliams
SECTION ONE: WHAT IS SIN ?
1. BIBLICAL DEFINITIONS
We MUST understand what this word means. The world has cleverly crafted their evil ways, and justified themselves in their own eyes by re-defining the word “sin.” The world and the devil want sin to appear as a perfectly acceptable part of everyone’s life, and such a common occurrence that there is no need to turn from it.
In the Hebrew writings of the Old Testament, the word for sin (hajx chatta’ah khat-taw-aw’ or tajx chatta’th khat-tawth’) has little colorful background information. It was simply known as ‘doing wrong.’
The New testament, however, uses the Greek word for ‘sin,’ hamartia, (amartia), ham-ar-tee’-ah, a word used when an archer misses his target. Indeed, whenever we sin, we miss the target of righteousness which God has set before us. This Biblical understanding is so important that without it, we have only deception from the world upon which to determine right and wrong.
Even things that appear to be “good,” can be sin. For an example, if a Christian is told by the Spirit to visit a specific friend and bring that friend to Christ, but the Christian decides to go out and pass out Gospel tracts on the street instead, the Christian would be sinning by not obeying precisely what God said to do. Certainly, giving out the Gospel News of Jesus Christ on the streets is a wonderful thing…a “good thing.” But, it becomes sin when the Christian had already been commanded to visit a friend and lead him to Christ. James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
A young child was told to pick up his toys and put them away. He looks into the face of his father and says, “I don’t want to do that, but I will wash the dishes instead.” Although washing the dishes would be a good thing, he is in rebellion for not doing what the father told him to do.
There are always “good things” that we can be doing. But, those “good things” can become sin if they are substitutes for God’s clear command to do something which is God’s perfect will.
2. SIN IS AN ACT AGAINST GOD
But, the most significant understanding of “sin” comes from how God uses that word throughout the Bible. Sin is always shown as an offense against God. Even if the sin was done against a man, God is affected. Throughout the Bible we see clear references to this. When people were persecuting the children of Israel, note the way in which God is affected. Isaiah 63:9 “In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence saved them: in His love and in His pity He redeemed them; and He bare them, and carried them all the days of old.”
When David sinned and committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then had her husband Uriah killed, most people would assume that the only sins were those against those people. However, David understands that every sin is a sin against God Himself. Psalms 51:4 “Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Thy sight: that Thou mightest be justified when Thou speakest, and be clear when Thou judgest.”
When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to commit adultery with her, he refused, noting Who he would really be sinning against. Genesis 39:9 “There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” Most people would incorrectly assume that if he had gone ahead and given in to the temptation, that he would have committed a sin only against the woman’s husband. However, Joseph makes it clear that the sin would have been against God.
Jeremiah understood the extent of the sins of the children of Israel. Although the included acts against orphans and widows, and unfair business practices, and a variety of other criminal behaviors, all their actions were against God Himself. Jeremiah 3:25 “We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.”
From these original-language definitions and usages, we understand that sin is any act of disobedience against God, and a failure to act according to His perfect standards.
The Bible reveals various characteristics of sin which we must know.
3. SIN IS A REPROACH TO ANY PEOPLE.
Although we see God’s Ten Commandments being given to Israel, God’s laws of righteousness applied to all nations. Therefore, to deviate from them in the slightest is to commit a sin against God. (We will examine the laws given to Gentile nations later in this study). Proverbs 14:34 “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.”
4. SIN IS AN INHERITED PROBLEM
Until the 1800’s, many Bible-believers understood that the weakness to sin in specific areas was something passed down from one generation to another. If a father was known to be a chronic liar, the children also carried the weakness to do the same. If a father was a violent, angry person, the children would usually find themselves caught up in violence and anger, as well. If the father was an alcoholic, it is likely that most of the children would follow in his steps. They referred to this phenomena as “bad blood” being passed from one generation to another.
With recent scientific discoveries, it is now known that the weakness to do specific sins is carried down from generation to generation in the DNA (human chromosomes). . From Adam, we have all received the DNA to sin. Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
5. THE WEAKNESS TO DO SPECIFIC SINS CAN BE CARRIED (KJV word, “visiting”) FROM ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHER
Numbers 14:18 “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”
All generations and all people have sinned. But, the weakness to do a specific category of sins is carried by the DNA, as well. That does not make the person sin, but it provides a weakness which is inherited by every child born (with the exception of Jesus, whose Father is pure and has no sin).
6. SIN IS THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE LAW.
If it was not for the Law of God, we would not know sin. Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” In almost every case, when the Bible uses the word “law,” it is referring to the law of God. From before the Creation, God established laws. Without such laws, the earth would literally fall apart. Laws of physics and laws of other areas of science were established by God and the things which were created were designed to be in submission to those laws in order to function properly. Colossians 1:16 “For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:”
God knows that both individual lives and the society as a whole would fall apart if His Law is not followed. His law was given to Adam. All mankind was aware of it through the God-given conscience. It was reiterated to Noah. It was confirmed by many before Moses. However, with the appearance of Moses, we have the written law, which some falsely believe to be the only law of God. In fact, if there had been no law previously, God would have been unrighteous to condemn the world at Noah’s time with the Flood that took them all to Hell. So, there had to be a worldwide knowledge of the Laws of God even then.
7. SIN IS A CARRIER TO DEATH
A. SIN RESULTS IN A TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCE. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The wages of sin are both now and later. It is a most horrible sentence. Guilt, shame, and condemnation begin immediately for many people. Later, there is the judgment from God which throws the sentence of eternal death upon the sinner.
B. SINNERS ARE THE SERVANTS OF SIN. John 8:34 “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” In fact, we all became the servants of sin with the very first sin that we committed.
Even a baby can sin. Parents know that their infant has a different cry for different conditions. There is a cry of food, a cry for needing to be changed, and a cry of pain. Many parents will remember a time when their little one screams a most horrible cry of pain. The parent came rushing to the baby’s side, and found the child smiling because the false alarm had successfully deceived the parent into coming. That, essentially, is a lie. Even babies without a language vocabulary can use what they have to deceive and lie. They become servants of sin at an early age.
Romans 6:16-17 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”
C. BY THE LAW (OF GOD) COMES THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN. Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
The Law of God is brought to us in two basic ways.
1. It is brought to us through our hearts, or conscience. God has written His Laws there, so all are without excuse. Romans 2:15 “Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)”
It is brought to us through God’s written or spoken Word. Exodus 32:15 “And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.” Moses both read and taught those things which were on the tablets of stone. The prophets of God also taught and preached the things which God revealed to them about the sins of the people. The very things which they preached are recorded for us in the Bible, the written Word.
D. SIN IS MADE STRONG BECAUSE OF THE LAW. 1 Corinthians 15:56 “The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.” When a person KNOWS what he is doing is wrong, it intensifies the punishment of the crime. Those who sin KNOWINGLY are far more guilty than those who do so without knowledge. Luke 12:48 “But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
E. THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST FREES US FROM SIN. Despite the fact that sin is so powerful, the Blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is even MORE powerful ! Through Him, we not only have the forgiveness of sin, the payment for the eternal consequences of sin, but also, we have been given power over sin from the time we are saved through the work of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
8. WHY IS THE SUBJECT OF SIN SO IMPORTANT ?
A. IT IS AN EMPHASIS THAT GOD MAKES. When God makes an emphasis, we would do well to pay special attention !
- IT AFFECTS MAN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
- IT WAS AN EMPHASIS IN THE PREACHING OF JESUS. The entire issue of repentance is nonsense unless some sin had been committed, and needed to be turned from. If there was no sin, there would be no need for repenting. Repenting is a constant theme of the prophets of God and of Jesus Himself. Matthew 4:17 “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Luke 13:3 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Revelation 3:19 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.”
- IT WAS AN EMPHASIS OF GOD-CALLED PREACHERS AND TEACHERS. Mark 6:12 “And they went out, and preached that men should repent.”
Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
Acts 3:19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”
B. IT IS VITAL TO OUR KNOWLEDGE
WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING IT, WE MISS THE REASON FOR MANY OF GOD’S ACTIONS. The Bible records many instances where God responds to sin, both to individuals and to entire groups or nations of people.
C. IT HAS TERRIBLE CONSEQUENCES
- IT PUTS GOD’S ORDER AND HIS RIGHTEOUS PATH IN DISARRAY.
- IT THEREFORE NEGATIVELY AFFECTS THE PEOPLE AND OTHER SUBJECTS OF GOD’S CREATION.
The entire creation of God was affected by Adam’s sin. Romans 8:20-22 “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.”
WHAT DOES SIN DO ?
This section has been previously taught under the title, “Harsh Walls.” The reason for that title is that sin becomes a wall, or a barrier, which separates man from God. Each sin tragically places distance between man and the Lord. Most times throughout this study, the teaching will deal with how sin relates to the Believer, not the Lost person.
AS BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS, WE ACKNOWLEDGE THE PAYMENT OF THE BLOOD OF JESUS FOR OUR SINS. YET, WE OFTEN FAIL TO UNDERSTAND HOW OUR SINS AFFECT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, AND THE RESPONSES THAT WE GET FROM HIM.
1. SIN BRINGS CONVICTION, CHASTENING, AND JUDGMENT FROM GOD.
A. MANY TIMES PEOPLE WHO ARE CHASTENED FOR THEIR SINS THINK THEIR RESULTING CONSEQUENCES ARE MATTER OF CIRCUMSTANCES OR COINCIDENCE. It has become popular for many preachers to say that God would never bring hardships or judgment against people who sin. Diseases that are transmitted through wrongful relationships are said to be coincidences rather than judgment. Whenever God speaks through natural systems, such as cyclones, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, fires, epidemics, etc., it is almost always blamed on phenomenon which dismisses God as being involved in any way.
The truth is that God brought serious consequences to Adam and Eve because of their sin. Cain was judged, as well. How can the world ignore the Great Flood during Noah’s time that came because of God’s anger ? Can a preacher ignore the many times God brought judgment against the children of Israel because of their lack of faith and disobedience ? Were the instant deaths of Ananias and Sapphira coincidences ? As we know, the Bible is filled with factual reports of God revealing His displeasure at sin. To say that He does nothing about sin today not only ignores a multitude of current newspaper headlines, but also the soon-coming events recorded in the Book of the Revelation.
B. THE FIRST THING A BELIEVER MUST DO IS TO EXAMINE HIMSELF TO KNOW IF A PAINFUL OR TRAGIC SITUATION IS CHASTENING, OR JUST A PART OF LIFE ON A SIN-SICK PLANET. Before participating in the Lord’s Supper, we are told to examine ourselves. This requires honesty and humility. If we find some fault in us, we must repent of it. 1 Corinthians 11:28 “But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”
In the usual course of serving God, we must check our own lives thoroughly to make sure that we are in the will of God, and our personal sin leaves no stain which would tarnish our testimony before the Lost. 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
C. SECOND, THE BELIEVER SHOULD ASK GOD TO HELP HIM FIND ANY SIN IN HIS LIFE WHICH HE MAY NOT HAVE NOTICED.
Psalms 26:2 “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
1 Corinthians 11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”
2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
D. WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE AND RELY UPON THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST.
- JESUS DIED TO PROVIDE SALVATION FOR US. THE WALLS OF SIN HAD TO BE TORN DOWN, AND JESUS WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO COULD DO IT.
1 Corinthians 15:3 “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;”
Galatians 1:4 “Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:”
Hebrews 1:3 “Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”
1 Peter 2:24 “Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by Whose stripes ye were healed.”
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 2:2 “And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
1 John 3:5 “And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin.”
1 John 4:10 “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Revelation 1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood,”
2. ALL SIN RESULTS IN A DEATH VERDICT
“The wages of sin is death.” ALL sins result in death. However, not all sins are considered to be of the same degree of offense to God. In the United States, for an example, each of the following crimes could receive the death penalty.
3. RAPE OR KIDNAPPING (IN SOME STATES AND COUNTRIES)
ARE EACH DIFFERENT TYPES OF CRIME ? IS ONE CRIME WORSE THAN ANOTHER ? YES. BUT THEY ALL RESULT IN A DEATH PENALTY.
THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF—
- ARE THERE SOME SINS THAT GOD COUNTS TO BE MORE SERIOUS THAN OTHERS ?
- HOW COULD WE TELL THAT SOMETHING BOTHERED THE LORD WORSE THAN SOMETHING ELSE ?
- WOULD WE UNDERSTAND THIS IMMEDIATELY ?
- DOES GOD’S GRACE AND MERCY SOMETIMES MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO TELL IF A SIN IS COUNTED MORE SERIOUSLY BY THE LORD ?
- IF YOU WERE TO COMMIT A MURDER, HOW WOULD YOU KNOW THAT IT WAS COUNTED SERIOUSLY BY THE LORD ?
- DID THOSE WHO RAN THE GAS CHAMBERS IN AUSCHWITZ KNOW IMMEDIATELY HOW SERIOUS THEIR CRIMES WERE ? WHY, OR WHY NOT ? *(Auschwitz was a Concentration Camp where millions of Jews were killed by their Nazi captors during World War 2).
3. THERE ARE SINS WHICH ARE DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE THAT HAVE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF RESPONSES FROM GOD.
A. SINS WHICH ARE NOTED AS BRINGING THE ANGER OF GOD. (THE GENERAL WORD, ‘ANGER,’ CAN INCLUDE WRATH. IT IS A GENERAL TERM. HOWEVER, IT IS USUALLY USED TO DESIGNATE A LIGHTER RESPONSE). Judges 2:20 “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He said, Because that this people hath transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto My voice;”
- For breaking His commands. Judges 3:8 “Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.”
- For breaking His commands. Judges 10:7 “And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon.”
- For not preparing to do His will adequately. 2 Samuel 6:7 “And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.”
DAVID WAS OFFERED THREE PUNISHMENTS. RARELY DOES THIS HAPPEN. IF GOD SPOKE IN HIS WRATH, DAVID WOULD NOT HAVE HAD ANY CHOICE. 2 Samuel 24:11-14 “For when David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, Go and say unto David, Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days’ pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to Him that sent me. And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for His mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.”
B. THERE ARE SINS WHICH ARE NOTED AS BRINGING THE WRATH OF GOD. Psalms 2:12 “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.”
Psalms 78:38 “But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned He His anger away, and did not stir up all His wrath.”
Revelation 6:17 “For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
2 Chronicles 30:8 “Now be ye not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the LORD, and enter into His sanctuary, which He hath sanctified for ever: and serve the LORD your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you.”
Psalms 21:9 “Thou shalt make them as a fiery oven in the time of Thine anger: the LORD shall swallow them up in His wrath, and the fire shall devour them.”
Jeremiah 10:10 “But the LORD is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting king: at His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation.”
C. THERE ARE SINS WHICH THE BIBLE DESCRIBES AS REQUIRING DIFFERENT PUNISHMENTS OR SACRIFICES
IMPORTANT: THE CONSTANT REQUIREMENT: BLOOD IS ALWAYS REQUIRED AS A COVERING FOR SIN. Leviticus 5:6 “And he shall bring his trespass offering unto the LORD for his sin which he hath sinned, a female from the flock, a lamb or a kid of the goats, for a sin offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his sin.” THIS WAS TRUE FROM THE TIME OF ADAM, WHEN GOD SHED THE BLOOD OF ANIMALS TO COVER ADAM AND EVE’S NAKENESS WITH COATS OF SKINS. Genesis 3:21 “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
- SINS OF IGNORANCE REQUIRE THE SAME PAYMENT AS SINS WHICH ARE DELIBERATE. BOTH REQUIRE A SIN OFFERING. HOWEVER, WHEN SOMETHING IS DONE IN IGNORANCE, IT IS CONSIDERED A TRESPASS, OR GUILT OFFERING. Leviticus 5:18-19 “And he shall bring a ram without blemish out of the flock, with thy estimation, for a trespass offering, unto the priest: and the priest shall make an atonement for him concerning his ignorance wherein he erred and wist it not, and it shall be forgiven him. It is a trespass offering: he hath certainly trespassed against the LORD.” (Also Lev. 7:7)
- SINS OF IGNORANCE BRING LESS SEVERE JUDGMENT FROM GOD, EVEN THOUGH THEY RESULT IN THE SAME ULTIMATE PENALTY. Luke 12:47-48 “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Acts 17:30 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”
- THOSE WHO HAVE GREATER KNOWLEDGE SUFFER A MORE SEVERE PUNISHMENT. Exodus 30:21 “So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.” Luke 12:47-48 also applies in this case.
D. THERE ARE SINS WHICH OBVIOUSLY DISCREDIT OR HURT THE NAME OF THE LORD
IF A PERSON—KNOWN TO BE A BELIEVER—DOES THINGS WHICH ARE KNOWN BY THE PUBLIC TO BE THINGS WHICH GOD CONDEMNS, HE BRINGS DISCREDIT AND SHAME TO THE NAME OF GOD.
—ADAM’S SIN—DID IT HURT OTHERS ?
ADAM’S SIN HURT US BY INHERITANCE. Adam’s sin came down to all mankind as an inheritance. Romans 5:17 “For if by one man‘s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One, Jesus Christ.)”
ADAM’S SIN HURT US BECAUSE HE IS AN EXAMPLE, AS THE FIRST MAN. Some people today use the fact that Adam sinned as an excuse for their own behavior. They claim that they had no choice, and therefore could not resist the temptation to sin. This is an invalid claim because all men are given a choice. Adam set an example of sinning that countless people have used to excuse their own failures.
ADAM’S SIN HURT US BECAUSE HE WAS THE IDEAL UNDER THE BEST CONDITIONS. Until he sinned, Adam’s living condition was perfect. God said that all things were “good.” Under this ideal setting, with a perfect wife, a perfect environment, and no peer pressure, Adam still chose to sin. It is this fact that is a subtle underlying excuse which people rely upon when they commit sin. They say, “If God made man so weak that he couldn’t resist sin, God wasn’t very righteous.” This accusation is often made directly or indirectly against the Lord.
OPEN, KNOWN, SINS BRING DISCREDIT TO THE NAME OF THE LORD GOD.
Leviticus 19:12 “And ye shall not swear by My Name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of Thy God: I am the LORD.”
Isaiah 48:11 “For Mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should My Name be polluted? and I will not give My glory unto another.”
Ezekiel 20:9 “But I wrought for My Name‘s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they were, in whose sight I made myself known unto them, in bringing them forth out of the land of Egypt.”
Ezekiel 20:14 “But I wrought for My Name‘s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen, in whose sight I brought them out.”
Ezekiel 20:22 “Nevertheless I withdrew mine hand, and wrought for My Name‘s sake, that it should not be polluted in the sight of the heathen, in whose sight I brought them forth.”
Ezekiel 20:44 “And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for My Name‘s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.”
**GOD IS CONCERNED ABOUT HIS NAME BEFORE THE HEATHEN !
E. SOME PEOPLE RECEIVE CHASTENING AND JUDGMENT NOW, ALTHOUGH MORE CONSEQUENCES WILL FOLLOW THESE INITIAL RESULTS
- THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES TO THE LOST Psalms 107:17 “Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted.”
- THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES TO THE SAVED. 1 Timothy 5:24 “Some men‘s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.”
ARE ALL PUNISHMENTS EQUAL IN THEIR SEVERITY ?
THE SEVERITY OF PUNISHMENT FOR SIN DEPENDS UPON THE KNOWLEDGE THAT A PERSON HAS OF WHAT IS SINFUL AS WELL AS THE DEGREE OF SERIOUSNESS WHICH GOD SEES IN IT.
IF A PERSON COMES WALKING ACROSS YOUR LAWN AND STEPS ON SOME NEW PLANTS YOU PUT IN, WOULD REACT MORE UPSET IF:
- A. YOU HAD NO SIGNS OR INDICATIONS THAT THE NEW PLANTS WERE JUST WEEDS.
- B. YOU HAD NO TRESPASSING SIGNS UP, AND YOUR NEW PLANTS WERE SURROUNDED BY BRIGHTLY COLORED TAPE ?
Luke 12:47-48 “And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
PART 2 — IDENTIFYING THE LAWS
** (KEEP IN MIND THAT THE WAGES OF ANY SIN IS DEATH).
1. WHICH MAJOR LAWS OF GOD IDENTIFY BASIC CATEGORIES OF SIN ?
A. TEN COMMANDMENTS. The Ten Commandments were given to Israel so that they might have a more righteous and holy society, closer to God than any other nation. While containing basic laws that apply to all civilizations, the Ten Commandments were specifically given to Israel for Israel’s manifestation as a “peculiar people.” God responds to breaking of these laws in various ways. The writer of Lamentations speaks from personal experience. Lamentations 3:1 “I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of His wrath.”
B. NOAHIDE LAWS. These are laws which were given, most at the time of Noah, to the entire world. Just as Israel needed to be reminded of the laws which had once been written on their hearts, the Gentiles also needed to be reminded of the Laws of God which applied to them. The Noahide Laws were codified by the Orthodox Jews, and were to be given to the Gentiles who dwelled in the land of Israel, or those they came in contact with elsewhere. They officially have seven laws, but there are many commandments which God gave that apply to Gentile Believers which are not a strict part of this code.
Genesis 9:1-17, Regarding the keeping of ceremonial laws, the Apostles battled with this, and sought the Lord’s guidance. What they came up with applies only to the ceremonial laws, not all laws in general. They acknowledged that the major parts of the Noahide Laws apply to Gentile Believers: Acts 15:28-29 “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”
It is repeated in Acts 21:25 “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.”
THERE HAD TO BE LAWS FROM GOD GIVEN TO ADAM AND TO ALL MANKIND.
“In the beginning…” states not only the start of new creations, but the implementation of new laws and regulations which would govern the world as we know it. Obviously, for God’s new world to function properly, there would be laws of physics and “laws of nature” that must be put into action. So far as we know, at the beginning, these were not written down so that man could read them. In addition, there were spiritual laws, such as “the wages of sin is death” that would apply to man’s relationship with God. These, too, defied a written summary, but were later included in Scripture. All laws, however, were written in the records of Heaven, and were placed into the conscience of men.
Laws which govern man’s relationship with God and with other men were not written or codified until thousands of years after the Creation. It is reasonable to ask that since we have no tablets of stone or written records of such laws, how do we know they existed ?
Before the Ten Commandments, men had a very clear concept of right and wrong. Where did they get it ? If they didn’t know what God commanded them, God would have been unjust in destroying the old world by a flood. They knew that it was wrong to murder, for an example, as evidenced in the case of Cain killing Abel. Also worth noting is the fact that Cain and Abel knew the type of sacrifice that God wanted. Where did this knowledge come from ?
There is some evidence that after a few hundred years of man’s existence, that at least some of these laws were written down. We know from what remains of Enoch’s writing—from before the Flood—that God had clearly established laws and principles by which men were to live.
The Ten Commandments are the most familiar of all the laws. But, they were predated by other laws given to people long before the Jewish people were called out to be the special people of God.
These laws are loosely referred to as the Noahide, or Noachide Laws. They are called that because they all existed prior to the time of Noah, although they had to be re-iterated to Noah and others after the Flood.
THE JUDGMENT OF THE GREAT FLOOD IN NOAH’S DAY
WITHOUT KNOWN LAWS, FOR GOD TO SAY THAT MANKIND WAS WICKED WOULD NOT BE A FAIR AND RIGHTEOUS ASSESSMENT. (And, we know that God is completely righteous). Therefore, there had to be laws of God which were known to men.
Genesis 6:5 –7 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth Me that I have made them.”
SINCE WE CAN SAFELY ASSUME THAT GOD HAS LAWS PRIOR TO THE TIME OF NOAH, AND THAT THE JEWISH PEOPLE HAD NOT YET BEEN CALLED OUT OR CREATED, THERE ARE LAWS FOR NON-JEWS WHICH ARE JUST AS BINDING UPON GENTILES AS THE LAWS OF MOSES ARE UPON THE JEWS.
The following notations regarding the Noahide Laws were made by Hebrew theologians, and contain translations by those theologians). A Christian student might have difficulty seeing some of the laws which a Jewish theologian sees imbedded within the Scriptures shown. The reason that I quote these remarks is that Jewish theologians often understand the subtleties of the Hebrew language better than those not familiar with the Hebrew language and culture, and know that laws can be contained in Hebrew expressions which are not always easily seen when a verse is translated into another language.
1. The following verse is a reference to the prohibition against murder. HaShem [The Lord] explicitly commands Noach:
Genesis (Hebrew=Bereshit) 9:6- “If one sheds the blood of the man (HaAdam), by man shall his own blood be shed.”
Of course, this law had predated Noah. It is clear from God’s response to Cain, that the law was already known. Punishment only comes as a result of an existing and known law being broken. Genesis 4:10-13 “And He said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto Me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.”
2. The following is an implicit reference to the prohibition against theft. It shows that permission is needed to take something that is not explicitly yours.
THE LAW OF THEFT WAS LAID OUT PLAINLY FOR ADAM AND EVE.
THEY WERE GIVEN ALL HERBS AND FRUIT TREES, EXCEPT FOR ONE. Genesis 1:29 “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” Genesis 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
ADAM AND EVE TOOK SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT GIVEN TO THEM. THIS IS THEFT. Genesis 3:11 “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?”
Leviticus (Hebrew=Vayikra) 19:11 “You shall not steal; you shall not deal deceitfully or falsely with one another.
3. The below verse refers to sexual misconduct or adultery, as the prophet says,
Jeremiah (Hebrew-Yeremyahu) 3:1 “Saying” (laymor), “if a man divorces his wife…”
SEXUAL RELATIONS OUTSIDE OF THE PLANS OF GOD ARE PROHIBITED. SEXUAL RELATIONS BETWEEN DEMON-POSSESSED MEN AND WOMEN WAS WRONG. THE CONSEQUENCES WERE THE MUTATIONS OF ‘THE IMAGE OF GOD’ WHICH WERE SEEN AS GIANTS.
Genesis 6:4 “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”
Additionally, sexual misconduct includes the laws of Niddah.* Having sex with a woman who is Niddah is forbidden:
Leviticus (Hebrew=Vayikra) 18:19 “Also thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness.”
*(The Law of Niddah, is the Jewish law dealing with the separation of husband and wife during the woman’s menstrual period).
4. The following verse implies that there are things which may not be eaten (the limbs of a live animal and meat with the blood still in it):
This was one of the laws given directly to Noah.
Genesis (Hebrew=Bereshit) 9:4 “You must not, however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it.”
It may have been that this was one of the laws which had been erased from the consciences of the people in Noah’s time, and needed to be reiterated, like the law against murder.
5. The following verse is a reference to the prohibition against idolatry; for it says in:
PUTTING ANYONE OR ANYTHING (INCLUDING SELF) BEFORE GOD IS THE SIN OF IDOLATRY. THIS WAS CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD BY ADAM AND EVE. THEY WERE PUNISHED FOR DISOBEYING THIS COMMANDMENT, AS WELL AS THE OTHER CONCERNING THEFT. Genesis 3:17 “And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;”
Exodus (Hebrew=Shemot) 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
6. The following verse implies the prohibition against blasphemy.
Leviticus (Hebrew=Vayikra) 24:16 “He who blasphemes the name of HaShem shall die.”
Deuteronomy 5:11 “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.”
7. The need to establish laws of justice in a society are clearly understood from:
Genesis (Hebrew-Bereshit) 18:19 “For I have known him so he will command (Yitzaveh) his children after him to keep the way of HaShem and righteousness and justice.”
The laws of men must acknowledge the laws of God. Man must establish clearly understood practical applications from God’s law, and enforce them. An example is given here to Noah: Genesis 9:5 “And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man‘s brother will I require the life of man.”
It is clear that God had written His laws on the hearts of the people, whether Jew or Gentile. Both groups had let that writing disappear, so they needed something visible. Romans 2:14-15 “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)” To the Jews, God gave the Ten Commandments and other more specific laws, and to the Gentiles, he gave a less restrictive code of laws, called the Noahide Laws.
1. SIN INTERFERES WITH THE DESIRE OF GOD TO HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE BELIEVER.
ALL SIN BREAKS FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD. WE HAVE FELLOWSHIP THROUGH PRAYER. OUR PRAYERS ARE NOT GETTING THROUGH TO GOD WHEN WE SIN. Psalms 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”
THIS INCLUDES SINS WHICH ARE NOT SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED BY NAME,
AND ONLY BY PRINCIPLE. (OFTEN THEY ARE SINS OF OMISSION, SUCH AS THE FOLLOWING SINS)—
- FAILURE TO FOCUS. PERMITTING DISTRACTIONS
- FAILING TO PUT THE LORD FIRST. PUTTING OTHER ACTIVITIES AHEAD OF TIME WITH THE LORD
- FAILURE TO CARRY OUT GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS, WHETHER WE UNDERSTAND THEM, OR NOT.
EXAMPLE: KING SAUL WAS STRIPPED OF HIS PRIVILEGE TO HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD BECAUSE OF HIS SIN. King Saul was judged severely for his sin. God removed His Holy Spirit from him. 1 Samuel 16:14-15 “But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.” 1 Chronicles 10:13 “So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;” 1 Samuel 15:22 “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”
EXAMPLE: DAVID WHEN HE NUMBERED THE PEOPLE. NOT ONE OF THE COMMANDMENTS, OR EVEN A LEVITICAL LAW WAS BROKEN. (REMEMBER, HOWEVER, THAT SIN CAN BE ANYTHING WHICH IS IN DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WILL). The judgments which God brought upon David made it appear that God had left him. 2 Samuel 24:10 “And David’s heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done: and now, I beseech thee, O LORD, take away the iniquity of Thy servant; for I have done very foolishly.”
EXAMPLE: WHEN DAVID HAD SINNED BY HIS ADULTERY WITH BATHSHEBA AND THE INDIRECT MURDER OF HER HUSBAND, URIAH. Clearly, David was afraid that what God had done to King Saul, in taking away the Holy Spirit, might happen to him, too. Psalms 51:11 “Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.”
Although for the Believer AFTER the Day of Pentecost [Hebrews 13:5, John 14:16], the Holy Spirit will not be taken away, the above examples reveal that God does not want to dwell with those who deliberately sin.
- GOD PUSHES PEOPLE ASIDE BECAUSE OF IDOLATRY. 1 Kings 21:26 “And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”
This sin can be hidden to most people’s eyes through the deceptive use of deceiving language. Eventually, people find out, and it becomes a “common-knowledge sin.” Ezekiel 20:39 “As for you, O house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols, and hereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto Me: but pollute ye My holy name no more with your gifts, and with your idols.”
- GOD WANTS TO SEPARATE HIMSELF FROM THOSE WHO WANT TO DETHRONE HIM. (PUTTING SOMEONE ELSE AHEAD OF THE LORD. THIS IS IDOLATRY, ALSO). 1 Samuel 12:19 “And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for Thy servants unto the LORD thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.”
- GOD WANTS TO PERMANENTLY DISTANCE HIMSELF FROM PEOPLE WHO CHOSE UNBELIEF RATHER THAN FAITH IN HIM. Psalms 106:23 “Therefore He said that He would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before Him in the breach, to turn away His wrath, lest He should destroy them.”
As we have seen from Scripture, God does not like to be around sin of any kind. However, while the Believer may consciously attempt to avoid known sins which offend God, there are also some lesser known sins which can creep up and attack the Believer, and thus remove him from fellowship with the Lord.
2. SINS OF TOLERATING TEMPTATIONS CAN REMOVE A BELIEVER FROM FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD.
THERE ARE SINS WHICH PLACE THE BELIEVER’S WEAKNESSES IN A POSITION OF GREAT TEMPTATION. THE ACT OF PLACING ONE’S SELF INTO THE PATH OF TEMPTATION, KNOWING THAT WE WOULD LIKELY GIVE INTO THE TEMPTATION COULD BE CONSIDERED A SIN IN ITSELF. Romans 13:14 “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Deliberately placing one’s self in a situation where the temptation would be extremely difficult to resist could be considered sin because it makes “provision for the flesh.”
What is a temptation to one person may not be a temptation to another. For some people, it would be sin to have a television hooked up to network programming so that it could get all kinds of programming from outside the home. Why ? The Believer has a weakness which would be exploited by the presence of that programming. However, another Believer has complete control over his use of the TV, and so, he can easily turn programs off which another Believer would not be able to turn off.
For some Believers, going to the beach would be a sin. Why ? In many countries, the skimpy bathing suits of some women on the beach would play upon his weakness, and he would sin by lusting. Another Believer who does not have that same weakness problem could go to the beach, and such attire would not affect him at all.
Some might object to the action of going deliberately into a difficult to resist temptation, saying that Jesus deliberately went into the wilderness, knowing that He would be tempted. The answer to this object is that Jesus KNEW that He would not be deceived nor cave into the temptation. It was NOT a situation where He was unsure of the outcome.
3. SIN MAKES US EVALUATE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.
Because of sin, we notice the specific instruments which God energized to report sin to us—the conscience, the person’s spirit, the Holy Spirit, etc.. Unless we have become incredibly insensitive, we therefore begin to ask why we feel the guilt or conviction as we do.
Sometimes, we find that although someone else is able to do a particular activity and not be convicted that it is wrong, if we were to do the same thing, it would bring strong conviction and guilt.
IS IT RIGHT THAT SOMETHING MAY BE A SIN TO ONE PERSON, BUT NOT A SIN TO ANOTHER ?
Consider the Nazarite of the Old Testament. It would have been a sin to him if he cut his hair. (Remember Samson ? Judges 16:17 “That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.)” Yet, it would not have been a sin if someone who was NOT a Nazarite cut their hair. It would be a sin for a Jew not to observe the seventh day as the Sabbath. After all, that was a command given to the Jewish people. But, for others, they may freely choose which day they would hold as their day of rest. Why ? God had determined to put a different standard upon the Jewish people, and make them His “peculiar people.” (Deut. 14:2)
For some people, it would be a sin to sit down at the table where there were several sweet cakes—more than everyone could eat, knowing that the host would say, “Eat as much as you want.” Why ? They knew they had a weakness toward overeating, and would most certainly cave into that weakness. Another person, without such a weakness could sit down at that table however, and push away the sweet cake without even tasting it. To the person to whom God warned that they had a problem, to come to such a place would be sin. But, to another, it would not. This is true with “All You Can Eat” restaurants. It is a sin for some people with a specific weakness toward gluttony to enter into the doors, while it is not a sin for others who do not have this weakness.
4. SIN MAKES THE CHRISTIAN BREAK FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD.
CHRISTIANS SHOULD NOT WANT TO LOSE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD. So, when it happens, it is something that needs to be corrected very quickly. It can affect your testimony—and affect how others think about the Lord. How long does it take to lose your testimony ? Not long. Depending upon the sin, it is entirely possible to bring yourself into a condition where you quit caring about souls, quit being concerned about the Church, and have no strength within yourself to make things better. So, we must rapidly come to the throne of grace when we see areas of our lives which have pulled us away from the Lord. He alone is able to help us.
This section of study on sin is meant to expose the many reasons why we should race as quickly as possible back to the Lord whenever we stray.
A. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LOSE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD ?
- YOU MISS THE FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD JESUS. DAVID LOST IT WHEN HE SINNED, AND CRIED OUT TO THE LORD BECAUSE OF THE AGONY HE WAS SUFFERING. Psalms 31:22 “For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before Thine eyes: nevertheless Thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto Thee.” Clearly, when he sought the Lord, the Lord responded to His child.
WHEN DAVID LOST HIS FELLOWSHIP BECAUSE OF CONVICTION, ALTHOUGH GOD HEARD HIS DISTRESS, HE REFUSED FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM UNTIL HE REPENTED. Psalm 38:1-8 “A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. O LORD, rebuke me not in Thy wrath: neither chasten me in Thy hot displeasure. For Thine arrows stick fast in me, and Thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of Thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.”
- YOU STILL RECEIVE WARNINGS FROM GOD. YOU MIGHT NOT HEAR THEM, BUT HE TRIES TO CALL YOU BACK. Matthew 18:12 “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?” Although the parable was given to show that Jesus searches out the Lost, it contains a principle concerning the love of God which also applies to wayward children of His.
IT IS THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TO CONVICT MEN OF SIN. ESPECIALLY IF YOU ATTEND A BIBLE-PREACHING CHURCH, YOU WILL FIND THAT THE WORD OF GOD WILL BRING CONVICTION, AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD APPLIES IT.
THERE HAVE BEEN SOME CASES WHERE A CHRISTIAN HAS BEEN WARNED IN DREAMS OR VISIONS OF BAD THINGS THAT WOULD HAPPEN IF HE DID NOT REPENT AND GET RIGHT WITH GOD.
- JESUS CONTINUES TO KNOCK. THIS WILL NOT LAST FOREVER, HOWEVER. GOD GIVES A LIMITED TIME BECAUSE AFTER A CERTAIN TIME HAS LAPSED HE WILL USE MORE SEVERE METHODS OF GETTING YOUR ATTENTION. Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.”
ANY SIN WILL EFFECT THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE BELIEVER WITH THE LORD. (INCLUDING SINS OF OMISSION). IN O.T. TIMES, GOD WOULD WITHDRAW HIS SPIRIT BECAUSE OF SIN. WHILE THIS NO LONGER HAPPENS TO THE BELIEVER, A RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN BE SERIOUSLY EFFECTED.
B. WHAT DO GOD’S WARNINGS TELL US ? In Ephesians 4, we have a section of Scripture where the warnings are outlines and made plain.
WARNING TO STAY AWAY FROM OVERT SIN: Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
RESULTS OF NOT HEEDING THE WARNINGS: 30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”
31 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”
WARNING TO STAY AWAY FROM SINS OF OMISSION. 32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
IT EFFECTS OUR COMMUNICATION WITH THE LORD. IF WE SIN, THE SIN ITSELF BECOMES AN IMPAREMENT TO US HEARING FROM GOD.
THE SIN ITSELF BECOMES A REASON FOR GOD NOT TO WANT FELLOWSHIP WITH US. Psalms 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”
***It might be like having a pet sheep. You love the animal. You spend time with it, watch over it, you provide for it. But, if it has just been wallowing around in the pig’s slop, and then wants to rub up against you and get close to you, you will move away.
C. SIN RESULTS IN A CHRISTIAN NOT BEING ABLE TO SERVE GOD AS EFFECTIVELY
THESE THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE DON’T RESPOND TO THE WARNINGS FROM THE LORD—
- THERE WILL BE A LACK OF POWER. YOU NEED GOD’S POWER TO EFFECTIVELY SERVE GOD. WILL THE HOLY SPIRIT BE LISTENED TO AS MUCH, OR BE WILLING TO PROVIDE ADDED STRENGTH WHEN HE IS BEING OFFENDED AND GRIEVED ? NO.
- THERE WILL BE A LACK OF CONFIDENCE ON THE PART OF THE BELIEVER. WE KNOW WHEN WE ARE CLOSER TO THE LORD. THE LACK OF KNOWING THAT WE ARE CLOSE TO HIM PROVIDES AN UNCERTAINTY AND INSECURITY IN THE BELIEVER. SATAN USES THIS LACK OF FAITH (“CONFIDENCE, CERTAINTY”) TO PUT THE BELIEVER INTO A SITUATION WHERE HE IS OPERATING ON SOMETHING OTHER THAN FAITH. GOD ONLY REWARDS FAITH. (Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”) What can the Christian do without Jesus ? Nothing. John 15:5 “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.”
What can the Christian do without faith ? We cannot please God. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
D. WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR HEARTS IF WE CONTINUE WITHOUT FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD ?
- THE HEART GETS HARDER WITH EACH PASSING DAY. WILL THE CHRISTIAN RESPOND AS QUICKLY TO GOD IF HE HAS GONE THROUGH A LONG TIME OF AVOIDING REPENTANCE ? (WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF HARDENING OF THE HEART ?) Hebrews 3:13 “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
- WE FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THE THINGS THAT THE LORD WANTS TO TEACH US. Mark 6:52 “For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.”
Mark 8:17 “And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?”
E. WHAT SERIOUS THINGS CAN HAPPEN TO A BELIEVER IF HE CONTINUES ON TO IGNORE THE RESPONSES OF GOD AGAINST OUR SIN ?
- THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF PHYSICAL CHASTENING (JUDGMENT). 1 Timothy 5:24 “Some men‘s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.”
- THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY THAT YOUR MINISTRY COULD END. WHY DID JONAH’S MINISTRY END ? HE HAD BAD ATTITUDE, AND COULD NO LONGER RESPOND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE WAY THAT GOD SHOULD BE APPROACHED. HIS CALLING WAS STILL INTACT, BUT JONAH’S RESPONSE WAS NOT WITH THE RIGHT HEART. FOLLOWING JONAH’S BITTER AND CONTRARY DISCUSSION WITH THE LORD, HE WAS NEVER HEARD FROM AS A PROPHET AGAIN. Jonah 4:10-11 “Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?”
HOW DO OUR SINS AFFECT OTHERS ?
1. WHO DOES SIN ACTUALLY AFFECT ?
**Some people think that their sins only affect themselves. The truth is, EVERY sin affects others. Even if the sin affects one human being on earth, it does affect God, too. The fact that it affects God should be a MOST SERIOUS CONCERN. We don’t want to hurt Him, after all He has done for us !
2. MOST SINS, SUCH AS THOSE CONTAINED IN THE TEN COMMANDMENTS AND THE NOAHIDE LAWS ARE ALREADY KNOWN SINS TO THE REST OF THE WORLD.
THIS TYPE OF KNOWN, OBVIOUS SIN USUALLY IMPACTS THOSE WHO OBSERVE YOU BECAUSE IT IS ALMOST ALWAYS SEEN AS SIN BY THOSE AROUND YOU. (OBVIOUS, OVERT, KNOWN SINS ARE SOMETIMES CONSIDERED TO BE, “COMMON-KNOWLEDGE SINS”). IT IS DIFFICULT OR IMPOSSIBLE TO HIDE THIS TYPE OF SIN FROM OTHERS.
- STEALING FROM ONE PERSON USUALLY DOES NOT IMMEDIATELY IMPACT THE LIVES OF ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS. BUT, IT CAN MAKE ALL THE OTHERS HAVE A FEAR OF BEING THE NEXT VICTIM OF THEFT.
- IF YOU BEAR FALSE WITNESS IT CAN IMPACT THE FEELINGS AND ATTITUDES OF MANY PEOPLE AS SOON AS THEY HEAR YOUR FALSE STATEMENT.
- IF YOU WANT TO SEE ALL THE LATEST FASHIONS, WINDOW-SHOP, AND SPEND A LOT OF TIME LOOKING AT RETAIL MAGAZINES, YOU WILL SET AN EXAMPLE FOR OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE WEAK, AND CAN FALL INTO COVETING, TOO.
3. SIN WILL AFFECT OUR ATTITUDE WHICH, IN TURN, AFFECTS THE PEOPLE AROUND US
The sin may not be an overt sin, such as one easily recognizable by even the Lost. It may be a sin which is a sin of omission, or a failure to commit something to the Lord. For an example, there was a Christian woman who, at a certain time each month, would become very irritable and short-tempered. She would lack understanding, and misinterpret the actions of others, and respond by shouting at them, or saying unkind things to them. This occurred month after month.
Her pastor told her that this was linked to a physical event, her period, and that some women become this way. However, he added, this can and must be overcome by the power of the Lord. The woman had already been healed of a major disease many years before when she prayed and allowed the Lord to work. So, he reminded her of this, and told her that the same God Who was able to heal the disease was able to help her gain control over her emotions, and be a better testimony during that time of the month. She then committed this bad attitude to the Lord, and He helped her overcome it immediately.
To the surprise of many people around her, the cheerful and Christ-like attitude which she showed during the rest of the month then began to work even during times around her period.
However, her former lack of commitment—something which she felt was “natural” and would not affect her testimony—was a serious threat to others coming to Christ. Consider the fact the when people do not know what mood you will be in, or whether you will lash out at them, or if you will misinterpret what they are saying—those are things which turn people away from all the glorious words you have to say about the Lord.
The sin may also be a sin of not committing certain traits which we had from youth to the Lord. For an example, Robert was raised in a home where the parents settled all issues by fighting. They, at the every least, would argue loudly. When Robert became a Christian, he stopped doing many of the bad habits which some lost people have. He stopped using profanity, he quit using alcoholic drinks, and he became very generous with his money, giving to the church and to the poor in the Name of Jesus.
However, his loud and often angry mannerism in working out differences between people remained. Most lost people looked at this as just his personality, and ignored his outbursts of temper as well as anything he had to say at quieter times about his faith in Christ. Robert’s failure to commit this aspect of his personality to the Lord hindered his effectiveness for the Lord Jesus many years. Finally, he came to the realization the Spirit of God had been convicting him for a long time about this, and he repented of this sin, and became a much more powerful witness for the Lord. But, his bad attitude—a personality trait—had to be surrendered to the Lord before he was able to move forward in his effectiveness.
4. CONVICTION THAT DOES NOT BEAR FRUIT WILL AFFECT OTHERS
Can fighting against the work of the Spirit of God affect our behavior ? Yes ! Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
A. DISOBEDIENCE TO THE LORD RESULTS IN A BREECH OF FELLOWSHIP THAT IS MANIFEST TO OTHERS. OFTEN, A PERSON WILL BECOME MORE IRRITABLE AND ANGRY WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT IS CONVICTING HIM. THIS IS TRUE OF BOTH CHRISTIANS AND NON-CHRISTIANS.
B. OUR ATTITUDE AFFECTS OUR WILLINGNESS TO REPENT FROM SIN. BUT, WILL SIN AFFECT YOUR OWN ATTITUDE ? IF SO, DOESN’T OUR SIN AFFECT OTHER PEOPLE ?
The following things are based upon the fact that the Holy Spirit will convict God’s people over their sins. John 16:8 “And when He” [i.e., the Holy Spirit] “is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:”
C. OUR ATTITUDE AFFECTS OUR WILLINGNESS TO OBEY GOD. It is difficult to avoid seeing the part that attitude played in this parable which Jesus told. Matthew 21:28-30 “But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.”
5. GUILT CAN BE AN OBSERVABLE CHARACTERISTIC WHICH RESULTS FROM SIN.
GUILT CAN BE MANIFEST IN MANY WAYS.
- BY INCREASED CRITICISM OF OTHERS TO MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOUR OWN SIN.
- BY MAKING YOU MORE MOODY.
- BY MAKING YOU LESS SENSITIVE TO OTHERS BECAUSE OF THE HARDNESS YOU HAVE BEGUN TO DEVELOP. HARDNESS TO THE LORD ALWAYS ENDS UP IN HARDNESS TOWARD OTHERS.
A. SIN IS MANIFEST BY OUR WALK WITH THE LORD.
THE LOSS OF FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD WILL AFFECT YOU. Psalms 22:1 “To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me? why art Thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?”
- BY THE ACTION OF CONVICTION FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT.
- YOU WILL EITHER RESPOND TO IT, AND REPENT, OR
- YOU WILL BECOME MORE EDGY, IRRITABLE, AND HOSTILE.
- BY REVEALING THAT YOU HAVE LESS INTEREST IN THE THINGS OF GOD.
- YOU WILL BEGIN TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR NOT COMING TO HEAR THE WORD.
- SICKNESSES, WHEN USED AS AN EXCUSE WILL OFTEN SEEM MUCH WORSE AND MORE FREQUENT.
- YOU WILL HAVE LESS TIME FOR THE THINGS OF GOD. BECAUSE WORLDLY AND SELF-CENTERED INTERESTS FILL UP MORE OF YOUR TIME.
- YOU WILL BEGIN TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR NOT COMING TO HEAR THE WORD.
B. SIN IS MANIFEST IN OUR LACK OF VICTORIES OVER OTHER TEMPTATIONS AND TRIALS.
- LOSS OF FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD NATURALLY RESULTS IN THE LOSS OF POWER FROM ON HIGH. HOW IS THAT SEEN ?
- MORE FRUSTRATION IN TRYING TO DO THINGS RIGHT, BUT FAILING TO DO SO.
- OLD SINS WHICH WERE ONCE CONQUERED MAY REAPPEAR.
C. IF YOU SIN AGAINST SOMEONE ELSE, WHAT ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN YOU WANT TO MAKE THINGS RIGHT ? Luke 17:3 “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.” ACTUALLY, IF YOU SIN, YOU SHOULDN’T WAIT TILL REBUKED. YOU SHOULD REPENT TO THE PERSON YOU HAVE HARMED, AND SEEK FORGIVENESS IMMEDIATELY.
D. SIN WANTS YOU TO LEAVE IT ALONE, OR FORGET ABOUT IT
JESUS WANTED PEOPLE TO DO THEIR BEST TO MAKE AMENDS. Luke 19:8-9 “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.”
E. WE ARE INSTRUCTED TO BRING EVIDENCE OF REPENTANCE. Acts 26:20 “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”
IS IT WISE TO CONFRONT EVERY PERSON YOU HAVE EVER SINNED AGAINST ? There are times when if you went to someone with a matter where you had sinned against that person, but the person did not know it, and was not concerned about it, the matter might better be left alone. It is not required to announce specific sins to everyone you have sinned against, especially if they didn’t even know it.
***Example: A large family was gathering for a Thanksgiving meal. Members of several families were there who had not seen each other in many years. Brother James had recently gotten himself right with the Lord, and went around apologizing to people he had sinned against. One of those acts of apology went something like this. “Cousin Jane, I am so sorry, because I sinned against you. I am guilty of gossip. I told my wife about the affair you were having with your next-door neighbor, and it was just none of my business. I am truly sorry.” Needless to say, this developed into a major problem with her husband who was seated next to her and knew nothing about the incident.
IMAGINE WHAT THE WORLD WOULD THINK OF US, IF THEY KNEW ALL OUR SINS ! There would be many things that we would confess as sin which the hardened, insensitive world would not even view as sin. They could not even see the seriousness of it. Yet, when the Holy Spirit reveals our sins to us, they become significant, and we must repent of them before God.
6. THERE ARE SINS WHICH SOME PEOPLE ASSUME WOULD NOT AFFECT ANYONE BUT THEMSELVES.
- EXAMPLES: ADDICTIONS TO STREET DRUGS, PRESCRIPTIONS DRUGS, ALCOHOL, DRUNKENNESS, COMPUTER OR VIDEO GAMES, PORNOGRAPHY, FOOD, SMOKING, DAYDREAMING, LAZINESS, EXCUSE-MAKING, LYING, COVETING, ETC.
- FAILURE TO CONSULT THE LORD IN MATTERS. EXAMPLE: NOT SEEKING GOD’S WILL IN HEALING. YOU COULD GO TO A LOT OF DOCTORS THAT WILL KILL YOU. WOULD THAT AFFECT OTHERS ? OR IN FINANCES: WOULD SOME JOBS MAKE YOU SO TIRED THAT YOU HAVE NO TIME FOR YOUR MARRIAGE OR FAMILY ?
WHO DO THEY AFFECT ? GOD, YOURSELF, OTHERS YOU COME IN CONTACT WITH, ESPECIALLY THE LOST. HOWEVER, PEOPLE OFTEN TRY TO DEFEND THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR BY SAYING, “THIS DOESN’T HURT ANYONE BUT ME.” THIS IS A DEVILISH LIE.
PART 2—WHY DO OUR SINS AFFECT OTHERS ?
1. SIN AFFECTS OTHER PEOPLE BECAUSE WE ALL INFLUENCE AND LEAD SOMEONE, SOMETIMES MANY PEOPLE.
IF WE SIN, WE INFLUENCE THEM IN THE WRONG WAY. Matthew 5:13 “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.”
2. OUR SINS AFFECT OTHERS BECAUSE, WE ARE THE LORD’S GAZINGSTOCK, AND PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO LOOK TO US AND OBSERVE IN US A SUPERIOR WAY OF LIFE.
Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Hebrews 10:33 “Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.”
*(The old “Do as I say, not as I do” refrain does not teach people the right principle, so we had better be living what we are telling the world). When we stop witnessing and start trying to hide or justify our sin, the people around us will catch on before long.
3. OUR SINS AFFECT OTHERS BECAUSE OUR ACTIONS AFFECT THE LORD AND HIS CLOSENESS TO US.
WHEN WE ARE NOT RIGHT WITH THE LORD, THIS CAN BE SEEN IN THE WAY WE BEHAVE.
4. OUR SINS AFFECT OTHERS BECAUSE WE SOMETIMES DO LITERAL HARM TO THE WELFARE OF OTHERS BY SINNING.
The following is a list of some of the more commonly practiced sins of the Last Days among people who say that they are Christians.
- A. DRUGS. STREET DRUGS. DEPEND ON OTHER PEOPLE’S RESOURCES TO PAY FOR AND SUPPLY THE DRUGS. THIS USUALLY RESULTS IN VIOLENT ABUSE OF THE PEOPLE, AND/OR THEFT OF THEIR PROPERTY.
- B. DRUGS, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. IN MANY COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD, ABUSE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS HAS BECOME EPIDEMIC. PAINKILLERS AND PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS ARE PRESCRIBED FOR CASES WHERE THEY SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN, AND SOME CAN BECOME JUST AS ADDICTIVE AS ANY STREET DRUG. ALTHOUGH SOME MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS HAVE ATTEMPTED TO HALT THIS EPIDEMIC, THE DEMAND FROM PATIENTS IS OFTEN TOO MUCH TO DEAL WITH, SO THE DOCTOR PRESCRIBES THEM, ANYWAY.
THESE DRUGS AFFECT THE BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDE OF THE PERSON TAKING THEM. THEY USUALLY AFFECT THEM WITH A LACK OF CLEAR THINKING, A MENTAL SLUGGISHNESS, OR EVEN CONFUSION. FOR THE CHRISTIAN, THIS CAN AFFECT HIS OWN HOUSEHOLD AS WELL AS ALL THOSE WITH WHOM HE COMES IN CONTACT.
- C. ALCOHOL, DRUNKENNESS. THE BIBLE HAS NOTHING BUT DEROGATORY THINGS TO SAY ABOUT DRUNKENNESS. THE MISUSE OF ALCOHOL AFFECTS MANY PEOPLE, EVEN IF YOU DRINK, STAY BY YOURSELF, AND SLEEP IT OFF LATER. IT COSTS YOUR FAMILY MONEY FOR YOU TO DRINK. IT COSTS THEM QUALITY TIME WITH A PERSON THEY CARE ABOUT BECAUSE YOU ARE ONLY THINKING ABOUT YOURSELF. IT COSTS THE JOB, BECAUSE YOU CAN’T PERFORM AS WELL WHILE DRINKING OR GETTING OVER A HANG-OVER. IT MAY EVEN COST THE LIVES OF INNOCENT VICTIMS IF YOU DRIVE WHILE DRINKING. IT DOESN’T JUST AFFECT YOU.
- D. COMPUTER OR VIDEO GAMES. THIS ACTIVITY OFTEN TAKES A PERSON AWAY FROM NORMAL INTERACTION WITH FAMILY. AFTER A PERIOD OF TIME, IT CAUSES THE PLAYER TO LOSE TOUCH WITH REAL-LIFE SITUATIONS, AND INSTEAD RESPOND TO PROBLEMS WITH A VIRTUAL FANTASY APPROACH.
- E. PORNOGRAPHY. WHETHER BY COMPUTER OR OTHER GRAPHIC MEDIA, LIKE MAGAZINES, PORNOGRAPHY IS A VISUAL STIMULANT WHICH BRINGS THE OBSERVER INTO A FALSE WORLD. THIS IMPACTS MARRIAGES BY BECOMING A SUBSTITUTE FOR GENUINE AND LEGITIMATE PHYSICAL RELATIONSHIPS. IT HURTS THE MARRIAGE PARTNER BY SHORTCHANGING THEM OF A RELATIONSHIP IN ITS FULLEST TO WHICH THEY ARE ENTITLED.
- F. FOOD. THE ADDICTION OF FOOD AND CONSUMING LARGE QUANTITIES OF IT IS JUST AS MUCH OF AN ADDICTION AS DRINKING OR DRUGS CAN BE. IT NOT ONLY DESTROYS THE ADDICT’S PHYSICAL CONDITION—WHICH, IN THE CASE OF THE CHRISTIAN, IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT—BUT IT ALSO HARMS THE PEOPLE AROUND THE ADDICT. A PERSON WHO IS A FOOD ADDICT IS A HIGH-MAINTENANCE PERSON, WITH REPAIRS ON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS, CLOTHING, AND EVEN THE HOUSE ITSELF BEING MUCH MORE THAN FOR A PERSON OF NORMAL WEIGHT. WHEN THERE IS A LIMITED INCOME, THE COST TO PAY FOR THIS ADDICTION TAKES AWAY FROM OTHER NECESSITIES AND ACTIVITIES, AND THEREFORE AFFECTS EVERYONE IN THE FAMILY. 1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
- G. SMOKING. WHEN ADDICTED TO TOBACCO, THE RESULT CAN BE PHYSICAL ILLNESS OR DISEASE, A CHRONIC COUGH, AND A SMELL RELATED TO THE TOBACCO. IT AFFECTS OTHERS AS “SECOND-HAND SMOKE” WHICH ALSO RESULTS IN PHYSICAL PROBLEMS FOR THEM WHEN CONSUMED IN SUFFICIENT QUANTITIES. 1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
- H. DAYDREAMING. Jude 1:8 “Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.” EVERYONE DOES THIS EVERY NOW AND THEN. BUT, IT BECOMES AN ADDICTION TO SOME PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO FACE THEIR OWN REALITY, OR THEY HAVE FALLEN INTO A HABIT OF DAYDREAMING AT CERTAIN TIMES. IT ROBS PEOPLE OF REAL FELLOWSHIP BY THE TIME IT CONSUMES. IT CAN ALSO BRING ABOUT VIVID DREAMS THAT ALMOST SEEM REAL, AND ARE OFTEN REAL ENOUGH TO CONVINCE THE DAYDREAMER THAT THEY ARE REALITY. THIS CAN CAUSE OTHER PEOPLE TO BE FALSELY ACCUSED, OR FALSELY LOVED, BASED UPON THE DREAM. FOR THE CHRISTIAN, THIS INABILITY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN DAYDREAMS AND REALITY WILL HINDER EFFECTIVE WITNESSING.
- I. LAZINESS. THE BIBLE PREDICTS THE RESULTS OF A PERSON WHO IS SLOTHFUL. THIS AFFECTS THE FAMILY OF THE SLOTHFUL PERSON, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE THE BREADWINNERS. Proverbs 19:15 “Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.” LAZINESS RESULTS IN THINGS NOT BEING MAINTAINED PROPERLY. THEREFORE, THEY HAVE A SHORTER LIFE-SPAN. THIS AFFECTS THE REST OF THE FAMILY.
Ecclesiastes 10:18 “By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.”
- J. EXCUSE-MAKING. Adam and Eve, gave excuses after their sin. Was this act of excuse-making MORE sin ? Yes. It was placing the blame for their own decisions on another. Genesis 3:13 “And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Then, of course, Adam blames Eve for his sin, too.
Those who claim to follow the Lord but actually don’t, often make excuses as to why they don’t. Luke 14:18 “And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto Him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray Thee have me excused.”
- K. COVETING. Exodus 20:17 “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
WHERE DOES COVETING LEAD ? A WELL KNOWN EXAMPLE OF WHAT HAPPENS TO A PERSON WHO BECOMES CAUGHT UP IN THE WEB OF COVETOUSNESS IS LOT’S WIFE. WHEN SHE WAS PULLED FROM HER HOME BY THE HAND OF THE ANGEL, AND WARNED NOT TO LOOK BACK, HER ADDICTION TO MATERIAL THINGS WAS SO GREAT THAT SHE GAVE IN TO ONE LAST LONGING LOOK AT HER POSSESSIONS BEFORE THEY WERE ENGULFED IN FIRE AND BRIMSTONE. Genesis 19:26 “But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
COVETING QUICKLY BECOMES A LIFE-STYLE. IT BRINGS THE PERPETRATOR INTO A SLAVERY OF HAVING TO HAVE WHAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS. IT CAN TAKE HOURS EACH WEEK FROM MINISTRY SO THAT THE PERSON CAN COVET THINGS IN RETAIL SALES CATALOGUES. IT CAN WASTE PRECIOUS TIME WHICH WOULD BE DEVOTED TO SERVING GOD, STUDYING HIS WORD, AND HAVING FELLOWSHIP WITH HIM BY FREQUENT AND UNNECESSARY TRIPS TO STORES.
EVEN WHEN PEOPLE DESIRE THINGS SO THAT THEY MAY ISOLATE THEMSELVES FROM “THE SINFUL WORLD,” IF THEY COVET THE MATERIAL THINGS NEEDED TO DO THAT, THEY FAIL SPIRITUALLY. Habakkuk 2:9 “Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!”
5. HOW DO SINS EFFECT THE BELIEVER ?
- HOW DO THEY EFFECT THE BELIEVER WHO HAS BECOME INSENSITIVE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT ? CAN THE FOLLOWING HAPPEN TO A SAVED PERSON ? Ephesians 4:19 “Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”
- HOW DO THEY AFFECT THE BELIEVER WHO IS TRYING TO WALK IN THE WAYS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ?
6. MANY SINS DISCREDIT OR HURT THE NAME OF THE LORD.
*(COMMON-KNOWLEDGE SINS) This can include ANY sin which is known commonly to others. It may include the following:
- BAD LANGUAGE
- BAD ATTITUDE
- CONSTANT NEGATIVENESS.
- DISRESPECT. 2 Chronicles 36:16 “But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, till there was no remedy.”
- SEXUAL DEVIANCE
- CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR
7. HOW SINS ARE DESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE. ARE THEY ALL THE SAME ?
A. SINS BRINGING THE WRATH OF GOD.
Ephesians 5:4-6 “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.”
B. SINS WHICH GOD SAYS HE HATES.
Deuteronomy 16:22 “Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.”
C. THINGS HE HATES WHICH ARE ALSO AN ABOMINATION TO HIM.
Proverbs 6:16-19 “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”
D. THE BIBLE IDENTIFIES SOME SINS AS THINGS WHICH ARE ABOMINATIONS TO GOD. (This places a stronger distain for those sins than for others).
THE IDOL AND THE VALUABLE THINGS OF AN IDOL.
Deuteronomy 7:25 “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God.”
E. GIVING GOD LESS THAN YOUR BEST IS AN ABOMINATION TO HIM.
Deuteronomy 17:1 “Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.”
F. HOMOSEXUALITY IS AN ABOMINATION.
Leviticus 20:13 “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”
G. WICKED PEOPLE TRYING TO BRIBE GOD THROUGH THEIR GIFTS.
Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is His delight.”
H. THE WAY OF THE WICKED IS AN ABOMINATION.
Proverbs 15:9 “The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but He loveth him that followeth after righteousness.”
I. THE THOUGHTS OF THE WICKED ARE AN ABOMINATION.
Proverbs 15:26 “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.”
J. A PRIDEFUL HEART IS AN ABOMINATION.
Proverbs 16:5 “Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”
K. HAVING TWO OR MORE SETS OF STANDARDS IS AN ABOMINATION TO GOD.
Proverbs 20:23 “Divers weights are an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance is not good.”
THE FACT IS, THE BIBLE DOES NOT REFER TO ALL SINS AS GETTING THE SAME REACTION FROM GOD. THE SCRIPTURES ARE CLEAR THAT SOME THINGS DEMAND GOD’S WRATH WHILE OTHERS ARE LESS LIKELY TO BRING IT IMMEDIATELY.
CONSIDER THE ACTIONS OF A PARENT. SHOULD A CHILD WHO DOES NOT EAT ALL HIS DINNER GET THE SAME DEGREE OF PUNISHMENT AS THE CHILD THAT SMOKES SOME ILLEGAL STREET DRUGS AND TRIED TO GET THE OTHER CHILDREN IN THE HOUSE TO DO THE SAME ? SHOULD SOMEONE WHO SEXUALLY MOLESTS A CHILD RECEIVE THE SAME DEGREE OF PUNISHMENT AS A PERSON WHO DID NOT PAY HIS HOSPITAL BILL ?
PART 3 – THE REMEDY FOR SIN
SIN CAUSES PAIN TO GOD. BUT, IT ALSO CAUSES PAIN AND SUFFERING TO THOSE WHO PRACTICE IT. That pain may be mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical. Many people in the Bible that Jesus healed had suffered physically because of their sin.
THE MAN WHO COULD NOT WALK SUFFERED PHYSICAL ILLNESS BECAUSE OF HIS SIN. John 5:14 “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”
WE SHALL FIRST EXAMINE SINS WHICH CHRISTIANS COMMIT. THEIR SINS HAVE ALREADY BEEN FORGIVEN BY THE LORD.
ONE OF THE CONSEQUENCES TO THE SIN MAY BE A BROKEN FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD.
1. WHAT NEW BEHAVIOR DOES GOD EXPECT FROM THOSE WHOSE SINS ARE FORGIVEN ?
A. REPENT OF THE SIN. Acts 17:30 “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”
B. ASK FOR FORGIVENESS. (We are taught to ask for it in “The Lord’s Prayer). Luke 11:4 “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.”
C. BELIEVE YOU ARE FORGIVEN. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
D. ASK FOR HELP TO OVERCOME THE SIN COMPLETELY. Psalms 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
HOW MANY OF THESE THINGS HAVE WE REALLY TRIED TO “MAKE RIGHT” WITH THE PEOPLE WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST ?
DO WE JUST TRY TO MAKE IT RIGHT WITH GOD ?
DO WE COMPLETE THE REPENTING PROCESS BY GETTING IT RIGHT WITH EVERYONE INVOLVED ?
2. THE NEED FOR PURITY IN ORDER TO FULFILL GOD’S WORK PROPERLY
A. ISAIAH COULD NOT BE SENT UNTIL HE HAD HIS SIN DEALT WITH PROPERLY. Isaiah 6:5 “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.”
B. THE PRIESTS WILL HAVE TO BE PURIFIED FROM SIN BEFORE BEING ABLE TO MAKE OFFERINGS DURING THE MILLENNIUM. Malachi 3:3 “And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”
C. THE JEWISH LEADERS WERE REQUIRED TO SHOW WORKS REVEALING A DEPARTURE FROM SIN IN ORDER TO EFFECTIVELY SERVE GOD. Matthew 3:7-9 “But when He saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to His baptism, He said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”
D. BELIEVERS MUST BE PURIFIED BY CHRIST IN ORDER FOR US TO BE A TRULY PECULIAR PEOPLE. Titus 2:14 “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
WHY IS SIN TREATED SO SERIOUSLY BY GOD ?
1. THERE ARE EXCELLENT REASONS WHY GOD TREATS SIN SO SERIOUSLY.
- IT HURTS HIM.
- IT HURTS OTHERS.
- IT HURTS YOU.
- IT NEGATIVELY AFFECTS THE WORLD AROUND YOU.
- IT AFFECTS THE FUTURE OF EVERY ONE WHO COMMITS SIN (HELL IS REAL).
2. FUTURE PUNISHMENT IS PART OF THE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES TO SIN.
A. HELL IS A REAL PART OF AN UNFORGIVEN SINNER’S FUTURE.
Matthew 5:22 “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
Matthew 5:29 “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
B. THE LOCATION OF HELL SHOULD INVOKE GENUINE FEAR TO THOSE WHO DESERVE TO GO THERE.
Hell is always considered “down.” When a person goes there, the Bible speaks of them ‘descending.’ If this is true from any part of the Earth, we can see how Hell would have to be in the very center of the Earth. This agrees with early Hebrew commentaries which locate Hell as being a place in the center of the earth (which also had a compartment which was not for torment, called “Paradise.”
Ephesians 4:9 “(Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?”
2 Peter 2:4 “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;”
3. WHAT BIBLICAL EVIDENCE DO WE HAVE THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY GO TO HELL ?
A. OLD TESTAMENT. Psalms 16:10 “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”
Psalms 139:8 “If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there.”
B. NEW TESTAMENT. Matthew 10:28 “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Luke 16:23 “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” *This is one of the clearest evidences of people being in Hell. The other is in Isaiah, where people in Hell see the devil being thrown down with them. In both cases, there are unquestionably people in Hell.
The idea that some have that “a loving God would not send anyone to Hell,” simply is not backed up by the evidence. It is merely wishful thinking on their part.
Acts 2:27 “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.”
Acts 2:31 “He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell, neither His flesh did see corruption.”
IN TWO OF THESE ACCOUNTS, JESUS WAS TEACHING ABOUT IT. WHAT BETTER SOURCE OF TRUTH COULD WE HAVE THAN JESUS HIMSELF ? NOT ONLY WAS HE TEACHING ABOUT, BUT HE WENT INTO THE CENTER PARTS OF THE EARTH, AND PREACHED TO THOSE IN HELL. HIS TRUTHFULNESS, HIS FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE REVEALS THAT PEOPLE DO GO TO HELL, AND SUFFER.
4. IS HELL REALLY A PLACE OF ACTUAL FIRE ?
A. JESUS SAID IT WAS A PLACE OF FIRE. WHAT MORE EVIDENCE DO WE NEED ?
Matthew 5:22 “But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
Matthew 18:9 “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.”
B. FURTHER EVIDENCE COMES FROM A MAN WHO WAS IN THE FLAME. Luke 16:24 “And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.”
5. THE NATURE OF HELL
A. IT WAS MADE FOR SATAN AND HIS ANGELS. Matthew 25:41 “Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”
B. IT CONTAINS THE SOULS AND SPIRITS OF PEOPLE, AND WILL BE A PLACE WHERE SATAN IS TORMENTED, AS WELL. Isaiah 14:12-15 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
C. IT IS A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE WILL SUFFER FOR ETERNITY. Mark 9:43 “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:”
Matthew 25:46 “And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power;”
Jude 1:7 “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
D. FIRE AND BRIMSTONE IS A PART OF THE ETERNAL PUNISHMENT OF THE LOST. Revelation 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
6. IS THE LAKE OF FIRE DIFFERENT THAN HELL ?
In many respects, yes. The Lake of Fire was specifically designated for the eternal torment for the devil and his angels. However, it is opened up to all those who rejected Jesus and followed the deceptions of Satan, rejecting God’s forgiveness. This event of going from Hell to the Lake of Fire occurs after the Thousand Year Millennium.
At the White Throne Judgment, Hell is cast into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:14 “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death”). The two places are then forever merged. Up until that time, only the soul and spirit of an individual were in Hell. But, after the individuals are raised, they are given bodies, and will be tormented in the Lake of Fire.
A. Many have tried to reason away the reality of the experiences which some people had by going to Hell. Some who have been brought back through modern medical methods have reported their experiences of going to Hell. The most popular explanation for the modern Hell encounters was “oxygen deprivation.” Some doctors have said they believed that when the brain is deprived of oxygen for a period of time, that it begins to hallucinate, and consequently will usually feel pain and agony, and thus the “encounters in Hell.”
Evidence that this explanation is wrong comes through science itself. MANY attempts have been made to re-create oxygen deprivation conditions. In NO CASE have any of those experiencing it come back with tales of experiencing Hell. The experience of “tasting” Hell has motivated each person who had it to seek the Lord for Salvation. The testimonies abound. Those who have forgotten their experience, through either deliberate memory deletion, or traumatic amnesia cannot be expected to respond in the same way.
B. THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, BUT GOD’S GIFT IS ETERNAL LIFE
Our sins, while hurtful to God, others, and ourselves, have been paid for by the Blood of Jesus Christ. He alone was capable to providing the payment necessary for our sins as the ordained Lamb of God. 1 Peter 1:18-20 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,”
However, we are told that we must repent of our sins, and receive the Lord Jesus in order for His payment of Blood to be applied to us.
Luke 13:3 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Acts 3:19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;”
Mark 1:15 “And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
John 1:12 “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name:”
John 20:31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His Name.”
It is only through the Blood of the Lamb of God, and faith from the heart which brings a person into a forgiven state. In such a state, a person’s sins are washed away, and they can look forward to a never-ending life with the Lord Jesus and an eternal home of bliss. Jesus called this being “born again.”
Sin—the horrible rebellion against the will of God—brought us into a state of enmity against God. But, through faith in Jesus Christ, we become the children of the Savior and recipients of everlasting life ! Amen !