(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column of those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Augusta Press.)
Not too many years ago, this thing called sin was taken far more seriously than it is today. It was preached from the pulpit and people were warned of the seriousness of sin against God. In today’s world, sin is seen as something that one should not do but the tremendous importance that God places upon it is hardly considered at all. It is seen not as something done which is against God but as something committed against another person only. People reason in their minds that since it was something done to another person, it’s not all that important. “They will get over it and besides I don’t care what they think. I’m going to do what I want to do.” Yes, sin has its consequences for other people but the One who is most offended is not considered in the whole scheme of things.
The real problem is not what it does to another, although that is a crucial issue, but what it does to the Holiness of God. God is a Holy God. He is good, that is very true, but He is more than good. He is Holy. That means that he cannot tolerate any sin at all in his presence. So how can sinful humans come into his presence? Only if their sin is covered by something God chooses not to see through and that covering is the Blood of Jesus.
So, one can readily see that sin has implications that go much farther than what a sinful activity might do to another human who can “just get over it” as some would say. We can observe society and quickly note that the seriousness of sin is not considered very much any longer. Our society has devolved into one that is tolerating sin and crime. People no longer seem to care if what they are doing is wrong or not. Consider the many killings that are happening all over America. In fact, it looks as if America has lost its collective mind. Do those who commit such sins consider where they would go if they were killed in the process of say, robbing a store or shooting someone indiscriminately? We often hear of a person killing one or more people and then turning the gun on themselves. Do they have an inkling of where they are immediately sending themselves much less what they have done to the lives of others? Our society has so downplayed the punishment for such crimes that people think that there are no spiritual or eternal implications at all. And “smaller” crimes and sins are considered even less. Remember this: God does not grade sin. Any sin cannot be tolerated in his Holy Presence. His Holy nature will not allow it. One of the biggest issues is that those committing such crimes have no fear of judgment. In fact they have no fear of the One doing the judging so they think nothing will come of it as far as they are concerned.
There is an old Gospel song sung by that great, in my opinion, unsurpassed quartet, The Cathedrals which made a profound statement about sin. It is a classic and makes the point about the sinister, destructive nature of sin. The words to the chorus follow:
Sin will take you farther
Than you want to go,
Slowly but wholly taking
Sin will leave you longer than
You want to stay,
Sin will cost you far more
Than you want to pay.
My friends, that song is so very true, and everyone should take a good warning from what it says. Sin against God has serious consequences far beyond the initial act itself. God will not be mocked as people are doing with the law today. Satan doesn’t say “now, you go do this thing and you will be severely punished by society and by God also.” He says, “you go ahead. No one will catch you. Things will be all right. You will get away with it and no one will ever know.” Then, that sinister thing called sin sneaks into one’s life and slowly destroys them. Romans Chapter 1 will tell a person all about it and everyone should read it and consider before they violate the Holiness of God with sin.
But the good news is that God is a loving, merciful and gracious God. He will not allow anyone to get away with sin, but he has provided a covering for it. He doesn’t want anyone to perish but that all may come to repentance, 2 Peter 3:9. So, God doesn’t leave a person in the lurch because they sinned. He has provided a way through Jesus Christ for us to come to Him in repentance and be cleansed from all unrighteousness. And that’s the promise we all have and that promise is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Remember, Sin Will Take You Farther than you want to go but Jesus provides a better way….the way to eternal life in Him.
Reverend William (Bill) Harrell has been in ministry 48 years. He served as the pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, GA for over 30 of those years. He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also check out his blog at www.williamfharrell.com