Only a Fool Mocks at Sin
“Fools mock at sin.” (Proverbs 14:9)
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” (Proverbs 8:13)
The contrasting statements cited above bring to light the fact that mankind holds two extreme attitudes regarding sin. There are those who are flippant and careless about it. This hard-hearted mindset has become entrenched within them as they have minimized the evil nature of their sin, rationalized their disobedience and steeled themselves against the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit. They have little fear of sin because they have little fear of God.
Likewise, there are those, though few in number, who treat sin with the greatest sobriety. They understand its intoxicating appeal and powerful grip. Experience has taught them that indulging in sin brings dreadful consequences: separation from the presence of God, a carnal mindset, and hardness of heart. They fear sin because they fear God.
Sin… Our atmosphere is charged with it, our souls are stained by it, many around us are consumed with it, and the world is fueled by it. Its presence is overwhelming—even suffocating. Perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to justify our comparatively “little” sins such as indulging in sexual fantasy. Nonetheless, believers are expected to treat sin with the utmost abhorrence.
The Price of Sin
To get a better perspective on the nature of sin, consider what it was like when there was none. Before the Fall, there was no lust, lying, pride, selfishness, anger, hostility, or perversion. Adam and Eve lived in a pure, sin-free environment. These two were perfectly innocent until the day they broke that one commandment. Keep in mind; it wasn’t a huge sin such as becoming involved in debauchery or murder. They simply ate a piece of fruit that they had been told—with no explanation, mind you—they were not allowed to eat.
Consider the price of that one decision. This nearly flawless couple was banished forever from the Garden. A global curse was unleashed filling the earth with thorns, poisonous plants, diseased soil and barren land. Far worse were the long-term consequences exacted upon mankind. Sickness and disease permeated the human race. Death stalked man. And worst of all, man’s inherent nature became predisposed toward desiring sin. For all intents and purposes, man joined in Satan’s rebellion against the Creator that day. All of this came out of one act of disobedience—ONE!
We Are Changed by Our Sins
In our day and age, when horrific wickedness abounds everywhere, it is tempting to consider our pet sins as trifling things. However, they are not a small matter in the eyes of a holy God. A man may be forgiven of the sin he has committed, but he still must face the consequences of his actions. Consider the fact that sin leaves a record imprinted upon the human soul. For instance, when a man indulges in masturbation (his “little sin”), he might think that he can “repent” of it and get on with his Christian life as if nothing happened. Actually, the sexual images he meditated on have etched themselves into his soul. Long after the act has been forgotten, that sin will continue to contaminate his being, warp his perspectives, and pollute his thinking. The Lord once said, “Although you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your iniquity is before Me.” (Jeremiah 2:22) He also said “With a diamond point it is engraved upon the tablet of their heart.” (Jeremiah 17:1)
God Does Not Forget Our Sins
Of even greater consequence is the fact that God does not forget our sins, either. Every thought, word and action—no matter how seemingly insignificant—is stored in His divine memory bank. Every single one of them! Jesus said, “Every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36) Yes, the Blood of Jesus washes away all repentant sin. It is cast into the “sea of forgetfulness.” But I’m not so sure that holds true for sins that are habitually indulged.
Sin not only exacts a tremendous toll on the one who commits it, but it cost God the life of His Son. Jesus Christ died a horrible death on the cross so people could be freed from the power of sin. It would be foolhardy to treat this lightly.
Vengeance Against Sin is God’s
It reminds me of a story about a vicious Mafia boss, John Gotti. His grandchild was playing in the front of his house one day. In the meantime, the next-door neighbor got in his car and began backing out of his driveway. To his horror, the little child had crawled behind his tire and was run over. This was certainly an accident, but it came as no surprise to law enforcement officers when the man was reported missing several months later. His body was never found. The underworld rumor mill claimed he was murdered on Gotti’s orders.
Now, the Lord is certainly kind, loving and full of grace—not to be compared with a ruthless man like John Gotti. And yet, I never want to forget the fact that He is also a God of holiness who does not wink at sin. The writer of Hebrews used frightening language to convey the danger of trivializing the price God paid at Calvary: “How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:29-31)
The inescapable truth is that sin is extremely dangerous. Considering its effects and consequences, only a fool would blow it off as a trifling matter. Make light of sin? I for one am determined to treat it for what it is: my mortal enemy.
Steve Gallagher is the Founder and President of Pure Life Ministries. He has dedicated his life to helping men find freedom from sexual sin and leading Christians into the abundant life in God that comes through deep repentance.
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