In addition to offending and disrespecting a holy God and others, sin demands a price from the sinner. Before giving in to the next temptation please give serious consideration to these consequences:
Sin never keeps his promises. Sure sin often brings temporary pleasure. But just as I said, these pleasures are fleeting. We all know what it means to please our flesh hoping to feel better, find relief, get that “high” or satisfy some craving. However, can you honestly look back and you say, “Good! Yes it was worth it! “? I doubt it. To be candid, you may have to say: “Any gratification was short lived. And now I regret it.” One of the automatic reactions of our conscience is to feel almost immediate guilt after that momentary self-gratification.
Sin exacts a price:
You probably would add, “I’m sure it was not worth the price I paid to have it, because I have now skidded further down that slippery slope.” Sinful pleasures simply do not last. As soon as the initial “impulse” is extinguished, enjoyment inevitably becomes misery, empty, and shame. And the cost?
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12
The more ground we surrender to sin, the more we lose our ability to discern the truth. Sin has lied to us. We have lied to ourselves in order to continue that pleasure. When our conscience is defiled in that way, gradually we lose or disorient our moral compass – our ability to discern good and evil. We become blind to the severity and extent of sin. When others try to bring up these blind spots, rather than humble ourselves and acknowledge our wrong, we defend, give reasons, or lay guilt on them for being what we call “judgmental.” We think that somehow we will escape the consequences. But sin’s deceit will lead us into ever-increasing compromise. “I am able to handle it. I can quit anytime.” Have ever heard that one?
Sin becomes the master:
Sin seduces us with the illusion that is the gateway to freedom. The truth is that those who have fun with sin eventually become his slaves.
The evil deeds of the wicked ensnare them; the cords of their sins hold them fast. (Proverbs 5:22)
They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity–for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them. (2 Peter 2:19)
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” John 8:34
What kind of freedom is it to live while dominated by sinful appetites? Wouldn’t we feel obligated to give in every time that our carnal appetites demand to be fed? Or wouldn’t we eagerly run toward it whenever the desire to please our flesh knocks at our door? We become slaves, slaves of sex, lust, food, entertainment, games, fun, alcohol, drugs and much more. We become dominated by the same “pleasures” that we thought would make us free.
Most of us are quite familiar with sin, and often we do not see it as a monster. Sin is more dangerous than and more deadly than wild fire. Ask Samson, who was reduced to a chained slave because he never managed to control the desires of his flesh. Ask Ananias and Sapphira, who lost their lives because of “small” secret sins.” The “serious sins” committed by the neighborhood drunk are not the only deadly ones. Our “excusable sins” can be equally destructive.
JC Ryle warns about the risk of being naive about the effects of sin and calls us to see it as the juggernaut that it actually is.
I fear that we do not understand well enough the extreme subtlety of the disease of our soul.
“…men try to cheat themselves into the belief that sin is not quite so sinful as God says it is, and that they are not so bad as they really are….. We are too apt to forget that temptation to sin will rarely present itself to us in its true colors, saying, ‘I am your deadly enemy and I want to ruin you forever in hell.’”
Sin separates us from God so that He no longer hears us
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2
18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. Psalm 66:18
Henry Blackaby says it this way:
An impure heart and mind
that fails to acknowledge sin
is a barrier to effectively praying
and seeking the Lord.
If we choose to fill our minds with
pornography, violence, immorality,
hatred, promiscuity and self-centeredness
and call it entertainment,
God will not hear our prayers.
It is spiritually impossible
to have a heart in one condition
but produce fruit of an opposite condition.
The condition of your heart
will affect your actions,
and your actions
will reflect your heart.
The slippery slope (a quote from a bible commentary)
Rather than be with his troops, David had chosen to stay home. And while taking a leisurely walk on the roof of the palace one afternoon, he spied a woman taking a bath on a neighboring roof. And his initial look quickly turned to lust. His lust turned into inquisitiveness. He wanted to know who she was and so sent a servant to get the details. You would have thought that when he discovered that Bathsheba was the wife of one of his soldiers, who was off at war, he would have come to his senses, taken a cold shower and ended the whole thing right there. But instead, David sent for Bathsheba, committed adultery with her and then began an elaborate, if not inept attempt to cover up the whole “affair.”
“Sin rarely seems sin at its first beginnings.” J C Ryle
I only want to keep a small sin
Do you settle for keeping “some degree of sin?” Do you repent with your fingers crossed, allowing the door open just a crack so that you can do it again? Caution: “There are no little sins.” Every sin that has not been confessed produces a multiplied harvest. As Charles Spurgeon warned:
…if there be evil things, it is our business to kill them. Christians must not tolerate secret sins. …. Let us drag them out to light, and offer them upon the altar, giving up the dearest of our secret sins at the will and bidding of God. There is a great danger in a little secret sin; therefore avoid it, pass not by it, rather turn from it and shun it; and God give thee grace to overcome it!
Christian, it is not worth it! Not worth holding on to a single sin! Oh, Lord, I beg you, never let your name be dishonored by my taking a sin lightly. Amen.
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