PERSPECTIVES ON SIN #1
From the book:
"750 Engaging Illustrations"
In a book called All Thumbs Guide to VCRs, which is a repair guide for amateurs, author Gene Williams begins with a warning. He writes:
Getting a jolt from the incoming 120 volts ac (120 Vac) is more than just unpleasant; it can be fatal. Studies have shown that it takes very little current to kill. Even a small amount of current can paralyze your muscles, and you won't be able to let go. Just a fraction more and your heart muscle can become paralyzed.
Williams knows that the naive amateur repairman doesn't have sufficient respect for the lethal power of electricity. The amateur knows that a shock hurts but he thinks he can always let go of the wire. It is the paralyzing power of even a small amount of electricity that makes it so dangerous.
So it is with sin. People dabble with sin because they don't fear its power to paralyze the muscles of the soul. Then it's too late. Even when people know a sinful behavior is hurting them and they want to quit, they can't let go. Sin is never safe!
When people dabble in sin and seemingly get away with it, they gain a false sense of security. They're like swimmers in shark-infested waters.
In an article about the great white shark, which hunts off the coast of central California, writer Tom Cunneff says that sharks return year after year to particular areas and they put a dedicated effort into a single attack. A shark stalks its prey at a favorite location by swimming three to ten feet off the bottom in shallow water (30 to 110 feet), waiting up to three weeks before darting to the surface for an attack. Cunneff described one such attack.
In December, James Robinson, a sea-urchin diver, was killed by a great white off San Miguel Island, near Santa Barbara. Robinson, 42, was doing what he had done hundreds of times before—treading water as he took off his diving gear and placed it aboard his boat. In an instant, though, the activity turned from the familiar to the fatal as the shark shot up from the depths for a swift kill. Two crew members stowing equipment on the boat whirled around when they heard Robinson scream. "A great white bit me," is all Robinson, his right leg nearly severed, could mutter once they pulled him onto the deck. He died a few hours later.
Just as this shark stalked its prey, so does Satan. If you choose to linger in the ocean of sin, you can be sure of this: There is a shark in the waters. And sooner or later ...
In generations past, smallpox was a much feared disease. It killed hundreds of millions of people and scarred and blinded many more. It was highly infectious, contracted by breathing the exhaled breath of an infected person.
At one time there was no cure for smallpox. During the Middle Ages, smallpox epidemics often raged across Asia, Africa, and Europe. In some wars more soldiers died from smallpox than from combat.
In 1796 an English physician named Edward Jenner developed the first smallpox vaccine, says writer Donald Henderson in the World Book Encyclopedia, and the vaccination soon spread around the world. Many countries required by law that citizens be inoculated.
The health effort was a great success. In the 1940s smallpox was completely eradicated in Europe and North America. In 1967 only thirty countries still suffered the ravages of smallpox. The World Health Organization began an aggressive program in Africa, Asia, and South America to completely eradicate smallpox from the earth. Vaccination teams traveled from village to village searching for smallpox cases. In 1970 only seventeen countries still suffered from the disease. In 1978 the World Health Organization announced that the world's last known case of naturally occurring smallpox was in Somalia in October 1977……
It's hard to imagine that such a deadly disease could be completely annihilated. It's also hard to imagine a world cleansed of the plagues of sin and death and evil. But God will one day judge the earth, and by the authority of Christ, sin and death and all that is evil will be thrown into the lake of fire. God will create a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells only righteousness.
In 1982, "ABC Evening News" reported on an unusual work of modern art—a chair affixed to a shotgun. It was to be viewed by sitting in the chair and looking directly into the gunbarrel. The gun was loaded and set on a timer to fire at an undeterrnined moment within the next hundred years.
The amazing thing was that people waited in lines to sit and stare into the shell's path! They all knew that the gun could go off at point-blank range at any moment, but they were gambling that the fatal blast wouldn't happen during their rninute in the chair.
Yes, it was foolhardy, yet many people who wouldn't dream of sitting in that chair live a lifetime gambling that they can get away with sin. Foolishly they ignore the risk until the inevitable self-destruction.
A man living in a forested area found his home overrun with mice—too many to exterminate with traps. So he bought a few boxes of d-Con and distributed them around the house, including one under his bed. That night he couldn't believe his ears; below him, was a feeding frenzy. In the morning he checked the box and found it licked clean.
Just to make sure the plan worked, he bought and placed another box. Again, the mice went for the flavored poison like piranha.
But the tasty and popular nighttime snack did its deadly work. In the days that followed, all was quiet. Just because something is popular doesn't mean it's good for you. In fact, it can be deadly—like sin.
Time-lapse photography compresses a series of events into one picture. Such a photo appeared in an issue of National Geographic. Taken from a Rocky Mountain peak during a heavy thunderstorm, the picture captured the brilliant lightning display that had taken place throughout the storm's duration. The time-lapse technique created a fascinating, spaghetti-like web out of the individual bolts.
In such a way, our sin presents itself before the eyes of God. Where we see only isolated or individual acts, God sees the overall web of our sinning. What may seem insignificant—even sporadic—to us and passes with hardly a notice creates a much more dramatic display from God's panoramic viewpoint.
The psalmist was right when he wrote, "Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins."
WELL SUCH IS TRUE UNTIL WE REPENT AND KEEP A REPENTANT ATTITUDE OF MIND. THEN THERE IS NO WEB OF SINNING, AS WE ARE WITH THAT MIND-SET CLEASNED CONTINUALLY WITH THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, AND HIS INTERCEDING WORK AS OUR HIGH PRIEST IN HEAVEN AT THE FATHER'S RIGHT HAND - Keith Hunt
Thomas Costain's history, The Three Edwards, describes the life of Raynald III, a fourteenth-century duke in what is now Belgium.
Grossly overweight, Raynald was commonly called by his Latin nickname, Crassus, which means "fat."
After a violent quarrel, Raynald's younger brother Edward led a successful revolt against him. Edward captured Raynald but did not kill him. Instead, he built a room around Raynald in the Nieuwkerk castle and promised him he could regain his title and property as soon as he was able to leave the room.
This would not have been difficult for most people since the room had several windows and a door of near-normal size, and none was locked or barred. The problem was Raynald's size. To regain his freedom, he needed to lose weight. But Edward knew his older brother, and each day he sent a variety of delicious foods. Instead of dieting his way out of prison, Raynald grew fatter.
When Duke Edward was accused of cruelty, he had a ready answer: "My brother is not a prisoner. He may leave when he so wills."
Raynald stayed in that room for ten years and wasn't released until after Edward died in battle. By then his health was so ruined he died within a year ... a prisoner of his own appetite.
Mike Yaconelli writes in The Wittenburg Door:
I live in a small, rural community. There are lots of cattle ranches around here, and every once in a while a cow wanders off and gets lost.... Ask a rancher how a cow gets lost, and chances are he will reply, "Well, the cow starts nibbling on a tuft of green grass, and when it finishes, it looks ahead to the next tuft of green grass and starts nibbling on that one, and then it nibbles on a tuft of green grass right next to a hole in the fence. It then sees another tuft of green grass on the other side of the fence, so it nibbles on that one and then goes on to the next tuft. The next thing you know the cow has nibbled itself into being lost."
Americans are in the process of nibbling their way to lost-ness.... We keep moving from one tuft of activity to another, never noticing how far we have gone from home or how far away from the truth we have managed to end up.
In A View from the Zoo, Gary Richmond, a former zookeeper, has this to say:
Raccoons go through a glandular change at about 24 months. After that they often attack their owners. Since a 30-pound raccoon can be equal to a 100-pound dog in a scrap, I felt compelled to mention the change coming to a pet raccoon owned by a young friend of mine, Julie. She listened politely as I explained the coming danger.
I'll never forget her answer. "It will be different for me...." And she smiled as she added, "Bandit wouldn't hurt me. He just wouldn't."
Three months later Julie underwent plastic surgery for facial lacerations sustained when her adult raccoon attacked her for no apparent reason. Bandit was released into the wild.
Sin, too, often comes dressed in an adorable guise, and as we play with it, how easy it is to say, "It will be different for me." The results are predictable.
In 1997 Timothy McVeigh was convicted of bombing the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. During the trial one of McVeigh's old army friends testified in court and made a revealing observation about human nature.
According to Jo Thomas in the New York Times, the friend said, "I'd known Tim for quite a while. If you don't consider what happened in Oklahoma, Tim is a good person."
Most of us have a similar outlook on ourselves as we consider the prospect of standing before the Judge of all the earth someday. No, we likely have not been found guilty of murder, but we can downplay our sins and judge ourselves by what we have done right. We think, If this or that isn't taken into account, I'm a good person.
The problem for us is that these failings of ours are gravely serious in the sight of a holy God, whose standard is perfect righteousness. He does not overlook any sin. Without a Savior, every person faces eternal judgment.
The thirty-seven-year-old New York man was a small-time crook, the kind who would mug little old ladies for the cash in their purses. But on Sunday, July 21, 1996, this crook messed with the wrong little old lady. According to the Chicago Tribune, the mugger bumped into a ninety-four-year-old woman in Greenwich Village and snatched her wallet. The NYPD later picked him up, and as they drove him to the station, police lieutenant Robert McKenna told the suspect, "You just robbed the mother of the biggest mob chieftain in New York."
The ninety-four-year-old woman was Yolanda Gigante, and her son is Vincent Gigante, described by authorities as head of the Genovese mob, the nation's most powerful Mafia family.
The police lieutenant later said, "When the perp heard that, he just slumped down into the backseat of the radio car. He had a sort of stunned, resigned look on his face, sort of saying, 'How could I be so stupid?'"
Whenever we sin, we get ourselves into more trouble than we bargained for.
"Pali, this bull has killed me." So said Jose Cubero, one of Spain's most brilliant matadors, before he lost consciousness and died.
Only 21 years old, he had been enjoying a spectacular career. However, in this 1985 bullfight, Jose made a tragic mistake. He thrust his sword a final time into a bleeding, delirious bull, which then collapsed. Considering the struggle finished, Jose turned to the crowd to acknowledge the applause.
The bull, however, was not dead. It rose and lunged at the unsuspecting matador, its horn piercing his back and puncturing his heart.
Just when we think them dead, sinful desires rise and pierce us from, behind. We should never consider the sinful nature dead before we are.
YES NICE TO READ THE PERSPECTIVES GIVEN CONCERNING SIN. NOW WE NEED TO ASK THE QUESTION: WHAT IS SIN?
MANY WOULD COME UP WITH ALL KINDS OF ANSWERS AS TO WHAT THEY THINK SIN IS. BUT THE QUESTION SHOULD BE: WHAT DOES THE WORD OF GOD SAY SIN IS?
ANSWER: 1 JOHN 3:4; JAMES 2:10-12; ROM. 7: 7 - WHAT LAW CONTAINS POINTS AND INCLUDES "COVET" - YES, SIMPLE: THE TEN COMMANDMENT LAW. PEOPLE SELDOM READ ALL VERSES ON A SUBJECT: THEY WILL QUOTE ROM. 14 AND COL. 2:16; BUT NOTICE THIS VERSE "THERE REMAINS THEREFORE A SABBATH KEEPING TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD" [ MARGIN - HEBREWS 4:12].
THE ARGUMENTS PEOPLE USE TO ABOLISH THE 4TH COMMANDMENT ARE FULLY AND IN-DEPTH ANSWERED ON THIS WEBSITE.