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The Seriousness of One Sin

            One does not have to have every disease known to man to die because just one disease can kill. It is not necessary for one to have a thousand heart attacks knowing that just one can kill a man. A criminal does not need to break all the laws in order to find himself in jail, one violation can lead to punishment. Therefore, since we are able to see consequences like this in the physical world, why is it that we cannot see them in the spiritual?
            Sin often starts out small but does not remain small for very long. A “little” sin can produce the same result as a “big” sin. James said that, “. . . sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15). What about just one sin? Well, if sin is sin and it brings forth death, how many sins does it take? The apostle Paul tells us that, “the wages of sin is death . . . ” (Romans 6:23). Therefore, just one sin that is unrepented of and unforgiven brings separation (death). The Old Testament warns man that, “. . . the soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4, 20). Therefore, HOW MANY SINS MUST ONE COMMIT IN ORDER TO BE SEPARATED FROM GOD? Can we conclude to say that, “One will be enough?”
            Now, it is quite easy to recognize that sins in abundance are destructive. The world prior to the flood was filled with wickedness. The abundant sinfulness of the antediluvian world led to God’s decision to destroy man (Genesis 6:5-7). The “exceeding wickedness” of the people of Sodom brought about the destruction of the city (Genesis 3:13; 18:20). The many backslidings and iniquities of the Israelites testified against them (Jeremiah 14:7). When one reads the catalogue of Israel’s sins recorded in 1 Corinthians 10:5-11, is it any wonder that Jehovah God was not well pleased with them? We must realize that sin is just as destructive today and man ought to be alert to the danger.
            In addition, the seriousness of one sin is a recurring theme of the Bible. The transgression of Adam and Eve in the Garden was not to be overlooked by God as “just one little sin.” It was given proper and appropriate punishment and its effect has been felt by man down through the centuries. The record of the man who violated the Sabbath law (Numbers 15) gives further testimony to the way God looks at failure and one failure in the life of an individual. For, punishment for the one sin was death by stoning with the sentence given by God himself with all the congregation as executioners. 
            Now, could we be so relaxed today that we forget about the sentencing by God because of our sin? Do we not know that Solomon said, “. . . one sinner destroyeth much good” (Ecclesiastes 9:18)? I mean, look what happened to two sinners according to Leviticus 10:1-3. The sons of Aaron had the right incense, the proper desire, they were the right men, in the right place, at the right time, with the right utensils, but there was one wrong: the strange fire which the Lord commanded them not. Is there any wonder that when they were being consumed with fire, that their own father spoke not a word about it to God?? Do we not realize that they were punished for doing one wrong and their father held his peace because he understood the seriousness of one sin?
            Examples could be multiplied as proof of the truth being emphasized. Moses testifies that one sin is serious and can keep a man out of the promised land (Numbers 20:10-12). Achan acknowledges that one sin in the camp can cause victory to be withheld till it is properly punished (Joshua 7). Judas would never say that “one little sin” is not so bad. The apostle Peter had the fact impressed upon him that the one sin of denial was an awful transgression. In the early church, it is revealed that God disapproves of one sin as evidenced in the case of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). So, why have we become so use to sin and the compromising of Truth that we do nothing about sin when it is being practiced all around us? Are we really scared of losing our friends, family or Christians because we may stand in front of them trying to help them see the error of their ways? Is pacifism really the answer or do we not know that JUST ONE SIN CAN KEEP YOU OUT OF HEAVEN? You know, it is amazing to note that when discipline was given it did not tear the church up, but apparently influenced its growth in numbers (Acts 5:11, 14).
            It is true that God will forgive a multitude of sins (Isaiah 1:18). It is likewise true that a person guilty of one sin stands in need of forgiveness (James. 2:10). Paul told Timothy, “Them that sin rebuke before all” (1 Timothy 5:20). We might wonder how many sins one would have to commit before a rebuke would be in order. Non are sinless, it is true (1 John 1:8). Yet, to have forgiveness through the blood of Christ, we must confess our sins and comply with the conditions of pardon (1 John 1:9; Acts 8:22). Otherwise, that one sin may just keep us from Heaven. Are you serious enough to correct your sin?
Robert Notgrass
 
 

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