THE PATH OF SIN
Paul says in Romans 6:23 that“…the wages of sin is death.”
It is here that Paul gives a stern warning that the dead end for sin is death. What does Paul mean? Physical death here is not what we should generally think. This is very important for us to understand. Because first of all every person in this world will die a physical death—both good and bad. Christian or non-Christian. Even the most sincere people in the world will die.
When Paul spoke of death in life he is comparing eternal death or eternal life against each other.
Therefore, the final dead end for this path of choice for sin is an eternal death. This is why hell cannot be an eternal life of people burning and suffering. And why the Bible describes this dead end as “consumed” in Revelation 20:9 when the wicked are thrown into the lake of fire as an eternal death.
Hell is the end of the line for wicked souls who chose wrongfully.
This dead end event John describes succinctly as the “second death.”(verse 14)
And in Malachi the prophet says that this dead end is a complete burning up—consumed—root and branch.(Malachi 4:1)
Rightly understood, it means that God does not forever torture people who choose this sorry path of self destruction. And yet God will not freeze your mind to prevent you from making a decision that leads to a destructive behavior of sin. It is what it is. Your “free will” in action through which God allows you to choose to “do your thing” or your “own thing” and become whatever you choose to be.
So what does the “lake of burning fire” have to do with it?
When you “do your thing”, and choose this path of life, God in his loving character won’t allow the “destructive consequences of your lives to go on for eternity.” God then does what He knows best in a bad situation. At the end of time and history in this world those who have chosen this dead end and a have lived their lives on this street of perdition will become as if they never were.
This is known as the second death.
6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Avoid it at all cost!
Would you like to know what the Bible describes as skid row, where people are visible examples of the “Do your thing” philosophy? It is found in Revelation 20:7-9.
“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea.”
Illustration: My son rented a movie and we all sat down to watch a Hollywood production that depicted the end of the world. The movie was called “Knowing.” Now believe me I am not a movie watcher because I don’t have time for it. And, there are too many other important things that I can do. With that disclaimer, it was interesting to discover the hidden messages of this movie. Like, the earth came into existence as a result of random accidents. Aliens from a distant planet who know the future. And God was left out.
But, at the end of the movie there was a depiction of what a burning up of the earth along with all life might be as best as humans could depict at this time in their minds. A burning that would consume everything at least a mile deep.
When God destroys the world it will be infinitely worse than Hollywood’s depiction. And no alien ships will take little children away to start all over. Think about it. The problem has to do with an incurable disease called sin. Where ever man travels they carry the disease of sin.
Next…and the final dynamic path that Paul compares against the path of death is…
Part III and conclusion next week
~Ministerial Contributor of Our Local Conference