Monday, December 21, 2020

The Destructive Nature of Sin

By Edd Sterchi

    Timothy Treadwell was a self-taught bear expert who spent 13 summers in Alaska studying them. He felt very comfortable around them and would even walk up and touch some of them. Over the years, Park Service officials, biologists and others expressed concern about his safety and the message he was sending. In October of 2003 his remains were found. He had been mauled and partially eaten by a bear. From this horrible tragedy, some truths about some people’s careless attitude toward sin can be gleaned:
    To call sin OK is unsafe. Many people say, “It’s just a little sin, it’s not that bad.” This is an erroneous line of thinking. Sin is sin, and the effects are to be taken seriously. Isaiah warned God’s people, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (5:20). We can rationalize sinning any way we want, but the bottom line is that we need to take heed, or we will fall (1 Cor. 10:12). A lackadaisical approach toward sin is foolish.
    The closer you get to sin, the more danger you are in. How many times have we heard someone (or ourselves) say, “I’ll be OK, I can handle myself.  I won’t get in too deep.” That type of arrogant attitude toward sin will result in disaster. The Proverb writer rhetorically asks, “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” (6:27). Too many people are seeing how close to sin they can stand and not get burned instead of fleeing tempting situations (2 Tim. 2:22).
    Sin will leave you dead. Some folks say concerning their sins, “I can quit anytime I want.” Then why don’t they? Don’t they realize that the result of unforgiven sin is separation from God and spiritual death (Isa. 59:2; Rom. 6:23)? We reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7-8). If we live in sin, we will die in sin (Jas. 1:15). Given the opportunity, sin will turn on us with unrelenting vengeance.
    Tom Smith, a research ecologist with the Alaska Science Center of the U.S. Geological Service declared that Treadwell “...was breaking every park rule that there was, in terms of distance to the bears, harassing wildlife and interfering with natural processes.” Referring to Treadwell’s death, Smith concluded “It’s a tragic thing, but it’s not unpredictable” (source: Wikipedia). So also it is when we mess with sin. 
- Edd Sterchi preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Campbellsville, KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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