Thoughts to Ponder

"The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Matthew 13:41-42

What is Sin?

Do we really realize what sin is? Oh I am sure most everyone would say they know what sin is. But you would end up with a wide variety of answers. Most people could probably come up with the sins that we as humans think are the worst: murder, rape, robbery, stealing, adultery and maybe even lying. The problem is that we have this nasty (should I say sinful) habit of rationalizing our sins. We hear it all the time, "Oh that was just a little white lie. That is okay. I am sure God understands." "It's okay for a person to steal if they steal food because they are hungry." Well God does NOT understand! He will not tolerate sin no matter how justified we think it was at the time.

Our problem is that we have the wrong perception of sin. We seem to think that if sin does not hurt anyone here on earth than it is not so bad. WRONG!! Sin is sin, and all sin is against God. Our little white lies are a sin against God just like killing another person is a Sin against God. We look at everything with human eyes, but God looks at everything with Holy eyes. He cannot and will not abide sin in any form for any reason.

That does not mean that sin does not hurt other people because it does, but the sin is still against God. One way for our human minds to comprehend in a small way how sin effects God is to think of all our sins as being weights on Jesus' back while hanging on the cross. Each time we sin, no matter how small of a sin we feel it is, we have placed more weight on Jesus. More pain, more shame, more suffering, and more humiliation. He was willing to take that burden even though He knew that His Father would have to turn His face from Him, because God cannot look upon sin. The Trinity is hard enough for us to understand. How can God, being one Being, still be three persons? But even harder for us to understand is how it must have felt for God to have to turn away from Jesus when He needed Him most. When Jesus was suffering.

We are cold hearted, hate filled beings and yet we can understand how hard it would be for a parent to watch their child suffer. Now compound that because the Father asked the Son to do this so that others who He knew would scorn Him and His holiness, who would laugh and pile more sin on top of Him, could be free. Free from what? Free from the very things that caused the Son to suffer in the first place. I don't believe we can truly comprehend that kind of love in our human state.

Jesus said: Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Yet He did much more than that for us. He died for everyone, even those who nailed Him to the cross that day. For those who make a mockery of His Name, and defile everything Holy. We are not capable of the kind of love that God has shown us.

With all that love that God has given to us, we still go around and condemn Him for being cruel to us. We look at disease, birth defects, murders of innocent (from a human stand point) victims, rapes, robberies, and many other human suffering and we have the gall to blame God for it. I have received many letters from people who say "If your God is a God that would allow the world to be a place such as it is, then I will gladly go to hell. I would never worship a God like that." They would never worship a God who gave His only Son to die for their sins? They would never worship a God who only asks that they admit they are sinners and ask Him to forgive them?

How Satan has deluded us. God asks nothing of us, except that we believe in Jesus and ask for forgiveness, but that is not good enough for many people. They want to do something for their own sins. God says no man can atone for his own sins. Not believing that many people give to the poor, beat themselves, don't eat meat or other types of foods, don't have medical conditions dealt with, or any number of other things, believing that this will make up for their sins. Then they get mad at God when He says it is not enough. It is His fault because He is so cruel. What does He want from us?

We see this in the very first murder on earth. Cain could not stand what God asked of him, he wanted to honor the Lord in his own way. When God refused to accept his way, Cain got mad. He got so mad at God that he killed his own brother.

And what is Cain's reaction when God punishes him? Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is more than I can bear. Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." Genesis 4:13-14 God in His love even had mercy on Cain. But the LORD said to him, "Not so ; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. Genesis 4:15

What do we want from God? What more can He do? He could wipe us out of existence and start all over again, but He won't for several reasons. First because He is holy and has said He would not do that. Second is because He is just and will one day judge all men according what they have done. The first judgement will be whether a person has accepted His free plan of salvation. If that person has then there will be an assessment of what we have done in His name. Our rewards will be given us based on this judgement. For those who did not accept His free plan of salvation, He will judge everything they have done, and their eternal punishment will be based on what is found.

Would anyone ever want to have their life judged on everything they have done? Every thought, every deed, no matter whether anyone else knew about it or not. Revelation 20:11-13 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.

I thank God that I will never have to stand before Him and be judged on these things. Thanks to the blood of Jesus my name is written in the Lambs Book of Life and my sins have been blotted out. I will stand before Christ one day and all my deeds will be judged in accordance with His kingdom. Revelation 22:12 "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. Have I spoken up for Christ? Have I worked for His glory and His Kingdom? The things I am doing now in this life are the things which will come to light then. If you take that seriously it will really make you think about the things you do on a daily basis.

E-Mail Ralph

These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.

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