The Wages Of Sin
There is a hell to shun, and a heaven to gain
The Wages of Sin is DEATH!
Much of the problem in the Church and society today is that we do not take the terrible effects of sin seriously. Shallow theological thinking concerning sin has led us to a powerless and licentious Church. Unless we come to grasp the exceedingly sinfulness of sin, few of us will rise above mediocrity in our Christian lives.
The issue is important, in fact it is vital! If we are wrong about the effects that sin has upon us in our relationship to God, we could be fooling ourselves about our relationship to God. We cannot assume that we have a relationship with God based upon our feelings and experiences; it must be based upon the fruit of Christ working in and through us. It is not whether we "feel" saved, but upon what God’s verdict is upon us! Can one be "saved" and refuse to forsake sin? Is a salvation based upon our feelings of salvation reliable apart from the sin issue? This we will look and see.
Some, if not most preachers today,
speak of sin as something that is not all that horrible. “God has taken care
of it, so we do not have to worry about it.” Such preaching and teaching as
this has grave repercussions. If we deaden our hearers to the seriousness of
sin, and convince them through mental trickery that they are safe in the arms of
Jesus while they willfully continue in rebellion towards God, we lie, and the
truth is not in us! John
Fletcher stated 250 years ago, "How few of our celebrated
pulpits are there, where more has not been said at times for sin
than against it?" Not very much has changed since then. In fact, it
has been exacerbated! The attitude
that "sin is not all that horrible," states a belief that we are not
in any peril from continuing in sin.
can assume all day long that God will forgive us even though we may choose to
sin. I believe that many people look at the promises of God’s forgiveness
while they avoid or ignore the equally factual statements of Scripture
concerning God’s horrible retribution upon those that continue in sin! My
friend, it is not what we assume to be the case, but what God says is
is absolutely true that God stands ready to forgive. When He does forgive, He
casts our sin as far as the east is from the west. That is a glorious promise!
The difficulty with the promise is that many people ignore the warnings
associated with it also. While it is true that our sins are cast as far as the
east is from the west, it is equally true that this does not include future
sins, or the conditions of forgiveness for future sins, nor does it
minimize or remove the truth that sin always has, and always will separate.
Wages Of Sin
with inflation, the wages of sin is still death!
don’t know how much plainer God can make it! The wages of sin is death!
Wages are what we earn. In life, we work for wages on a job, which gives us
money. In the spiritual realm, God says that we earn spiritual wages. “His
servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto
righteousness.” (Rom. 6:16). “In this the children of God are manifest, and
the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of
God,…” (1 Jn. 3:10). “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be
spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom. 8:6). “Therefore, brethren,
we are debtors, not after the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye
live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the
deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8: 12-13). “The soul that sinneth,
it shall die.” (Ezek. 18:4). “But when the righteous turneth away from his
righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the
abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live?
All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned” in his
sin that he hath sinned, in them he shall die.” (Ezek. 18:24) Shame on the
person who would discard God’s words on the issue by shoving it all off as
something from the past that does not apply to Christians today! It is confirmed
in the New Testament as well as the Old. “But every man is tempted, when he
drawn is away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it
bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not
err brethren.” (James 1:15).
retort is: “But,” “Doesn’t Romans 6:23 say, “But the free gift
of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”?
truthfully, where is this license to sin with impunity? I do not believe it is
there, or anywhere in all of Scripture! The context follows Paul’s other
statements to the facts. “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye
are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.” You
say, “But” the free gift…” God says, “The wages of sin is
death.” The wages never change! In the context, Paul states that
the one who has that “free gift” is free from
sin. (6:18). Not free to sin as some teach! It is clear from all
of Scripture that the one saved does not continue in sin. “But now, being made
free from sin, and become servants of God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and
the end everlasting life.” (Rom. 6:22). “Follow peace with all men, and
holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Heb. 12:14).
first example of the law of sin and death is to be found in Genesis 2:17. “But
of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in
the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Satan claimed
otherwise, just as he still does today! “And the serpent said unto the
woman, ye shall not surely die.” (3:4). This is God’s
standard. Sin always separates! There is not one example in all of Scripture
where this example has been amended to allow believers to be exempt from the law
of sin and death!
a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot
coals, and his feet not be burned?” (Prov. 6:27-28) “Can a person dabble
with sin and not suffer consequences? If the “wages of sin is death,” and
“the soul that sinneth, it shall die,” is true, has not one reached the
climax of foolhardiness that attempts to trifle with such a monster”[i]
God said the consequence is death.
Who are we to argue with God Almighty? “We
cannot attach too much importance to the question of sin and how to deal with
it. It is the element in life that settles our eternal destiny for happiness or
misery, life or death, heaven or hell. And though many treat it with levity and
indifference, yet is is destined to be the deciding factor in their lives, for
good or bad, weal or woe, joy or sorrow both here and hereafter.” [ii]
“”Oh but you say, I do not believe them. Exactly. And upon what do you base
your unbelief, that you are willing to risk the destruction of your immortal
soul? Upon what ground do you fly into the plain statements of God’s Word, and
wrest the scriptures to your own destruction? As surely as righteousness is
rewarded in heaven, just so surely is sin punished in hell.” [iii]
“Sin is no small thing. It is the worst thing on earth. It has caused all the
trouble, sorrow, suffering, sickness, death, destruction, either directly or
indirectly, since the fall of man… One might as well think of trifling with
zig-zag lightning as sin, with the thought of impunity. It always kills.”[iv]
Can we not see the horrors of such
a thing as sin? “Look into the suffering hearts of guilty millions, and see
the storms that are raging there… listen to the wail of distress, as it comes
up from the couch of suffering, and of death—to the sobs and groans and
shrieks of agony, from the hearts, riven by untold calamities, or dark with
corruptions, unseen but by the eye of God… look upon “the whole creation,
groaning and travailing in pain together until now,” and then say if you have
a plea to offer for sin,- if for anything it has ever done, you can offer for it
a vindication or excuse,-if there be any form or degree of it, that you wish to
hide in your heart.” [v]
as any good and righteous work earns a reward, every sin earns a certain wage-
Death. Sin is deadly! To treat it so lightly as many do is unconscionable!
if it cost God His Son a terrible death on a cruel Cross to reconcile us because
the separation that sin brings, how can we think that sin is of such a small
consequence? My friend, sin will kill you! It will make your life miserable, it
will drag you to the horrors of an eternal hell! God is watching! He sees
everything of every moment of every day. No thought or act will escape Him! You
will stand before him in all of His Holiness. No excuses! For He knows your true
thoughts and intent, “Your sin will find you out.”! (Num. 32:23). You cannot
run. You cannot hide. You will one day stand before Almighty God! Repent now!
Turn from your sin and live! (Ezek. 18:32).
you still believe that God is going to accept you with some fictional
non-existent holiness that has not saved you from the power of sin, listen to a
few final words on the subject.
there are no consequences of sin then many of the statements of Jesus Christ are
meaningless. It was Jesus who said, “Fear not them that can kill the body, and
are not able to kill the soul, but rather fear him which is able to destroy both
soul and body in hell.” (Matt. 10:28). “These shall go away into everlasting
punishment, but the righteous into life eternal” (Matt. 25:46). “How shall
we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3.) [vi]
people fog their minds with drugs and alcohol do they can numb their minds from
thinking about eternity. But many people do the same thing in Churches
throughout the world. They consume doctrines that would put their hearts at ease
with sin, instead of heeding the warning and exhortations of Scripture to part
with sin. It is our glorious privilege to do so. It is glorious freedom indeed
that God calls us to. Many will feel uncomfortable with what the Scriptures are
saying. I agree with W.E. Shepard when he said, “I have no delight in
preaching hell… but that necessity is laid upon me. ‘Woe is me if I preach
not the Gospel,’ the half of which is ‘He that believeth not shall be
damned.’ I dare not, on peril of my own soul, preach a one-sided Gospel, lest
I should be found smoothing your road to perdition.”
appeal to some imaginary transaction in heaven where it is supposed that God
does not any longer see their sins. Any appeal to this fictional imputed
righteousness in order to make allowance for continued sinning, cannot be
justified from Scripture or reason. The false doctrine of imputation
implies a holiness that we do not actually have. It makes the sins of believers
to be somehow different than the sins of unbelievers, which would be
inconsistent with the nature of God, and in opposition to the witness of
Scripture. The wages of sin is death, whether you claim to be a Christian or
not! Sin is sin, and the wages of sin is death. The atonement did not change
the nature of sin so it longer damns, it changes the nature of the
believer so they do not sin! “Choice of evil, or sin in act, always
produces the combination of the three facts, and such combination always brings
forth death. Therefore, to change the nature of sin sufficiently to prevent
spiritual death, in fact, to change the nature of sin at all, is something that
a holy and just God could not do. The only alternative, as a means of getting
rid of death as the effect of sin, is to remove, altogether, that form of sin
(sins, plural) which affects death. We conclude then that any conception of sin
with implies that the genius of the atonement consists in changing the nature of
sin, is absurd.”[vii]
[i] Sin, The Tell-Tail, page 16, W.E. Shepard, God’s Revivalist Press, Ringold, Young + Channing sts., Cincinnati, OH., No date.
[ii] Must We Sin? , page 155, Howard W. Sweeten, Nazarene Publishing House, Kansas City, MO. 1919
[iii] IBID, page 163.
[iv] Sin, The Tell-Tail, page 16, W.E. Shepard, God’s Revivalist Press, Ringold, Young + Channing sts., Cincinnati, OH., No date.
[v] The Central Idea Of Christianity, pages 143-144, Jesse T. Peck, Foster and Palmer, Jr., 14 Bible House, New York. 1866
A Theology Of Sin
The Holiness of God
What is Sin?
The Wages of Sin
The Depravity of Man
The Grace of God
Sin and the Atonement
Must we Sin?
Chastisement and the Christian