Volume: 901 March 20, 2023
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The Memphis Commercial Appeal carried a news dispatch of a man in Arkansas who had a pet rattlesnake. The fellow found the snake as a baby snake. He took, fed, and made quite a pet of it. The reptile would come when he whistled. It would eat from his fingers. It would coil around his arm and let him stroke its head with the palm of his hand or the tips of his fingers.
One day, he took it to town to exhibit it among his friends. They marveled at its gentleness, how it coiled itself around his arm, how it would come when he whistled, and were amazed that it would eat from his hand.
He went back home with his pet. When he got home, suddenly, with only the slightest provocation, the reptile became angry. Quicker than the zig-zag lightning flashes from the bosom of a dark cloud, that pet rattler buried its fangs in the man’s arm. In a few hours, the man was dead. In one quick instant, with poisonous fangs, the serpent had written the man’s death in his own blood. Two nights later, the man who should have been sitting with his family was buried in the mud of an Arkansas grave.
With such dread cometh such an hour to every man and woman who makes a pet of sin. A time of terror awaits the person who disregards what God forbids.
Do not befriend sin. It is hazardous and always has a price that no one desires to pay. A day of dreaded despair may come, as that man learned when he pulled the pet snake’s fangs from his arm.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
Turn away from iniquity now. There’s danger and death in delay. Let go of that sin! Drop it now!
Years ago, there was not a single thistle in Australia. A Scotchman, who admired thistles, thought it a pity that such a great island should be without that great symbol of his nation.
He collected a pack of thistle seeds and sent it over to one of his friends in Australia. When it landed, the inspection officers may have said, “Oh, let them in. There’s only a few seeds? It is only to be sown in a garden.”
Yes, it was but a few, but now entire districts of the country are covered with it, and it has become the farmer’s pest and plague. Just a “few” sins, like several seeds, can spread, soon become uncontrollable, and ruin lives.
“Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” I Corinthians 5:6
You may have seen an apple with a wormhole in it. Do you know whether the worm bore the apple from the inside or the outside?
Most would say “from the outside,” but the scientist would disagree. Sometimes the worm began from the inside. The egg may have been laid on the blossom, and the worm hatched in the apple’s heart. Later, it bored its way out.
That is precisely the way the worm of sin starts its destructive work. It begins in one’s spiritual heart, bores its way out, and can ruin lives.
One’s “heart” can direct one’s life. If one is determined to do what is biblically right, one will avoid many mistakes and hardships. If one allows sin and temptation guide them, they surely will encounter regrets and ruin.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” — Jeremiah 17:9
I believe that the chief dangers that confront the coming twentieth century will be:
- Religion without the Holy Spirit,
- Christianity without Christ,
- Forgiveness without regeneration,
- Morality without God, and
- Heaven without Hell.
Man calls sin an accident; God calls it an abomination.
Man calls sin a blunder; God calls it blindness.
Man calls sin a chance; God calls it a choice.
Man calls sin a defect; God calls it a disease.
Man calls sin an error; God calls it an enmity.
Man calls sin fascination; God calls it fatality.
Man calls sin infirmity; God calls it iniquity.
Man calls sin luxury; God calls it leprosy.
Man calls sin liberty; God calls it lawlessness.
Man calls sin a trifle; God calls it a tragedy.
Man calls sin a mistake; God calls it madness.
Man calls sin a weakness; God calls it willfulness.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
As a preacher talked, a flippant youth interrupted him, “You tell about the burden of sin. I feel none! How heavy is it? Eight pounds? Two pounds? Twenty?”
The preacher answered, “Tell me, if you laid four hundred pounds of weight on a corpse, would it feel the load?”
“No,” replied the youth, “because it is dead and can feel nothing.”
“An unsaved soul is dead and does not feel the load of sin,” was the preacher’s answer.
“And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 2:1-6
If we have a conviction of sin, we will feel the pressure not to commit iniquity. Sin is not a theological abstraction; it is a genuine threat to one’s life.
Iniquity is the evil of the world brought home to our door. It is the lust of the world that brings men to ruin. It is the lowered moral standard that threatens our youth. The greed for power and money fills the economic world with corruption. It is impatience without discipline that breaks up our homes.
Sin crouches at the doors of all people to weaken them. Iniquity is as real as the flu or cancer. We daily face the sickness of the soul which sin has created.
Much of the world is lost. Men are lost when they do not trust Christ as payment for all their sins. They do not know or care where they are, where they are going, or why they are here.
They are lost when their moral compass does not operate and when the price tags on sin are so demanding, they cannot tell what life’s values are.
We should not be surprised if people stay away from church meetings. Why should they come? They are lost. They do not know God or the Father’s will and way.