“[S]in when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15)
“Every sin in our lives sets us up for the death of something; it’s a spiritual law.” I heard our pastor pronounce this solemn warning several years ago, and it reverberates in my mind to this day. Besides the death of the body, the end of sin’s road is eternal death in hell; and without Supernatural intervention, nothing will keep us from reaching that destination. It is a law as sure (and even more so) than any law of nature. Sin required the death of Jesus Christ to answer for it, and His Resurrection to make its absolution available to repentant sinners.
Sin is its own extreme. Not only is it an offense to our own bodies, it’s an affront to God Almighty; and for that reason, sin by its very nature becomes “exceeding sinful,” according to Romans 7:13.
But sin deals a mortal blow to other things besides a body and soul. It’s a killer of joy, peace, reputation, trust, and hope. It can dissolve a church, a friendship, or a marriage. Sin leeches spiritual strength like a slow leak in a tire, until life is flat and we find ourselves at a standstill. Often, like high blood pressure, it’s a “silent killer.” The gross, overt sins that shock us (and others) are actually old secret sins come to light. We can harbor them only so long in our bosoms until they belch forth into our visible lives. And all of them—the ones we hide and the ones we flaunt—are dead ends of one kind or another.
By the way, our pastor said one other thing that Sunday morning that should be a warning to those among us who like to play cat-and-mouse with sin:
“Toying with temptation will spring the trap.” — Perry Kallis