Born A Slave To Sin – The Penalty Of Sin
Born A Slave To Sin
The Penalty of Sin
The Natural Penalty
The natural consequences of man’s disobedience were illness, disease, disappointment and physical death. Many times when illness strikes we wonder and sometimes ask, “Why?” When someone is inflicted with a disease that threatens their life, friends like those of Job seem to believe God is chastening for sin that has been committed. In some cases, that is true but not in all. Sickness and disease are natural penalties of sin. It is not always because of sins we have committed personally. When disappointment befalls us, we are prone to blame God, and threaten to give it all up and quit. At best, our life is not always a smooth road and flowery bed of ease. There are disappointments and heartaches in the lives of all mankind. This is another natural penalty of sin.
But death is the hardest for most folks to deal with. For many, the death of a loved one leaves their life so empty and lonely they cannot cope with it. They feel that God has done them an injustice by taking one so close. The death of a child always seems tragic, and the question, “How could God do this?” often arises.
I must admit I don’t have all the answers. But this I know, God does all things exactly right. Sooner or later we must all die, because physical death is a natural penalty of sin. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
I have followed the casket of friends and loved ones to the cemetery on several occasions. Unless Jesus soon returns it could happen again, but for those who are saved there is the blessed hope of seeing them again. For Christians never meet for the last time. There will be a great reunion at the coming of Christ.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
“Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
But for those who die lost there is no hope.
The Positive Penalty
There are three kinds of death:
Physical death – which we have just considered above.
Spiritual death – when we are born physically, we are physically alive, but spiritually dead. Paul points this out in his letter in Ephesians 2:1-5:
“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)” (Ephesians 2:1-5)
“But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth” (I Timothy 5:6).
We could say the person who is unsaved is only one half alive. And can only have complete life through accepting Christ as their personal Saviour. “…I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10b).
Eternal death – “For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a).
This does not mean if you sin you will die physically. If that were the case you and I alike would already be dead. The word death here is referring to eternal death. This takes place when one dies in sin and passes through the portals of hell. “And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death” (Revelation 20:14).
The doctrine that teaches the sinner who goes to hell will burn up according to how evil he has been is false. There is no such doctrine taught in the Bible. Hell is eternal.
“And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched” (Mark 9:45).
But no one has to go to hell. All who will turn to Christ in repentance for salvation will be delivered from the penalty of sin.
The second positive penalty of sin is guilt. “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith it to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19).
Becoming guilty before God literally speaks of “being brought” under the judgment of God.
There is not a lost sinner who will escape the great white throne judgment. All who die in their sins will stand there for judgment. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. Anddeath and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
At this judgment there are no crooked lawyers or judges to be bought off. No jury to have their sympathy played on. Every person will get justice.
It is a great white throne, great because of its great judge, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is white because of its immaculate purity. It is a throne because the King of Kings and Lord of Lords sits there. “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22).
Some have the audacity to profane the Lord, to brag about how tough they are, and how on that day they will stand up to God. But, no my friend, on that day every knee shall bow to God.
“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).
No one will walk to the brink of hell, wave good-bye and step in. No! But every person who has rejected the Lord of glory will beg God for mercy, but their day of mercy will have been sinned away, and they will be cast (literally taken in hand and thrown) into the lake of fire.
The third positive penalty of sin is condemnation. Will lost humanity be condemned at the great white throne? No, every lost sinner is already condemned. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
The person who has not believed in the Lord Jesus is already condemned, and at the great white throne he is tried for his works (deeds done in this life). The only way to be free from condemnation is to trust Jesus Christ for salvation today.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).
There are other positive penalties for sin but I will conclude with this one. How long will the punishment of the lake of fire last? The Bible teaches it will last forever.
“Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.” (Matthew 18:8).
“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41).
Punishment of the wicked will never cease, but no one has to die lost.
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:46).
Oh, the thought of dying without Christ, the horror of facing a just God unprepared. Many say there is no God, no heaven or no hell. They say to get in the fast lane and live it up. They also say that you only have one life to live so live it to its fullest. Let me give you the dying words of some men who have lived with such theories.
The dying words of Sir Thomas Scott, “I thought there was neither a God nor a hell, now I know that there are both and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty.”
In the dying moments of the French statesman Tallyrand, another noted infidel, he cried, “I am suffering the pangs of the damned.”
M.F. Rich groaned as he died, “I would rather lie on that stove fire and broil for one million years than to go into eternity with the eternal horrors that hang over my soul.”
A.T. Adams cried out as he was dying, “I can see the old devil here in the bedroom.”
Dying Altamout exclaimed, “Oh, thou blasphemed Lord! Hell itself is a refuge, if it hide me from thy frown.”
Sin may do for some folk to live by, but it will never do to die by. Death is not the end; it is the beginning of eternity. Heaven or hell awaits every person on earth. The question is, “to which will you go?” It is not God’s desire for anyone to miss heaven; it is a prepared place for prepared people. Jesus gave Himself in agony on the cross of Calvary for every soul. He is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. He is the Lamb without spot or blemish. He is the perfect sacrifice for sin. Thank God He paid our sin debt in full by shedding His precious blood. He was buried in a borrowed tomb and on the third day He arose victoriously over death, hell and the grave. Because he was resurrected and is now seated at the right hand of God making intercession for us, we can be saved. When He returns, every child of God that was dead will be resurrected and all the living Christians will be changed and as we go to meet Him in the air we will look back and proclaim, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (I Corinthians 15:55)
Glory to God, we will go home. Are you ready for this great day? Don’t put off salvation until the door of death opens for you. Or the Lord Jesus returns and it is too late. If one dies in sin, he will lift up his eyes in hell that very second, in torment and agony one will await the Great White Throne Judgment when he must face God and be judged. Sentence will be passed and the unbeliever will be cast (literally thrown) into the lake of fire. “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:11-15)
I have heard the tough men say that in hell they will have plenty of friends. Oh, what a mistake, no one will be friendly in hell. It’s a place where people curse God for the pain. It’s a place where darkness prevails, and a place of screaming, wailing, crying and begging for mercy. It’s a place of no hope. LOST. LOST. LOST for all eternity. No end. No help. No friends. No water. God will not answer one’s cry for mercy. The days of mercy and grace have been sinned away and it’s too late. Is this the place you want to go? The devil, the anti-christ and the demons will all be there along with every Christ rejecter. What a horrible place.
Would God really send anyone to such a place? Yes friend, if you reject Christ and die in sin He surely will. Your plans may be to get saved later, but first you want to sow a few more wild oats. Many have thought the same way and today they are in hell. They waited until it was too late.
Sin Will Take You Further Than You Want To Go
(Read II Samuel 11)
David walked upon his housetop one day and saw a lovely young lady bathing herself. The sin of lust entered his heart. He sent for her to be brought to the king’s palace. He thought no one would ever know; her husband is off fighting a war. I’ll hide my sins from him and he will never be the wiser. But sin took David further than he wanted to go. A few months later the woman (Bathsheba) sent word that she was with child. For fear that his sin was about to be exposed he had her husband, Uriah, killed on the battlefield.
David’s sin of lust led to adultery and even to murder. He never thought it would come to this, but sin took him further than he wanted to go. Sin will not only take you further than you want to go, but…
Sin Will Keep You Longer Than You Want To Stay
Beginning in Genesis 13 we read of Lot, the nephew of Abraham. Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld all the plain of Jordan and pitched his tent toward the city of Sodom.
Sodom was a wicked city and no place for a man of God. Yet Lot went down to this city for a visit. Perhaps he never went to get involved and stay very long, but every day he became a little more attached. Before long he was sitting in the gate of the city with the city fathers. It wasn’t long before Lot forgot God, but God did not forget Lot. His life style became like that of those around him. Pleasure and a life of ease took hold of him and he settled down. The only way God could get him out was to send two angels that almost had to drag him out before the city was destroyed. God rained fire and brimstone down on the wicked city of Sodom. Lot lost all his children but two in the flaming judgment of God on the city. On the way out Lot’s wife disobeyed the angels that were leading them out and she turned into a pillar of salt.
Lot’s two daughters came into him while he was drunk and committed incest with their father. Lot lost all he had. Sin had kept him longer than he wanted to stay.
Sin Will Cost You More Than You Want To Pay
In the book of Judges, beginning with chapter 13, we read of Samson. He was a man that God had entrusted with power, but he began to play with sin, go to the wrong places and run with the wrong crowd. Then one day he realized his strength was gone. His enemies captured him and in slavery he was grinding at the mill. His hair had been cut off and his eyes blinded. Sin had dealt him a bad hand and he had lost. His last request to God was for one last surge of power. God answered his request, and as a ruined man, enslaved and blind, he destroyed the Philistine temple and killed more of the enemy than ever before, but in doing so he gave his own life. Sin cost him more than he wanted to pay.
Sinner friend, as I close this study, my heart aches for those who reject Christ, die and go to hell.
My friend, if you are not saved at death, or if Jesus returns and finds you unsaved, you will go to hell. I realize these are hard, cold, cruel words, but truth is truth. The Bible teaches this doctrine…that is why Jesus died on the cross, so no one would have to suffer for eternity in the torments of hell. Your sin is paid for in full.
Jesus has gone to prepare a wonderful place for all who want to come along. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1-3)
What a wonderful place heaven really is. Jesus our Saviour is there and He is the one who makes it so wonderful. There is a throne He sits upon, a street of gold, the river of life is there flowing out from His throne, no sickness is known there, no death, no pain, no sorrow and no tears. For there will be no cause for crying. It’s a place of beauty such as the eye has never seen. Flowers that never fade and light that never grows dim. No tomorrow for all is one eternal day. Joy, Joy, Joy and peace will reign forever. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” (Revelation 21:1-7)
Do you want to go to heaven? Now is the time to decide, “Behold now is the accepted time, Behold now is the day of salvation.” Tomorrow may be too late, my friend. Will you determine right now to make heaven your home? Your sins may be great, but not too great for our great God to forgive you. Will you receive Christ right now? Will you turn from sin and to the Saviour right now? Jesus loves you.
How Can I Be Saved?
1. Admit that you are a sinner. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)
2. Repent — Turn away from sin. “I tell you, nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3,5)
3. Ask God to forgive your sin of unbelief and save you by His grace. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
4. Now, by faith, receive Jesus Christ into your heart. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
5. Thank Him for saving you from sin and tell someone about what God has done for you. “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:11)
I believe this booklet and questions will help anyone realize that sin is a destroyer of the soul. I believe, also, that Christians will be helped by being reminded anew that sin breaks our fellowship with God and costs us more than we are willing to pay.
This is not a difficult study. Please, first read the booklet through, and then start over answering the questions. You will find the answer to every question interwoven in the pages of the booklet. Each lesson is marked according to the chapter where you will find the answers. I trust this study will be a blessing and help to you.
When you complete the questions and mail the answer sheet to us, you will receive a beautiful certificate to certify that you have completed this study. Your certificate for completing this lesson will be sent to you as quickly as possible.
By the time you have reached this closing note, you should have read your booklet, “Born a Slave to Sin” at least once and possibly the second time, as you have worked these five lessons. If you are a Christian, living in God’s perfect will, I hope this work has stirred your soul about sin. If you are saved, but not living, as you know you should, that in itself is sin, and I hope and trust you will bow your head right now and ask God’s forgiveness and begin afresh in His service.
But, my friend, if you are not a child of the King, if you know you are not saved by the grace of God, I sure hope you have been spoken to by this book and study, and as the blessed Holy Spirit continues to plead with you about personal salvation, you will go no further in sin. Bow on your knees this very moment and confess to God the Father that you are a sinner. Ask His forgiveness and receive Him as your personal Saviour. It is repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus that saves.
May God’s Mercy, Grace and Peace Be Yours,
Dr. Gene Hooker