“People can be complex, Haydren,” Geoffrey replied. “You never know what may motivate one person to do one thing and not another. Some people are the hare, others are the fox.”
—By Ways Unseen, Chapter 8 – Departures
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.” Joshua 24:15
“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Romans 6:16
Sin is not a popular topic, these days, for many reasons. One reason, I think—and an important one—is that, in the church’s desire to convey the weight of sin, the opinion now seems to be that sin is only the really great and terrible stuff—murder, theft, deception on a broad scale. Another reason is that “bad” people are often made only by bad circumstances—that if we improved society, eliminated poverty, a lot of things the church might call “sin” would go away. And the rest of what the church calls sin is only narrow-minded, outdated, and bigoted thinking.
But sin is simply anything not directed by God. To be a slave to sin could be said to be anything that is not slavery to God (“and everything that does not come from faith is sin” Romans 14:23b). It might not seem to hurt anyone—it may even seem to help people. But if God has not ordained it, it is still sin.
The weight of sin is real: it leads to death—a far worse death than simply returning to dust, because that death has an end; the wages of sin (rejection of God) is eternal torment, eternal abandonment of hope (“In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’ But Abraham replied, ‘…between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’” Luke 16:23-26). Even those who commit suicide have some hope that their misery will end; in hell, even this hope is gone.
Do you think there is any pleasure here on earth—for, what, 80 years?—that will balance out such an eternity? No amount of serving sin for the pleasure it promises now will be better than serving God, no matter what He asks of you, with what He promises you later.
It is more desirable by far to serve the Lord. Choose today.