Vol. 9, No. 1
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Does sin have an "up" side? Satan would have you and me focus exclusively on what he might term the positives of disregarding the Word of the Lord. For instance, when Eve was being seduced by the father of lies (John 8:44), he directed her attention to the supposed benefit of rejecting God's command while seeking to negate the force and warning God gave them concerning the consequences of sin (See Genesis 3:1-8). As it was, so it is. There is always a price to be paid for sin. Freedom isn't free. Neither is sin! "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). How much will a man give up for the temporary pleasure sin may supply (Hebrews 11:25)?
How terribly sad it is that some are willing to give up their families for sin. Such was the case in Jesus' immortal parable of the immoral son in Luke 15:11ff. The young man was willing to permanently distance himself from his loving father and the security his stable home life provided. Two other biblical examples are Cain, who slew his brother (Genesis 4:8), and the brothers of Joseph who sold him into slavery because of their envious hearts (Genesis 37:28). How deplorable it is for homes to be broken up when a parent simply walks away and creates permanent separation due to greed or lust (See Proverbs 5:15-23).
Some are willing to sacrifice their good health for sin. Good health is such a wonderful blessing from God that is often taken for granted. There are many sinful practices that are health and life-threatening: smoking or chewing tobacco products, drinking alcoholic beverages, overeating, fornication, adultery, the use of illicit drugs or the abuse of prescription medicines, etc. The wise man, Solomon, writes about the inherent benefits of fearing the Lord and departing from evil: "It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones" (Proverbs 3:8).
Some are willing to give up a good name and their positive influence for sin. It can take many years of toil, service and sacrifice to build a good name. A good name is something that cannot just be bestowed upon someone as a gift. It is earned over time. However, it can be lost by one senseless act in a moment of time. When lost, it becomes elusive and most difficult to regain. Again Solomon writes, "But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul. A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away" (Proverbs 6:32-33).
Some, like Demas, are willing to give up their relationship with their loving God and Father for sin. Paul, the apostle, writes of him: "For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica" (2 Timothy 4:10). Demas did not just forsake Paul. Unfortunately, there are countless men, women and young people who turn to walk in the footsteps of Demas. Their hearts are characterized by the thorny soil wherein the dynamic, living Word of God is choked out by the cares of this world and its deceitful riches (Matthew 13:22).
Some are willing to give up their soul for sin. The soul of man is precious to God and has incalculable value as is understood by our Lord's rhetorical question thus posed: "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26).
Finally, there are some who are willing to give up heaven for sin. It staggers the human mind to contemplate how glorious and wonderful will be that eternal city, the home of the soul that is prepared for those who have loved and served the Lord in sincerity and in truth (Joshua 24:14). "There's no place like home" is a saying that uniquely fits when talking about our heavenly home. However, those who are shortsighted expending their energies on laying up treasures upon the earth rather than in heaven and giving themselves over to "walk as the Gentiles" in their degrading lust will find themselves "homeless" and as castaways, suffering the flames of God's eternal wrath (Mark 9:44).
What are you willing to give up for sin? When you do business and trade with the devil you will never come out ahead. He is cunning and subtle, and he will beat you every time, and when he is finished with you, you will have lost all the things that matter most in this world: your family, your health, your good name and influence, your relationship with your Heavenly Father, your soul and your hope of heaven. You must decide: In the end, when all is said and done, are the temporary pleasures of sin really worth all the loss?