“Sin is like a disease that eats at the innermost parts of your mind and heart.”
- Outbursts of wrath
- Selfish ambitions
When I was thinking about this the other day, the movie “I Am Legend” came to mind. You know, the one where a freak virus causes the death of millions of people in New York City and Dr. Robert Neville risks his life to find a cure for the disease he helped create.
Well along the way Neville meets some of the infected people still lurking about the city. They are so badly diseased that any exposure to sunlight immediately causes them to shrivel up and die. But towards the middle of the movie, the virus infected people become immune to the sunlight and become extremely strong but inhuman. Their disease had completely taken over their bodies and minds. The only way to help them was to find a cure or kill them.
Ultimately, that’s what sin does to us. It’s like a disease that changes us from the inside out. For some people it is difficult to see that there is sin in their lives. For others it is extremely obvious that they have some issues. Matthew 12:34 says, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” But regardless, the more we sin, the more apathetic and numb we become to truth and righteousness.
Take the teenager who grew up in church all of his or her life but starts partying once they go to college. They may know or feel that it is wrong, but the more they do it, the more they drink, the more friends they make, the more they forget about what God says. Yet they are the same ones coming back to church Sunday morning agreeing with every word the pastor preaches.
For some reason we like put sins on different levels. Maybe it helps to ease the conscious, I’m not sure, but whatever the reason, it is wrong. Lying is still just as wrong as stealing a car or kidnapping a child. Some people manifest their sin through stealing, lying or anger. But even if it is as “minor” as jealousy, if it is in you, it is going to come out.
What would it take for us to stop sinning? Maybe if people could actually see what our sin looked like on the outside, we would actually be too embarrassed to sin. What if sin manifested itself the same way it did in “I am Legend”?
God has always been clear about His feelings toward sin. The list in the beginning came from Galatians 5:19-21 (NKJV). Sin cuts us off from God. That’s why He sent Jesus to die for us.
God truly loves us. People have asked me, “Why didn’t God just start over instead of sacrificing His son”? He tried that already. Remember the story of Noah and the Ark (Genesis 6-10)? But we still continued to sin.
We are a people who understand sacrifice. There’s just something about giving up something of value for the sake of someone else. That’s why we’re sympathetic to the soldiers in war or the single parent who works three jobs to put their children through school. That’s why we dedicate award shows and ceremonies to people who have done something amazing to change the world around them. We can understand that yet we’re still clueless about Jesus’ sacrifice? The root of sacrifice is love. The whole thing boils down to love. Without it God wouldn’t be able to be merciful, gracious, kind and patient with us.
John 3:16 is a verse that many people know well, but don’t understand its true message. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” Then John 3:17 continues, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
That’s the real cure.
In the end Neville realized that he was going to have to die because he couldn’t make the zombies understand that he could help them. They weren’t going to stop until he was dead. The disease that Neville had to deal with and the sin disease in our lives both lead to death. But the death we experience from our sin is eternal death. Hell, complete separation from God. The Lord will never force us to accept the true cure, Jesus Christ. He offers us the gift of salvation and eternal life, but it’s up to us to ask forgiveness and walk the path He has mapped out for us.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” – Galatians 5:22-24
It’s time to stop wearing death.