Does the punishment fit the crime?
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.
Are you a sinner?
Think about what the above verse from the bible is claiming and let me ask you a simple question; are you a sinner?
People react differently to this question. Many people immediately respond with an emphatic 'Yes, of course I am, sure everyone is a sinner'. Others react with a cautionary 'Well that's a bit of an awkward question, I suppose so, but it all depends on what you refer to as sin.'
Then there are the defensive philosophical people who respond 'Sinner! How dare you!' Please contemplate what the following verses from the bible say about sin and sinners; after all, this is the voice of God speaking.
Romans 3 v 9-20
What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in Godʼs sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
100% Pass mark
We have already pointed out on the 'Coming of Christ' page that God has set the pass mark at 100%. This means that anyone who fails to achieve 100% i.e. only those who never sin in thought, word or deed, can enter heaven.
You know, and I know that this excludes us all. Jesus is the only person in all of human history who is recorded in the bible as never having sinned. Not only so, he is also described as always pleasing the Father. Listen to these words:
Romans 3 v 23
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
James 2 v 10
"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it."
This is an impossible standard for any human being to achieve. That is why Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sin. Remember this; we are not sinners because we sin - we sin because we are sinners.
Eternity in hell - Is this fair?
All across the civilised world, in human courts of law, the judicial system tries to execute justice in terms of the punishment fitting the crime. Take murder as an example; the punishment is usually measured in terms of a certain number of years in prison.
We need to bear in mind that in our judicial system, regardless of the nature of any crime, the defendant is always deemed 'innocent until proven guilty'. At God’s great white throne where the final judgment of mankind is executed, the human rule of innocent until proven guilty does not apply. It is vital that we understand this.
We have already highlighted on the ‘Fall of Man’ page that we are all born in sin as the result of the fall. Parents never need to teach their children how to do what is wrong – that comes naturally – we need to teach our children how to do what is right! This is because we are born and fallen in sin. Because of this, we are ‘guilty until proven innocent’ in God’s sight.
The only way we can be transformed from a guilty state to an innocent state is by accepting God’s free gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and his atoning death on the cross.
In the sight of a holy God, the punishment of an eternity in hell does fit the crime. It fits the crime because all mankind should have been banished to hell forever because Adam and Eve disobeyed God at the beginning.
We prove our connection with Adam and Eve by our own sin and stubborn rebellion every day of our lives. It is only because of God’s grace and mercy that we can be saved at all.
Because the problem of our fallen state and our sin was so serious, God did not spare his only Son but gave him up for us all. If he did not spare Jesus when he died on the cross, why should he spare us if we do not repent?
Romans 8 v 32
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Whether we are at work or at home, we hate it when people make excuses. How refreshing it is when people simply tell the truth. When people face God at the final judgment, there will be NO excuses! Listen to this;
Romans 1 v 18-20
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
20 For since the creation of the world Godʼs invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
According to the bible there will be no excuses when we meet God!
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