“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:28-31)
Crystal knew she was in big trouble. Her dad had told her not to play with the lawn dart game when he was not home. He had said that kids had died playing that game. But her friend Alicia had come over this afternoon, and they were bored. So Crystal had gotten her bright idea – and she was pretty sure that her dad would not mind making an exception to his rule, just for this one special occasion. And they would not be foolish; they would be very, very careful. Anyway, it was just this once.
Mom was inside doing laundry and would probably never notice, so Crystal had gotten the lawn darts out of their box in the garage and taken them outside to play. She and Alicia had been tossing them farther and farther, and it was really fun – until they heard a weird crunching sound.
There, lodged in the windshield of her mom’s car, was a lawn dart. There were little cracks in the glass all around the dart, and the dart itself was stuck in the hole it had made.
Crystal felt terrible. She knew exactly how her dad would respond, and she dreaded him coming home. He would say, “You knew the rules, Crystal. This is deliberate disobedience.” Or maybe he would say, “Don’t you see that you could have gotten hurt? This could have been you.” Maybe he would say, “This is exactly why I warned you to wait for me.” Or, “I am going to have to punish you, Crystal. And you have to pay for the windshield to be replaced.” What if he said all of those things? If he did, she knew she would deserve every word.
Have you ever sinned willfully against God? Hebrews 10:28-31 shows us something about God’s character and His reaction to deliberate disobedience. It says that Old Testament lawbreakers were rebellious enough to die without mercy, so how much more would we deserve punishment for disobeying God – we who have the knowledge of Jesus’ perfect life and sacrificial death? When God reaches down and saves you, He is saving you from eternal punishment in hell. Do you realize God is actually saving you from Himself?
When she was deciding to disobey, Crystal had all kinds of “good reasons” in her head for why it would be OK “just this once” – she couldn’t let her friend be bored, they would be very careful, her parents probably wouldn’t mind at all, this was a special one-time thing, and so on! But you know what? Crystal was wrong. The game was not any less dangerous just because it was for “just this once.” As it turned out, Crystal did not know as much as she thought she did, and she realized in the end that she deserved whatever punishment her dad gave her.
Because God is holy and wise, He cannot let sin go unpunished. He would not really be God if He ignored our sins. We should not take sin lightly, either, especially if we love God. God takes sin seriously, and there is a sense in which we ought to fear disobeying God. Think about it – the thought of God’s judgment and His wrath over sin, and the thought that Jesus had to come live and die to save us from that judgment and wrath – these thoughts should keep us from sinning.
God takes sin very seriously.
» How serious am I about staying away from sin?
» Do I treat God and His Word flippantly?
» How might meditating on God’s character and works keep me from sinning when I am tempted?