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The Scarlet Letter

Judging Criticism Sin

Source: Wikipedia

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Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2020-07-19

Scripture: Isaiah 1:18 ; Matthew 7:1

Author: Charles Krieg
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ILLUSTRATION

In the book of Isaiah we read, “Though your sins be like scarlet they may become white as snow; though they be crimson red, they may become white as wool.”

The color scarlet is a visual symbol of sin. In the classic novel The Scarlet Letter”  by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is ostracized from her society because of her sin. Hester committed adultery and must spend her life wearing the scarlet letter "A" as a badge of shame.

But the subplot indirectly asks what letter ought the other members of the society be wearing. What is their sin? 

 

APPLICATION

Hester Prynne was forced to wear a scarlet A to announce her sin of adultery. Of course, if we all had to wear letters for our sins, we would need the whole alphabet!  To avoid hypocrisy here, we must acknowledge that sin is sin, and that we are all guilty of our own rebellions.  Sure, sin must be confronted, but in a spirit of humility, accompanied by the offer of restoration, forgiveness, and hope. 

Spiritual Quarantine

Cleansing Sin Salvation

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Contributed By: Shane Waldron | Date Posted: 2020-03-20

Scripture: Romans 10:9 ; Leviticus 13:

Author: Shane Waldron
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ILLUSTRATION

You may have heard the story of Carl Goldman. He and his wife were on a cruise in Asia, and one of the passengers contracted COVID-19. The cruise ship was quarantined for 10 days, and during that time Carl got the coronavirus. 

When everyone was released from the cruise ship, Carl was quarantined in a bio-containment center in Nebraska. His room was completely sealed off from other people. Cameras and two-way video monitors allowed him to communicate with people outside the room. No one came inside unless they were wearing a hazmat suit. Carl was sealed off like this for 12 days. 

Then he was released into a different area of the hospital, where he was quarantined with other patients who had the virus. So he was able to have more contact with other people. He couldn’t leave the hospital until he tested negative for COVID-19. Unfortunately, his tests kept coming back positive long after his symptoms abated. Finally, after he was quarantined for 30 days in the hospital, Carl tested negative for COVID-19 two times in a row, and he was allowed to go home. Adding the time he was on the cruise ship, Carl was quarantined for a total of 40 days. 

APPLICATION

We are in a similar situation as Carl. But instead of being quarantined from people, we are quarantined from God. Our sin separates us from Him because God cannot be in the presence of anything unholy. That's why we need Jesus - to cleanse us from our sin and release us from spiritual quarantine.

But unlike Carl, the moment we place our faith and trust in Christ, we are cleansed.  There are no stages or tests that have to be passed first.  The salvation Christ offers us is instant and it is eternal. 

"If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved" (Romans 10:9-10). 

Getting Through The Security Gate

Salvation Confession Sin

Contributed By: Corey Sawyers | Date Posted: 2019-08-11

Scripture: Revelation 21:27 ; 1 John 1:9

Author: Corey Sawyers
3

ILLUSTRATION

This past weekend, my youngest son and I had the opportunity to take a short trip together. We flew to Knoxville, TN, then drove over the Smokies to Gastonia, NC. There I gave a Bear Valley Bible Institute presentation and Q&A, preached Sunday morning, and spoke in their Sunday Night Summer Series. We then drove back to Knoxville before flying back to Denver on Monday. 

While waiting in line on the incline toward the security gate in Knoxville, Gannon and I were shocked by two things. First, there were a lot of signs with pictures of guns which had been confiscated in recent months at that very security checkpoint. Those guns ended up in the TSA agents' hands for, potentially, a variety of reasons. Perhaps some innocently forgot. They may have been licensed to carry a weapon and forgot to leave it behind. Others might have intentionally tried to sneak the weapons on because they thought the rule did not apply to them. Perhaps they never would have thought of hurting anyone; but they believed they could get away with not keeping the rules. It also may have been that some tried to sneak those weapons on because they intended to hurt others. While I cannot be sure of their intentions, I am confident that those individuals did not make it through the security gate (thankfully!).

The second shock came right before we reached the x-ray machines. Gannon realized he had a half-full water bottle in his backpack. So, when we placed our bags on the conveyer belt, I told the officer of our error and showed her the bottle. She smiled and said, "That is okay. Just throw it away in that can under the belt." We complied and passed safely through the gate. 

APPLICATION

I am not sure what the security checks will be to pass into life eternal, but I wonder if sometimes we think we can get away with carrying sin like some have weapons at the airport. Some may not realize their sins. Some may think they can fool the Lord. Some may think this or that particular command of the Lord does not apply to them. However, the Bible is clear that no sin will enter into that eternal place of rest (Rev. 21:27). 

On the other hand, the Bible tells us that we have one who is on our side: Jesus (I John 2:1-2). Those who are in Him (I John 1:7) must only confess those sins (I John 1:9). When we do, His blood washes them away. 

The only way we could get through the security gate was to admit our error, and do what was required of us. The only way we can make it through "Heaven's Security Gate" is to admit our wrongs and do what He requires of us. It is the only way we can be sure that some glad morning, as we sing, we'll "fly away!"

Troubled

Trouble Sin Comfort

Contributed By: Corey Sawyers | Date Posted: 2019-07-29

Scripture: Psalms 6:1 ; Psalms 6:10

Author: Corey Sawyers
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The Peril Of "Covering Up"

Sin Confession Spiritual Health

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2018-12-31

Scripture: Isaiah 29:15 ; Numbers 32:23

Author: Neal Pollard
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The Broken Xylophone

Sin Human Nature God's Love

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-12-29

Scripture: Romans 3:9 ; 1 John 4:10

Author: James Miller
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Cancer Research Confirms the Curse

Sin Death Salvation

Contributed By: Rod Crowell | Date Posted: 2017-07-11

Scripture: Genesis 2:17 ; Galatians 3:13

Author: Brian Thomas
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Walk In The Light

God's Judgment Light Sin

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-11-18

Scripture: Ephesians 5:8

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

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The Sin Tax

Sin God's Judgment Salvation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-11-17

Scripture: Romans 6:23 ; James 5:20

Author: Illustration Exchange
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The World's Ugliest Color Could Save Lives

Sin Repentance Temptation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2016-10-27

Scripture: Romans 5:12 ; Romans 6:23

Author: Illustration Exchange
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