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You Can't Reduce the Harm of Sin

Sin Consequences Dead (to sin)

Source: Various

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-06-02

Scripture: Romans 6:23 ; Romans 6:11

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

Most of you have probably noticed the growing government trends to distribute “safer” supplies for those who engage in “risky” behaviors, such as promiscuous sexual acts, drug use, etc. Here’s just a sampling of some of their efforts:

- The US CDC touts that, “Condom availability programs (CAPs) began in the early 1990s and are one way schools can help prevent HIV, STD, and pregnancy among teens.”

- The US CDC currently sponsors SSPs (Syringe Services Programs) for “Needs-based Distribution” of clean syringes for IV drug users, “as the evidence shows that this is the best practice for reducing new HIV and viral hepatitis infections.” 

- The Canada Interior Health Department produces helpful “Harm Reduction Pamphlets” for everything from “safer” sex techniques and supplies, to “safer” shoot-up advice for IV drug users, and “safer” smoking guidance for crack cocaine tokers. 

- And most recently the current US administration has gone beyond helpful pamphlets, to distributing Safe Smoking Kits to meth heads and crack addicts they deem in danger of burns and injuries from their unsafe smoking apparatus. While the administration has feverishly tried to deny having gone as far as to even include “safe crack pipes” in these kits, investigation has proven otherwise, says investigative reporters at the Washington Free Beacon:

“While the contents of safe-smoking kits vary from one organization to another—and while those from some organizations may not contain crack pipes—all of the organizations we visited made crack pipes as well as paraphernalia for the use of heroin, cocaine, and crystal methamphetamine readily available without requiring or offering rehabilitation services, suggesting that pipes are included in many if not most of the kits distributed across the country.”

These various programs cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars to execute.

APPLICATION

While all these “harm reduction” techniques might make sense on some earthly level, they make absolutely zero sense on any spiritual level. You see, there is no program, no measure — not at any cost — which can mitigate the harm of sin. 

The Scripture is clear, “The wages of sin is death.”  We must not seek to mitigate the “harm” of it; rather, we must seek to irradiate it. 

This principle is true not only for the “big,” obvious sins of promiscuous sexual activity or drug abuse and addiction. This principle is true for ALL sin. Lies (even “white lies”) are deceptions, and can lead to betrayals of trust and broken relationships. Unfaithfulness, covetousness, greed, envy, gossip, malice, etc., etc., etc., will all erode the soul, ruin lives (your own and others’), will destroy relationships with others, and most importantly, with Lord Himself.

Sin is always harmful. Full stop. Want to protect yourself and others? Flee sin and temptation.

“Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:15, ESV).

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (I Corinthians 6:9-11, ESV).

“Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin” (John 8:34, ESV).

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry …” ( Colossians 3:5, ESV).

“The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (Romans 6:10-12, NIV).

The Scarlet Letter

Judging Criticism Sin

Source: Wikipedia

Link to Source: Click here to view source

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

Scripture: Isaiah 1:18 ; Matthew 7:1

Author: Charles Krieg
3

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

Link to Source: Click here to view source

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

Scripture: Romans 10:9 ; Leviticus 13:

Author: Shane Waldron
5

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
5

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Troubled

Trouble Sin Comfort

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

Scripture: Psalms 6:1 ; Psalms 6:10

Author: Corey Sawyers
5

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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
6

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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
3

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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
5

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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
6

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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
8

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