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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
4

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).

How To Fake Your Own Death

Hypocrisy Dead (to sin) Spiritual Health

Source: “So you think you can fake your own death?” by Elizabeth Greenwood, Linked In, Sep 10, 2016

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-02-18

Scripture: Colossians 3:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

ILLUSTRATION

Elizabeth Greenwood writes: 

Faking your death—both as a concept and as an act people attempt with surprising frequency — first occurred to me over dinner with a friend at a cheap Vietnamese restaurant. I had just enrolled in a graduate program, and had taken out a brand new batch of student loans to heap upon a hefty debt from college.

As I bitched about the financial mess I’d gotten myself into, and how I feared I might never get out of it, I fantasized about finding a sun-bleached country with a rickety government and no extradition policy and just slipping through the cracks, disappearing without a trace.

“Or you could fake your own death,” my friend offered.

That conversation sent me on a years-long quest tracking down people who have faked their own deaths and interviewing experts in the art of disappearance. Along the way, I picked up a few Dos and Don’ts. 

Don’t subscribe to conventional wisdom: The biggest challenge of faking your death is that teensy problem of your body. So fake a drowning, right? Wrong ... In most drownings, the body is recovered.  According to Rambam, hiking is the way to go. “People disappear hiking all the time, legitimately. That’s a great way to disappear.”  

Don’t Google yourself: Bad enough he tried it by water, but the temptation was too much for Patrick McDermott, Australian singer Olivia Newton-John’s longtime boyfriend, who faked his death on a fishing trip in 2005 shortly after the couple had broken up. Having recently filed for bankruptcy, he chartered a boat and allegedly fell overboard at night. A group of private investigators hired by Dateline NBC located McDermott when they noticed a centralized cluster of IP addresses originating near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, all clicking onto a site dedicated to tracing his whereabouts.

Don’t assume a fake identity: There’s no law on the books called “faking your own death.” If you don’t file a police report or death certificate, making it look like you are deceased violates no law except perhaps that of good taste. Promoting the idea that you have met an untimely end when in fact you are lazing beachside, paying for your daiquiris with a suitcase full of cash, is perfectly legal.

Do ask yourself: Can you bear to hold your own death certificate in your hands?: ...Most successful death fraud is carried out with high quality authentic documents ... But actually handling a piece of paper declaring me dead and a police report detailing my fatal car accident proved to be a more somber affair.

APPLICATION

Do you have problems you would like to escape? Rather than fake your own death, the Bible suggest that you go ahead and die ... to self! The call of Christian discipleship came when Jesus said, "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). 

Have you died in Christ, or are you putting on an elaborate ruse? Consider the following diagnostic questions:

  1. Rather than facing your core spiritual issues, do you refuse to “go there”?
  2. Do you attend church for what you can get rather than what you can give?
  3. Do you fellowship with believers but avoid being vulnerable or transparent with them?
  4. Do you boast more about what you have done for Christ, than what Christ has done for you? 
  5. Are you one person at church but a different person when no one is watching?
  6. Do you insist that things have to be done your way or it's the highway?  

The conventional wisdom is that church is a place where we pretend everything is great in our life. In order to appear to be spiritual, we hide our problems and struggles from other believers. Rather than, "confess our faults to one another," as James exhorted us to do, we hide behind masks, afraid of what others would think of us if they knew the truth. Instead of dying to pride and pretense, we fake our death!

“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). 

Alive from the Dead

Spiritual Growth Dead (to sin) Worldliness

Source: Social Security's Creates 'Walking Dead'

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Charles Schuyler | Date Posted: 2014-07-11

Scripture: Romans 6:11 ; Ephesians 2:1

Author: Rachel Pritchett
2

ILLUSTRATION

Her mouth dropped when the person at the local Social Security office saw Bonnie Ballew of Bremerton standing there, alive as could be.

"Am I supposed to be dead or something?" Ballew, 83, asked the employee.

"As a matter of fact, that's what it is," the employee responded looking at Ballew's paperwork.

That was last year, and Ballew was in the Social Security office on a routine visit when the two discovered she'd been dead since 1997.

Ballew, now at Martha and Mary nursing home in Poulsbo, was one of the lucky ones able to clear up the confusion in months, not years.

But she held off telling a son who was serving abroad in the military that she was dead until he returned home.

"Oh, by the way, do you know that I was dead?" she laughed. "Keep a sense of humor," she advised.

Lydia Claesson, 83, of Bainbridge Island, couldn't agree more.

The government deemed her "dead" twice after her husband passed away in 1994. On one occasion, it removed deposits from her bank account. Claesson packed up her passport, driver's license and birth certificate and made the trip to the Social Security office. There, she and the surprised workers discovered she'd been declared dead instead of her husband.

On another occasion, she tried to pick up a prescription, only to discover her insurance coverage wasn't active.

"I asked them to find out why. Well, they said that 'you're dead,' " Claesson said.

Again, she gathered her paperwork and drove to the Social Security office, then in Bremerton, where she told the Social Security folks, "I'm not my ghost. It's really me," she laughed.

APPLICATION

How bad is that?!  Being alive, but being told you are dead! Do you know what is worse? Being alive and yet acting dead! This is what Paul addresses in Rom 6:11, where he wrote, "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

That word "reckon" means to live in the reality - count it so. It is inconvenient to be alive and yet to be recorded as dead by the Social Security Office, but it is downright tragic to be spiritually alive and yet act spiritually dead. Such a thing impacts our effectiveness in this life, and undermines our future reward in the next. You don't need to gather all forms of identification to correct this - you just need to claim your new identity in Christ!

Are you alive? Simply live like it!

Three Men On A Cross

Good Friday Repentance Dead (to sin)

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-04-22

Scripture: Luke 24:39 ; Luke 24:41

Author: Kent Crockett
6

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Can't Offend A Corpse

Dead (to sin) Jesus, Savior Redemption

Contributed By: Stephen Kingsley | Date Posted: 2013-10-29

Scripture: Romans 6:11 ; 1 Peter 2:24

Author: Stephen Kingsley
2

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"Cautious" Storm Chaser Dies

Sin Dead (to sin) Wisdom

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2013-06-03

Scripture: John 17:15 ; Romans 12:2

Author: Illustration Exchange
7

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Live like it

Spiritual Life Dead (to sin) Justification (Positional)

Contributed By: Lynn Schuyler | Date Posted: 2013-02-06

Scripture: Romans 6:12

Author: Jerry Bridges
4

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A Slap In the Face of Morality

Morality Marriage Cultural Trends

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-04-07

Scripture: Proverbs 6:27 ; Hebrews 13:4

Author: Illustration Exchange and Daniel Payne, writer for
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Jesus Is Our Path

Obedience Jesus Christ Salvation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2022-01-10

Scripture: John 14:6

Author: E. Stanley Jones / Illustration Exchange
16

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Runner's Cause Of Death: Struck By An Airplane

Repentance Justice Death

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2021-02-22

Scripture: Luke 13:3

Author: Neal Pollard
3

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