I love the following quote from A.W. Tozer; he said, “Not death, but sin, should be our great fear”. Every so often, surveys are done asking people what their greatest fears are. Death is always high on the list, and public speaking usually tops it. You’ll also see things like heights, snakes, and being confined in a small space. Not once have I ever seen sin on any poll results. Apparently sin is nothing to be afraid of in the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens. Yet sin is the only thing that can keep us from spending all of eternity with the loving God who breathed life into our very souls.
Indulging in sin drives a wedge between us and God. When we live the way Jesus told us to, we are walking in His presence and solidifying our place with Him in eternity. On the other hand, engaging in sinful thoughts and behaviors places us in direct opposition with God. If that doesn’t scare you, then you’re a far braver person than I. Then again, there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity.
Sin has the power to keep us separated from God, not just in the present, but forever. The interesting thing is that because of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, sin no longer has any power at all unless we choose to empower it. It is our choice whether or not we’ll allow sin to rule our lives. Without a doubt, sin is incredibly appealing. The agony and despair that are the underpinnings of all sin is masked by a seductive beauty that calls to us and bids us to partake. Again, the choice is ours. We choose to be deceived. We choose to ignore the warnings and instruction of Jesus.
We should run as fast as we can whenever confronted by the opportunity to sin. It’s true that we have all the power necessary to overcome it through the blood of Jesus, but it is also true that we have spent a lifetime numbing ourselves to the corrosive nature of sin and lowering our defenses towards it. If you are anything like me, you can’t trust yourself around temptation. You might win a few battles, but on the whole, we are far too prone to rationalizing and eventually giving in to the situation. Freewill is an extraordinary gift, but few wield it well.
Death is not the end for any of us. For followers of Jesus, it is the beginning of the consummation of everything God created us to be. It will be the life He intended us to live. There is nothing to fear in death. Sin, on the other hand will at best taint our relationship with God, and at worst disqualify us from spending eternity in His presence. Rejecting God – which is the essence of all sin – puts us on the most dangerous of paths. So don’t fear death; Jesus already fought that battle and won. Instead, fear sin and the devastating consequences it will wreak in your life.