How Do You See Sin?
by Clarence Alexander
How do you see sin?
First, sin causes evil to overpower us. Sin turns a person into a victim of evil. Evil dominates the mind. It says in Jeremiah 17:9, “At the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” It says in Ephesians 4 that the mind is dark, that the mind is alienated. That the life of God is absent. It says in 1 Corinthians 2 that we cannot understand the things of God. In Romans 1 that the mind is reprobate. In other words, sin has dominated the mind so that its thinking process is overpowered with evil. It thinks evil. It plans evil. It conceives evil. And then we know, too, that evil also dominates the will. I mentioned earlier, quoting from Jeremiah 44:17, “But we will do whatsoever things proceed out of our mouths.” The will is also dominated by the evil that overpowers the sinner. He is a total victim. And if his thinking is overpowered by evil, so will his willing be for he will will to do what he conceives…and what he conceives is dominated by evil. And then evil dominates the affections. Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Their loves, their affections, their wishes, their wants, their desires, their longings are toward those things which are not right. And so, man is overpowered by evil. As Paul says, “Sin that dwells in me,” it hangs like blackness hangs to night. And sin is in the nature even of a Christian. It’s in the essence of a Christian. It’s in the person of a Christian, like a sleeping lion and the least thing can enrage it. It is an overpowering thing. It smolders sometimes high like a flame, sometimes low, the slightest wind of temptation fans it to fury.
Secondly in thinking about this matter of sin and the results of it, sin brings us under the dominance of Satan. People think that they’re free, you know, they’re free, really free to do whatever they want. We say they’re free spirits. Listen, the only free person is one who has had his sin covered and is free to do what is right. A sinner is not free. He is under the total domination of sin and the control of Satan. Ephesians 2:2 the Apostle Paul says in Scripture that the sinner walks, that is daily conduct, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit working in the children of disobedience. Satan is at work. He is in control. They bear the imprimatur of Satan. They bear on their faces the image of their father. And Jesus said it, John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil.” It was obvious. They were visibly the devil’s children because they were manifest that way. They bore the mark of Satanic control. Man is a slave to Satan. He is not free, he is totally controlled. Satan works in him to accomplish his own will. Only, Jesus said, if the Son makes you free are you free. So, the results of sin…sin overpowers and brings into the control of Satan.
Thirdly, sin makes a person an object of God’s wrath. It is sin that causes us to be condemned and damned. It is sin that sends men to hell. We are exposed, Ephesians 2:3 says, to the wrath of God. And the psalmist said in Psalm 90:11, “Who knows the power of God’s wrath?” That’s why we don’t want to mock, that’s why Proverbs 14:9, I think it is, says only fools mock sin because when you mock sin you mock the wrath of God. God’s wrath is not some momentary whimsical passion, it is a holy hatred, it is an act of His pure and holy will against that which is evil and unacceptable and He will destroy it. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of an angry God, of a mighty God, of a judging wrathful vengeful God. And so, sin makes men the heirs of God’s wrath. And while they think they’re feasting like Domicles(?) banquet, there’s a sword hanging over their head held by a thread and some day the thread will snap and judgment will fall.
Fourth Sin subjects a person to all the miseries of life. Sin brings the worse of all there is on the individual. Job said in chapter 5 verse 7, “Man is born unto trouble and trouble becomes his names.” Trouble is everywhere. Paul says the sin of Adam has subjected the creature to vanity, subjected the creature to emptiness, to uselessness. There is something missing. There’s an unsatisfaction so it’s trouble and it’s nothingness. You live a life of sin and you get trouble and nothing else, emptiness. Solomon said, “Vanity of vanities, emptiness of emptiness, all is nothing, all is nothing.” What a conundrum, what a paradox. A man enters the world with a cry and leaves with a groan and nothing in between, only emptiness. Sin has torn man down from the place of honor. He has lost his dignity. He is robbed of peace. He knows no lasting joy, no hope, no meaning, no values. There is no peace, says my God, to the wicked. The wicked rather are like the troubled sea when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. And the wicked, says Proverbs 28:1, flee when nobody pursues, they are hounded with the nothingness and the meaninglessness and the guilt in the absence of peace in their lives. Judas so terrified, Judas so wrought with guilt and horror hanged himself to quiet his screaming conscience. And even hell proves no rest. Listen, sin brings the worst things in life. It exposes men to all the ultimate misery.
Five The final result of sin is that it damns people to hell. In Revelation chapter 20 it says in the end at the Great White Throne Judgment the Lord will gather all the unbelieving and cast them into the lake of fire that burns forever. Jesus taught the doctrine of hell. He was the one who framed it and articulated it in the gospels. The Apostles picked it up and it’s repeated throughout the New Testament. And we need to know this, dear friends, that of the four billion, two- hundred and twenty-five million or so people living on the earth today, all of them will die…all of them will die and all of them will face hell if they die without Christ. Fifty-million people will die this year, a hundred and thirty-six thousand nine-hundred and eighty-six die every day. Since I’ve started speaking over five thousand people have died, ninety-five die every minute. And they’re being replaced on this earth at 2.5 times the birth rate which means more will die in the future that are dying now. And hell awaits the vast majority of people. Spurgeon said, “Man is hanging over the mouth of hell by a solitary plank and the plank is rotten.” And that is the fatality of sin ultimately. What a horrible thing it is.