Sin And Its Effects

Important Note to Readers! Many people do not fully understand the implications of sin in their lives and the effects they have on their loved ones. We believe this page contains vital information that is too important to be understood by a quick glance-through. We encourage you to bookmark this page and read it in detail to gain understanding.

The awful consequence of sin is it breaks our relationship with God and separates us from Him, resulting in spiritual death because sin disqualifies us from living in God’s presence. The Bible has this to say about the destiny of man: “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (the Book of Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 27). This means that one day every person will die a physical death and stand before the judgment seat of God. And those who do not measure up to God’s perfect standard will be condemned to eternal punishment in a lake of fire – the Bible calls this the second death. This eventual judgment is certain. We don’t know exactly when it will happen, but we know that no one will escape that final encounter with the Creator.

Satan is at the crux of sin. His name means “Adversary”. Satan is against God and anything godly. In Revelation 9:11, Satan is called “Abaddon” and “Apollyon”, which are Hebrew and Greek names meaning “Destroyer”. Satan is a destroyer and the spirit that emanates from him, that has permeated this world and produces sin is a destroying spirit. We can broadly say that sin produces two bad things simultaneously : It produces negative effects and destroys us.

William Barclay, author of the Daily Bible Study Series, provides a list of things that sin destroys as it leads to its final outcome – death :

Sin destroys innocence

In the book of Genesis 3: 7-11, God records Adam’s and Eve’s reaction to their sin :

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

Sin “corrupts” a person’s once innocent mind so that he doesn’t look at circumstances or life in quite the same way anymore.

In Matthew 18:1, we read about the destruction of innocence when the disciples asked Jesus, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus replied, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. Isn’t the beauty of their innocence and the harmless vulnerability of little children the reason why we find them so adorable? They produce no harm, shame or guilt. However, when they grow up and become adults, having learnt the ways of the world, they become sophisticated, worldly, cosmopolitan, cynical, suspicious, sarcastic, prejudiced, self-centered, cool, uninvolved, apathetic and so much more. As they find themselves tangled in the negative things of life, they seem to lose their zest for life. Sin does that.

Sin Destroys Ideals

When we become involved in sin, we start a tragic process. At first, we may regard sin with horror and shame, but when we indulge in it continuously, we slowly become “immune” to it and worse, yearn for it. For example, a man, a lifelong vegetarian before coming into the true church, accepted the truth that it is permissible to eat meats. The first time he tried it, however, he became so emotionally overwrought, he vomited it up. Though he was doing something good, his mind had still not adjusted to that fact, and it reacted as if it were evil.

Human are highly adaptable and intelligent. When we continue to commit a sin over and over again, we might still feel ill at ease and truly guilty about it, but gradually, our consciences will adjust. Each sin makes the next one a bit easier. Over time, that sin will become entirely acceptable and we continue to indulge in it without qualm, oblivious to the destruction it is causing. Sin, like a drug, is addictive. As the addiction grows stronger than our will and desire to fight it, our ideal depreciates until it is completely gone.

Mark 10:17-24 tells the tragic story of a wealthy young man who greatly desired to become part of Jesus’ following. Because he wanted eternal life and to be in God’s Kingdom, he asked Jesus what he must do to obtain them. When Christ replied that he would have to get rid of all he had, his high ideals came crashing down. A sin smashed them because his sin was stronger than his ideals. Jesus says in verse 24: “And the disciples were astonished at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, ‘Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the Kingdom of God!'” The young man’s covetousness destroyed his ideals, and he was willing to settle for less.

Sin destroys the will

The will is the power or faculty that allows our minds to make choices and then act to carry them out. There’s an old saying that goes : “Sow an act and reap a habit; sow a habit and reap a character; sow a character and reap a destiny”. At first, a person may engage in a forbidden pleasure against his will, unable to resist the temptation due to weakness, curiosity or sheer carnality. If the practice continues, he sins because he cannot help doing to – he is becoming addicted to that sin. Gradually, as he continues to give in to that sin, it develops into a habit. He then considers that sin (habit) to be almost a necessity. As that “necessity” takes root in his life, destiny is produced.

The book of Hebrews states :

Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. You must warn each other every day, as long as it is called “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. (Hebrews 3:12-14)

Sin IS DECEITFUL. In this context, sin is deceitful because it appears to be seductive and enticing. Sin deceitfully promises what it cannot deliver – pleasure, contentment, fulfillment, life itself. Sin only results in fleeting, unsatisfying moments of whatever it promises. Sin’s deceitfulness is the very reason why it is addictive. It lures us to chase after what it can never deliver. As people continue to believe in sin’s promises, they are forced into greater and deeper perversions until the final result – death.

All along the way, from its inception to death, sin quietly hardens the heart. Like a callus that forms over a break in a bone or stiffens a person’s joint, sin paralyzes right action.  As the heart grows hard, so does the attitude. This isn’t a sudden process, but a product of habitual state of mind that reveals itself in inflexible thinking and an insensitive conscience. Eventually, it makes repentance (turning away from that sin) impossible. The will to do right is then completely gone.

Sin produces slavery

This is the direct result of the destruction of a person’s will. When a person sins, he isn’t doing what he likes, but what sin likes. Paul says in Romans 7:17-20 :

“But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things. I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can’t make myself do right. I want to, but I can’t. When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. But if I am doing what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it.”

Even as one enjoys the sin while he is doing it, the person is NOT in control – sin is. This is double true when one knowingly sins. We need to be careful of this because Jesus warns us in John 8:34 :

“I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin”

And He goes on to say in the next verse :

“Now a slave has no permanent place in the family [God’s family], but a son belongs to it forever.”

Much like a slave held captive, his hands, feet and neck bound by chains, the more a person continues to consciously sin, he becomes more deeply and tightly bound to that sin – he becomes a slave to that sin.

Sin produces more sin

We’ve all experienced this at one time or another, although we might not have recognized it as sin producing more sin. James 1:15 -16 says :

…each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Notice the phrase “dragged away”, implying the loss of one’s will to resist. People rarely stop at just one sin. A sin, no matter how small eventually leads to another and another, eventually forming a chain that enslaves a person to that sin. Remember the time you told a seemingly harmless lie to your parents when you were small? As they pressed you for more detail, you had to tell more “white lies” to cover that first lie. The same applies to all sin – whether it’s stealing, cheating, racism, adultery or murder. Unfortunately, television, movies and the world in general are not helping by de-sensitizing people to sin. We watch fictional characters try to squirm out of a predicament by lying and cheating and when they DO get away with it, we laugh along with the crowd. Eventually, we find ourselves mimicking the worldly ways of others, compromising on our ideals and thinking “Well, one little sin won’t do any harm”. It doesn’t take long before we become de-sensitized to small sins and and are ready to be de-sensitized to “bigger” sins.

Sin produces sickness, pain and degeneracy

It’s not easy to make a distinct connection between sin and sickness. Illness or a poor, weak, rundown state of health may not be the direct result of a specific sin. It could be the product of a series of sins committed over a prolonged period, for example: addiction to drugs, alcohol, illicit sex. Cancer has many causes, but it is also known to be a disease of the mind, body and spirit. Many studies recognize anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness as agents that put the mind, body and spirit into a highly stressful condition. As we know, anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness are sins. The loss of will to do the right thing produces slavery to these sins, and exposes us to all of the other destructive forces of sin that we’ve just read.

Sin is so subtle that a worldly person, when examining himself for the cause of his sickness, may not even consider sin as being the direct or indirect cause.

Sin produces DEATH
The ultimate result of slavery to sin is DEATH. Trapped in the intense bondage to sin, death is the final outcome that NO ONE can escape.

As we read earlier in this page :

“And those who do not measure up to God’s perfect standard will be condemned to eternal punishment in a lake of fire – the Bible calls this the second death. This eventual judgment is certain.”

The eternal punishment in a lake of fire – the second death – is known commonly today simply as “Hell”. Hell is REAL and is the eventual punishment of all who do not heed God’s call to repent and believe in Him.

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