Sin is fun.

Death pathwayDon’t believe me?  Why do we continue to sin?  Theologically, we—quite literally—can’t help ourselves but let’s be honest: we “struggle” against sin because we want it.  We crave it.  We need it.

Sin is a drug.  One might say: it is THE drug.  It is the ultimate addiction.  It’s the one thing we might want to live without but are powerless to actually detox it from our lives.

Last week, we went back to the very beginning trying to answer the question of how we got into this mess we can call “the brokenness of our world”.  But this brokenness doesn’t just affect the world in general; it affects us specifically.  We read in 1 Corinthians 15:56:

The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law.

Last time I checked, death is phenomenally successful: 100%.  It is perfect in its horrible effectiveness.  We all will die.  We think we can outrun it, cheat it, or delay it, but we will never omit it.  Death is not an optional doorway for humanity.  Should the Lord Jesus delay His return, we will die.

This is the sting of death.  It’s the bitterness in our souls we feel at a funeral.  We know something isn’t right about death.  Indeed, God has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  He wired humanity for eternity and no matter how old someone is we feel the brevity of our existence.

Why is this?

The sting still hurts.  It’s the physical reminder of a spiritual reality: sin has ruined us.  And moreover, we are powerless to change it.

Sin may be fun for us, but we pay the ultimate price for it: our lives.

But after we die, what happens?  Are we like dogs that die and that’s it (assuming you believe our pets don’t go to Heaven)?  We already know better than that because we were created in the image of God.  There’s something in us that is still eternal: our soul.

Unfortunately, the sting of death not only destroyed us physically, it destroyed us spiritually as well.  Our souls are dead.  Without something intervening on our behalf, we are already condemned away from God’s presence to the only place death can go: hell.

Jesus told a man named Nicodemus, “But whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18b).

We are already condemned.  We are already damned.  And we are powerless to change it.

But God…

Jesus also told Nicodemus about the way to make our souls alive again, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in Him is not condemned” (John 3:17-18a).

As I closed in last week’s post: when we understand the depth of what sin has taken from us and what we have lost, we start to understand the depth of love sending Jesus to the cross to die our death.