In our day it seems that most people have no concept of the seriousness of sin. It’s a fact that the Bible teaches that all are sinners (Romans 3:23); but many people take this teaching as a comfort, when it should be seen as horrendous. You probably don’t take sin all that seriously. Since everyone is a sinner you might surmise that sin is no big deal. But the terrifying reality is that sin is a big deal. Your sin is a very big deal….to God.
In fact, sin is such a big deal to God that we find in Scripture that he has promised to pour out infinite wrath upon sin. This means that because of your sin you can expect to spend eternity in Hell; a place that Jesus described as a place where “the worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.” (Mark 9:48) You might say that this is too great of a punishment for your sin, because after all sin is no big deal. Well, it’s no big deal to you. But it is a big deal to God; and therein lies the problem.
You don’t make the rules for eternity…God does. That’s part of what ruling the universe is all about. God decides who goes to Heaven and Hell; and he has not sought sinful man’s opinions in making his determinations. So he has decreed and declared that the price for sin is infinite wrath. And the place where this infinite wrath is poured out is in Hell. That is your lot. Don’t you long for another option? Don’t you wish there was another way? God’s justice demands this infinite payment. But thankfully, God’s grace provides another option besides eternal Hell.
Jesus Christ came as “God among us” to live a life of perfection, then died a sacrificial death on behalf of those who turn to him in repentant faith. Rather than facing eternal wrath in Hell, Christ takes upon Himself, on the cross, the wrath that his sheep rightfully deserve. Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice and they follow me.” (John 10:27) In other words, those whom the Lord saves don’t continue on in sin. They turn from sin in repentance and they follow Christ the rest of their days. He is their Shepherd. He is their Lord. He is their Master. He is their Substitute regarding God’s wrath.
Sin is serious business and God will punish it one way or another. It’s either Hell or the Cross. I exhort all sinners to flee to Christ. This is the only way to salvation. Your depravity might lead to you ignoring all warnings. Or the Spirit of God might quicken you and you might joyfully turn to Christ. My prayer for you is that you would repent. That you would see the seriousness of sin, and experience the beauty and grace of one who paid the price by death, so that others might live.
What would you consider your greatest treasure in life? When this question is asked, people will typically give a variety of answers. Some would say their greatest treasure is their family. Kids, parents, siblings, and grandparents should all be important to you. But they shouldn’t be your greatest treasure.
Others might answer that their house is their greatest treasure. Or perhaps a boat; or a car; or maybe some precious heirloom passed down for generations. While all of these may be important, none of them should be your greatest treasure.
Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” (Matthew 13:44 NASB) So the kingdom of Heaven is more precious than anything. And what exactly is implied by the Kingdom of Heaven?
Most people wrongly assume that Heaven is nothing more than their sinful pleasures being indulged to the utmost for eternity. But the cold hard truth is that those who crave and live in sin will never see the Kingdom of Heaven. The glorious and joyous reality of Heaven is that it is the place where we will forever be in the very presence of Christ, where sinning is no longer possible and indeed no sin is allowed. Does it excite you to think of being with Christ forever? If not, then rest assured you’re not a Christian. You may think you are. But if Christ is not your treasure, then your heart has not been changed.
In John 3, Jesus said we must be “born again” to see the Kingdom of Heaven. When this spiritual birth takes place in a sinner’s soul, their life and desires change forever. Though there is still a struggle against sin, there is a newfound hatred for it; and a newfound love for Christ as the all-satisfying treasure of life. Apart from this new birth, no one is saved. Apart from this new birth, you will spend eternity in Hell; a place of unending torment for those who valued other things above Christ.
I encourage you to examine your life and carefully consider whether or not you’re truly a Christian. Jesus taught very clearly that many will think they are saved when they are in fact deceived and perishing. (see Matthew 7) It’s terrifying to consider that so many Americans think they’re saved when they are in fact on a wide road to Hell.
Prayerfully consider your life. Read the Bible passages cited above. And honestly, before God, honestly ask yourself: “Is Christ my greatest treasure?” If there answer is no, repent and beg God to change you. This world will never satisfy your deepest desires. Only Christ is worthy of your greatest devotion. Christ and only Christ…should be your greatest treasure.