By Glendol McClure
The Hebrew writer warned those to whom he wrote about the deceitfulness of sin when he said: “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. 3:13). Involvement in sin deceives its victims. It hardens the heart and can result in a heart that the gospel cannot or is very difficult to penetrate.
Just think of the alcoholic — there had to be the first drink. The drug addict — there had to be the first “hit.” And, the chronic gambler — there had to be the first bet! All victims of such sins were deceived by it. If you ask anyone who has been deceived by these sins, he would quickly admit (if he is honest) that he gave no thought to the consequences of his actions (Gen. 3:1-23). What will sin do?
First — It Will Take You Farther Than You Wanted Or Intended to Go. The first drink of alcohol, the first “high,” the first bet, is as far as many planned to go! But all who end up as chronic alcoholics, drug addicts, and chronic gamblers had to take that first step. Involvement in one sin often leads to involvement in other sins and usually comes in a packaged deal (2 Sam. 11-12).
Second — It Will Keep You Longer Than You Wanted to Stay. Those who fall victim are blinded by the pleasure of the first drink, the first high or the first win (Heb. 11:25). It gave them so much pleasure the first time that they are sucked into going after it again and again and again. Many think, “just one more time won’t hurt.” They only intended to drink alcohol to be social, or smoke marijuana socially or to place a bet just “once in a while,” then find themselves entangled and overcome by it (2 Pet. 2:20).
Third — It Will Cost You More Than You Wanted to Pay. Many never consider the consequences of their sinful actions? How many alcoholics planned on killing an innocent person with a motor vehicle? How many drug addicts planned on contacting AIDS or stealing to support their habit? How many considered the physical pain, mental suffering, wrecked marriages, neglected children, broken homes and lives that are destroyed by their involvement in sin. And most importantly, how many consider the fact that their souls are at stake (Acts 5:1-10)?
Some might think “that this can’t happen to me . . . I’m a good Christian and I don’t take part in such!” But what about “Christians” who smoke or look at pornographic material, what about those who dabble in the lottery, what about those who dress immodestly not giving a thought that they can cause someone to lust, what about those who are involved in adultery and fornication, religious error, etc. (see Gal. 5:19-21)? Can these take you farther than you wanted or intended to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay? YES! And, they can cost you your soul! Heed the words of the Psalmist who wrote: “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Ps. 1:1, 2). Let us also heed the words of truth spoken by Solomon who wrote: “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away” (Prov. 4:14, 15). Brethren, “Be not deceived” (1 Cor. 6:9-10).
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