Amazing Sins of the Bible

Amazing Sins of the Bible

 

Many people today regard the Bible as archaic, idiotic, just another book written by people with axes to grind the size of snowplows. But have you ever really considered some of its statements, especially about sin? Surely no mere human would require these things of anyone. Nonetheless, apparently God does.

 

 

I remember when I first became aware of sin as sin. For years I lived in relative ignorance, even though I grew up going to church. During my 1971-72 senior year in college, I began a deep and consistent search to answer questions that kept popping up in my mind: why was I alive? What happened when you died? Was there a God? What was life all about? It seemed no one I knew could answer any of them, even though I studied under some intelligent and compelling professors.

 I came home that winter and visited a friend who, to my surprise, had become a raving, lunatic Christian. She believed God was real. She believed she knew Jesus personally. She believed you could be sure when you died you went to heaven. She went on from amazement to amazement. In the end, she pointed me to a book I should read: “The Late Great Planet Earth,” a huge bestseller back then by Hal Lindsey. I cruised to the Baptist bookstore the next day and bought it. Read it that night. By the last page, I was frightened out of my gourd. I decided to begin reading the Bible and praying every night, thinking that was what I should do. 

 

 After that it started happening. First with “little white lies.” I began to notice (like I never had before) how often I just whipped those lies out when it was convenient. “No, don’t think I’ll go with you. I don’t feel good.” “Make over a 3.5 last semester. Yeah, I really did.” (It was a 3.0). Dateless on party weekend: “Oh, I have a date. She’s somewhere around. Went to get us some beers.” 

 

 I couldn’t figure it out. Why did I do such things? Yet, every time I slung one of those babies out, some little voice inside of me peeped, “That was wrong. Why did you say that? It was a lie.” 

 

 Other things started to hit, too. About sexual sin, pilfering money from others, and telling grandiose stories about my past that weren’t true. 

 

In time, I became a Christian. I started to devour the Bible like a starving mad man. It was then I began to discover the real issue of sin from Jesus. 

 

Let me show you a few statements from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7. We soon find Jesus’ words about murder. “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.”

 

Take a hard look at that. Anyone who is “angry” with his brother is “subject to judgment? What normal person would consider that worthy of a court trial besides an ambulance-chasing lawyer?

 

Look further: calling someone “Raca” (think “jerk,” “idiot,” or “moron”) means you could be dragged before the Sanhedrin for a major trial. That’s the same group that sent Jesus to the cross. Didn’t even Jesus meet a few numbskulls in his short life and call them that?

 

But then we come to the last line: calling someone a “fool” (try: “a-hole,” “s—head,” etc.) could win you the “fire of hell”. Surely you jest! Most of us utter such words every day in traffic! Had Jesus at that moment gone nuts? 

     But let’s go on. Notice what Jesus says just a little later: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

 

Whoa! Haven’t most of us guys looked on pretty women nearly every day and not felt that twinge of lust in our hearts and elsewhere? 

 

Okay, just one more. “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.”

 

Let’s face it. Divorce in our society is rampant, in every sector. I have personally been divorced once, and not even for “marital infidelity”.

 

What is going on here? Has Jesus flipped out? If this is what it’s all about, you can count most of us out. Our first day after committing to following him, we’d be back to square one on all three issues. 

 

But is Jesus really trying to make us feel bad, like dirt?

 

Not at all. What he’s doing is showing us just how difficult it is to attain the perfection God requires for us to enter heaven. God is holy, just, righteous, perfect. Infinitely perfect. Jesus says God requires the same of us. 

 

“But it’s impossible!” You cry. 

 

Right. That’s why in time, Jesus will paint two pictures. One, being perfect all on our own for our whole life, from birth. Then failing, and getting judged. Or, two, realizing you can’t do it, you’re lost.

 

You see, with the above words Jesus shows us how messed up we are in God’s eyes. That’s why he will later tell us, “I lived a perfect life for you. Come to me, take my perfect life by faith, and give me all your sins, past, present, and future. Then you receive my perfection and God’s forgiveness forever. I’ll also throw in eternal life, heaven, all of God’s riches, peace, love, joy, me being with you every moment, and everything else just to sweeten the pot.” 

 

That’s what faith is all about. No one can ever live up to God’s rules. If you think you’re a pretty good person, nice guy, decent girl, maybe you need to think again. Not even Mother Teresa could have done these things. Yet, this is what God expects of you if you want to “deserve” heaven. So why not just give up now, and give it all up to him?

 

Believe me, when you feel that gigantic burden to be perfect lift, you’ll lift off with real joy, hope, peace, and gratitude. That’s how it was for me. I not only felt physically lighter, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. For the first time in my life it was easy to admit I was a sinner, and I had sinned. Multitudes of times.

 

But now I knew the full extent of God’s forgiveness and why Jesus’ death as so necessary. It took that much to make it possible for God to wipe it all away. In my case. In every case. 

 

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