12/8/15 Danny 16
You would never know Danny was one generation away from murder. He looked friendly enough, and stopped immediately on the sidewalk when I told him I had a question to ask him, most likely thinking I was asking for directions and wanting to help me. And he didn’t hesitate to answer, in response to my question about whether he thought he would go to heaven, “Well, I’ve never done anything really bad like murder anyone”. And I had no reason to doubt him, he seemed like a good enough guy. But was he so good that he didn’t need the Savior? How could I convince him that he needs to put his trust in Jesus and not in his own goodness or good deeds?
Danny reasoned that he wasn’t a bad guy, compared to all the evil some people have done, like rape or murder or worse. And it does seem logical that some sins are worse than others. If we measure sin by the harm it causes, some obviously hurts more people than others and some sins even seem harmless. But is the harm it causes others really the main reason it is wrong to sin? How could I help Danny understand that all sins, including his own innocent “mistakes”, are wicked in God’s sight, without then making God seem unjust?
Instead of trying to prove to Danny the depth of his sin, I brought him back to the beginning, to Genesis, and asked “What made it so wrong for Adam to eat the forbidden fruit? What harm could it do to anyone?” Danny correctly answered “Because God said not to eat it”, so I went on to describe how Adam and Eve’s close, intimate relationship with God had been broken, how they had felt exposed and naked and run from Him and hid. How they had then been given the knowledge of good and evil so that we all now have a conscience and how every time we sin is like eating the forbidden fruit all over again because we know better and are without excuse.
The truth is the primary reason sin is condemned is because it is first and foremost an offense to God’s glory and holiness, and lest we think that some sins are harmless to others let us remember that Adam’s “harmless” sin in his generation led to murder in the next when his own son Cain murdered his brother Abel. There is no harmless sin. Romans 3:23 says that the “wages of sin is death”. There is no differentiation between types of sin, and death is absolute. All sin destroys relationships, first between ourselves and our Creator and also between ourselves and one another, even leading to murder. Sin is serious, and death is real, whether it leads to our own, or the death of our Savior in our place.