Why So Serious?

  • Pete Johnson
Man with blue eyes

Last evening our High School Youth Group had their annual, “Schools Out Cookout.”  Of course, school is not out yet, but next week our Christian School will have its graduation ceremony. So school is kind of out, but it’s not. This, however, goes well with our theme “Schools Out Cookout”. It’s not a cookout, we order pizza from Moose’s Tooth instead of cooking on a grill. I used to take this event very seriously. What I mean by that is I would go (to be honest here, sometimes it was my wife, well OK most of the time) get all the stuff that makes a hamburger a hamburger: lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, mustard, ketchup, buns, and even cheese. Then prep everything. Then stand over a grill, usually a small one, and grill hamburgers and hotdogs for several hours. After several years of this primitive activity, I decided I was taking this event too seriously.  I said to myself “These kids would be Ok eating Oreo cookies, sour straws, and drinking soft drinks!” But being loosely associated with the adult world, I was forced to consider a healthier food choice. I compromised and starting ordering greasy, but delicious pizza. I had the kids bring the unhealthy stuff!

Speaking of taking things seriously, we always have a Bible study when we meet. Last night was no different. I spoke to the kids about why we should take sin seriously. One of the first things I asked was What kind of things do we take seriously? What kind of things Do we not take seriously?

And then the follow-up to that was WHY?

I put value on things through how serious I see them to be.

If I am serious about something, that means I place some sort of value on whatever that may be; my job, my boat, car, sports, my wife, husband, church, God’s Word… the list goes on

Then I said:

I want to give you three reasons why you should take sin seriously. 

1.) Because God takes Sin seriously

Because He is Holy
God is without sin, he is perfect, unblemished by sin, and cannot be touched by it. This is hard for us to understand because this is one of God’s immutable attributes or perfections (not shared with man).
And because of God’s Holiness sinful man is unable to approach Him.
Because Sin separates

but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.  Isa. 59:2 

Because Sin Brings death: Both Spiritually and Physically

For the wages of sin is death… Romans 6:23

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. Romans 5:12-13

2.) Satan takes Sin seriously 

Satan fully understands that God is Holy, He fully understands that sin separates, and he fully understands that sin brings death.

Satan despised God’s Holiness and instigated a rebellion in Heaven

Satan’s fall from heaven is symbolically described in Isaiah 14:12-14  and Ezekiel 28:12-18. While these two passages are referring specifically to the kings of Babylon and Tyre, they also reference the spiritual power behind those kings, namely, Satan.

God cast out Satan and a third of the angels that rebelled with him – Separated from God

 And he (Jesus) said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Luke 10:18

At the end of time, Satan and his followers will be cast into Hell– eternal death

“and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” Revelation 20:10

Satan hates everything there is about God, but knows that God takes sin seriously.

So He…Does everything he can do to entice humankind to sin. That is why he does everything he can to enslave humankind into sin

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  I Peter 5:8

Acts 5:3-Annais and Sapphira

But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?

That is why he deceived Eve in the garden That is why he tempted Jesus in the Wilderness That is why Jesus told Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,” Luke 22:31

3.) Jesus takes sin seriously:

Jesus took sin so seriously that he died in our place, willingly!

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Jesus, God’s Son, God himself took upon himself the sin of the world, your sin my sin, “the little sins”, “the big sins”: He willingly took God’s wrath, the payment for sin, for us.

“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” II Cor 5:21

“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” Gal 3:13 

Why then do we not take sin seriously?

Jerry Bridges in his book Respectable Sins wrote this.

We who are believers tend to evaluate our character and conduct relative to the moral culture in which we live. Since we usually live at a higher moral standard than society at large, it is easy for us to feel good about ourselves and to assume that God feels that way also. We fail to reckon with the reality of sin still dwelling within us.”

The Puritan Theologian John Owen wrote:

Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you. 

Sin is a serious matter. There is no grey area when it comes to the consequences of sin. Sin is an affront to the Holiness of God, Sin separates, and Sin brings death.

Do you take sin seriously?