The Consequences of Sin

Many people suffer because of the actions of others. Be it genocide, mass starvation, disease, greed, or pollution, there are real consequences to sinful actions. The various evils affecting our planet today such as, murder, robbery, theft, kidnapping, rape, deceit, or any other sin, all have devastating effects not only on the ‘sinner’ but on society at large.

Greed and Dishonesty

Greed and Dishonesty

Greed, as with other sins, is at the root of many of today’s ills. As an example, many people have become addicted to gambling and often lie to hide their habit from loved ones. Even farmers and those involved in agriculture who supply the foods we eat everyday, have been known to abandon safe agricultural practices for quick money. Many commercial farms feed their animals a high calorie grain instead of natural feed so animals can gain weight in the shortest time possible. On top of that, sometimes parts of dead animals are added to animal feed to increase their growth while other commercial farms use growth hormones to fatten the animals quickly. No wonder maladies like Mad Cow Disease (BSE) have been linked to such practices.

There is another example of greed and dishonesty that hits a little closer to home. Each year, thousands of people cheat on their income tax returns as dishonesty becomes the acceptable norm in society. Also, many western companies, in pursuit of cheap labour, exploit foreign employees abroad to increase their profit margins. Greed reigns in the marketplace. For instance, nations in need are denied food and medicine, which are readily available elsewhere in the world because profit driven companies only want to provide for those who can pay for them. Charity is often ignored for the sake of profit! Simply stated, by being so covetous, much of this world’s business violates God’s Commandments about stealing, and loving our neighbour as ourselves.

Sexual Immorality

Sexual Immorality

Consider the consequences of sexual immorality. Persons engaging in such activities put themselves at risk of contracting an STD. AIDS, for example, is taking a staggering toll on human life and is among the deadliest epidemics in modern history. Sexual activity outside of marriage may also result in unwanted pregnancies. This in turn often leads to abortions. Many marriages are being destroyed because of adultery, which is unequivocally condemned by the Word of God. Sexual immorality has led to many single parent homes, causing many negative effects on children.

There are other costs, too. Many suffer emotional pain and live with tremendous regret because of illicit sex. Ultimately, these behaviours place an extra financial burden on health care systems. Meanwhile, millions of dollars are spent on research, hoping to find a cure for STDs such as HIV/AIDS. Although HIV can be transmitted through non-sexual means, if there were no sexual sins, there would be no HIV/AIDS pandemic; transmission rates would be extremely low.

Thou Shalt Not Murder

Thou Shalt Not Murder

No one can dispute the emotional pain that results from losing a loved one. In spite of this, our society is plagued with murder and violence. Wars throughout the world, for example, are taking lives at a staggering rate. World War II alone claimed an estimated 62 million lives globally. The destruction of economies, disruption of food and medical supplies, and untold human suffering are all terrible consequences of war. War generates countless hardships: women are beaten and raped, property is destroyed or lost, environmental damage occurs, and millions of refugees fleeing their homeland are all testaments to the tragedy of war and its toll throughout history.

Monetary Costs

Sin has a very high monetary cost. This is evident when considering the cost of crime within a city or nation. While it is impossible to calculate an exact financial figure for the pain and suffering resulting from sin, there are studies that attempt to estimate the monetary cost of crime. A study released in 2004 by the Canadian Department of Justice entitled, The Cost of Pain and Suffering from Crime in Canada estimated that the cost of all crime occurring in 1999 in Canada was $35.8 billion CAD. This number includes the offences of homicide, assault, sexual assault, robbery, property, and vandalism. In the United States, a National Institute of Justice report, Victim Costs and Consequences: A New Look released in 1996 reported that the cost of personal crime for Americans including pain and suffering totaled $450 billion USD per year. Undeniably, sin levies a high price on society that we all must bear.

The Real Costs

However, the real costs of sin cannot be reduced to a dollar amount because of the incalculable spiritual consequences. Mankind has pursued a way of life that is contrary to that which is revealed in the pages of the Bible. Society’s way of life, anchored in a ‘get rather than give’ mentality is paved with sin, focusing on concern for oneself rather than others. Sin produces a myriad of costly and detrimental effects on us and our environment.

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is the way of death.” The end result of sin, if left unchecked, leads to suffering, pain, death, and eventually complete destruction. There is a way to live that leads to long lasting peace and happiness. However, to achieve such results, like the city of Nineveh, we must collectively turn to the God of the Bible and repent of breaking His laws (see the article, When a Nation Repents). In today’s world, it seems unlikely an entire city or nation will turn to God and repent; but individually we can. You can reject a life that leads to the tragic consequences of sin, and begin a new life in Christ, that leads to good health, peace, happiness, and prosperity (3 John 1:2). The choice is yours!

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