YOUR GREATEST SIN:
It is not drinking or smoking. It is not lying or stealing. It is not stinginess or selfishness. It is not laziness or failing to provide for your family. It is not gossip or criticism of others. It is not refusing or neglecting to go to church. It is not rudeness or unkindness to others. It is not swearing or using vulgar language. It is not jealousy, envy or hatred of others. It is not dishonesty or failing to meet your obligations. It is not adultery or other sex sins. It is not murder.
All these are sins and some of them are bad, but none of these is your greatest sin. Would you like to know what it is? If you will read on, I will tell you.
God created all this great universe wholly for Himself. It is exceedingly vast beyond our imagination and studded with beauty and wonder of which we have never dreamed.
You and I, His human beings, are a part of that creation, perhaps the most important part, for in us He meant to recreate Himself. He made us in His own image and likeness. He made us so He could commune with us and enjoy us. We were to possess the earth where we began and to associate with Him right here on earth.
Of course, I do not know all the plans God had for His creatures here on the earth, for life here was changed so soon and so suddenly that little more was revealed. However, we do know that God told His first man and woman to multiply and fill the earth with more creatures who were made in the image of God. Wouldn't it have been wonderful to see this whole earth filled with perfect human beings, with all of them looking and acting like God their Creator and talking with Him every day? This would have been the greatest and most glorifying thing God could do. He would have a whole planet of creatures like Himself.
However in order to create such a being, God must give him a will of his own. Otherwise, he wouldn't be like God. In so doing, the Creator would have to run the risk of His creatures breaking away from Him just as some of the angels did.
Well, this is just what happened.
Eve was deceived by Satan. She really did not know the greatness of her sin, but Adam did and he walked away from God with open eyes. He chose to go with Eve, who had become defiled, rather than to remain with God and leave her to His mercy. Since then, every child born of Adam's race, has had a nature which is set against God's will. The whole world became a race of rebels.
The world which these rebels built upon this earth is what Paul calls "this present evil world." It is shot through with sin and misery and wretchedness, with heartache, sickness and death. God has already condemned it and has marked it for complete destruction, perhaps soon. "Death has passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." This death is the wages of sin.
But God has great mercy. Even though He would be entirely just in putting the last rebel of us in Hell forever, He loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins. He paid this price to redeem us. Upon this basis, He could offer us salvation and forgiveness of sin and still be just. The good news now is that God can still make of us what He planned for us to be in the beginning. Yea, He can make more of us now. Whereas we were His creatures, we can now become His children.
He is satisfied with the sacrifice which Jesus made for us, and now He asks us to turn our hearts to Him, confess our sinfulness, bow to His judgment and place our hope of eternal life in Jesus Christ the Saviour.
This is wonderful news for condemned rebels. It means that those who will do this may now become the actual children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, born of His Spirit and nature. One day God will raise all of these from the death which sin has brought upon them, and He will recreate their bodies to make them look like Jesus, His only begotten Son. He will then come in a judgment of fire upon this old sin-scarred earth and make it again a paradise where He can dwell in love with the millions of His great redeemed family. Just think! He will dwell with us here, just as He planned to do.
Meanwhile, He has sent me and others to tell you that He would like to make of you one of these glorious persons and by so doing accomplish His greatest glory. But, remember, in doing this He will not take away your freedom. He will not force you, but He will draw you. Do you not feel His drawing love even as you read?
Now, do you see? Here is your greatest sin: You were created by Him, for Himself, for His own glory, and your greatest sin is your refusal to let Him do what He pleases with His own. You were created to "glorify God in your body." Your refusal to do this is your greatest sin. In fact, it is your damning sin. And why not? Where else can you go if you don't want to be with your Creator and Saviour? Many have turned to Christ and have been saved. You must repent or perish. You must be a bad sinner, for it took the blood of Jesus Christ to save you. Will you still rebel and resist God's will? Mercy is fading, but even now you can come. "Believe on (that is, put your trust in) the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
Scriptures to read for Further Study: Genesis, chapters 1 through 4. Romans, chapters 1 through 6. John, chapter 3, especially verses 18 & John 1:1-14; Acts 16:25-34; Galatians 1:34.
[From a tract. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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