November 16, 2023
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Three New York City boys broke into a zoo there, and one of them climbed into the polar bear area to swim in the moat. He was attacked by those bears. He was brutally killed. I was intrigued by an interview with the Park's Commissioner of New York City who said afterwards, "You know, bears are portrayed to children as friendly animals, even as cuddly animals. We've got Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, and Smokey the Bear. But the Park's Commissioner went on to say, "Actually, they're carnivorous killers." He was right. I mean look, the image of bears is cuddly; the reality is deadly. And not just in bear country.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When Sin Looks Safe."
Which leads us to our word for today from the Word of God which is found in James 1:15. It's a very revealing verse. "After desire has conceived" - okay, wait, I want to do this, I want to have this - "After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin when it is full grown gives birth to death." Now it's interesting this scenario ends in the death of a relationship or the death of self-respect, or even physical death, or the death of a reputation. It all starts out only as a desire - just an enticement. Sin looks so good. It looks like so much fun. It looks like it will meet a need for me; it will benefit me in some way. Like those polar bears. Looks cuddly, but it's a killer.
You see, in reality, there is nothing more beautiful than good, and nothing more ugly than evil. But our world and our imaginations tell us that the opposite is true, there is nothing more ugly than good, and nothing more beautiful than evil. So we flirt with what we should be fleeing from. Maybe you're playing right now in the bear cage of sin. And the wrong still looks cuddly and exciting, enticing. You're in a relationship you never should have gotten into.
Maybe you've fallen for the pressure to try some things that are wrong, but apparently they're not hurting you now, right? Or maybe it's all in your mind, playing with sin right now, fantasizing, considering. You're doing something you never thought you would do as God's child. Or maybe you're thinking about something you still think you'll never do, but remember it's inevitable. It starts as a desire, and desire becomes sin. You think it, you do it, and then you pay for it. That compromise seems to promise love, or attention, or excitement. But remember, God's equation is never wrong; it will always lead to dying. Sin will fascinate you but it will ultimately assassinate you.
A New York boy underestimated the danger of a bear, and he died as a result. Right now, you might be underestimating the danger of what seems to be a very desirable sin. And if you don't get out now while you can, it will turn on you and it will kill everything you care about.
If you want to know what sin really looks like, unwrapped in all of its ugliness, in all of its dyingness, you take a look at the cross and the mangled body of the Son of God hanging on that cross, nailed there, beaten beyond recognition. And you will see Jesus crying out, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" That is the price of sin. But one He never meant for you to pay. He paid it himself. That's how much he loves you.
This is a day for you to be set free from the sin that can only carry a death penalty forever. "The wages of sin is death" the Bible says, "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." I invite you today, to abandon the killer called sin at His cross, and allow Him to forgive you and set you free. If that's never happened for you, never made personal for you what He did on the cross, I'd love to help you do that. Would you go to our website? It's ANewStory.com.
It doesn't matter how warm and cuddly a sin may appear, it's a killer, not to be played with but abandoned, forgiven, and set free from.