Where can sin be seen in our world today? In the previous chapter we learned how sin entered the world: "Wherefore, as by one man (Who was this man? _________ ) sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon ________ _________, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12). Can the results and effects of this manís sin still be seen and felt in our world today?
Sometimes one "small act" can have great effects and consequences. Have you
ever set up dominoes in a long line? When the first one is knocked over, it hits
the second one, and the second one hits the third one, and the third hits the
fourth, and this chain reaction continues until every domino in the line falls.
All dominoes fall down because just one little domino is knocked over! This
chain reaction is called "the domino effect." The first domino does not
fall alone. It brings others down with it. The first man was not the only one to
fall. Adam brought down others. Adamís sin did not merely result in a
fallen man; it resulted in a fallen race. All men are fallen (including each one of
us), and the effects of Adamís sin can be seen everywhere.
If we were to look back through the pages of history, we could certainly find examples of the sinfulness and wickedness of man upon the earth. For example:
1) We can find the effects of sin even in Adamís own family. Adam and Eveís firstborn son "rose up against his brother, and S________ H______" (Genesis 4:8). It is not difficult to detect sin in the life of Cain. As 1 John 3:12 says, "...his (Cainís) own works were ____________." The first child ever born turned out to be a wicked murderer and a child of the devil!
2) Manís sinfulness is also clearly seen in the days of Noah. Here is Godís description of the people who lived before the flood (Genesis 6:5,12): "And GOD saw that the ____________________ of man was _________________ in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only ___________ continually....And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was ________________" (Genesis 6:5,12). If God had not brought the flood upon this corrupt world with a flood, man's wickedness would only have gotten worse and worse, like a spreading cancer. God had to remove the cancer (with a worldwide flood) in order to save the world.
3) In the days of Abraham it was not difficult to see evidences of manís wickedness. Genesis 13:13 describes the men of Sodom: "But the men of Sodom were _______________ and _______________ before the LORD exceedingly." See also Genesis 18:20. What great judgment did God bring against these people?
4) In the days of David, "God looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any that did understand and seek God" (Psalm 14:1-2; a psalm written by David). What was the result of Godís search? Did He find anyone who had not been affected by sin? Did He find anyone who had escaped the pollutions of sin? "They are _____________ gone aside, they are all together become ____________ (corrupt, like sour milk): there is ____________ that doeth _________, no, not ________" (Psalm 14:3).
5) The sinfulness of man was quite obvious in the days of Christ. When the Son of God left heaven and came to this earth, how was He treated? We all know the answer. He was rejected, mocked, accused, arrested, beaten, spit upon, scourged, mistreated, reviled, and crucified as a common criminal. Those who treated Christ in such ways were not savage barbarians. These persecutors were civilized, highly educated, morally upright, and religious people, and yet they treated God's Son in such a horrible way. In this dark hour of human history, the awfulness of sin was clearly seen.
If the Lord Jesus Christ were to come to earth today, how do you think He would be treated by the world? Would He be received, loved, worshipped, adored, and honored by all men? Would He be treated much better than He was 2000 years ago? What do you think?
6) Can the terrible effects of sin be seen even in recent centuries?
We have experienced the terrors of two world wars. During the Second World War
millions of Jews and other hated people were mercilessly put to death and exterminated
by the German government. This holocaust was certainly a dark chapter in the history of
the world, and it was a time when the effects of sin were quite evident.
What do you think about the following description of modern man?
Man has come a long way since the days of Adam, Noah, Abraham, David, the Lord Jesus Christ, and Hitler. Modern man has made great advancements. He has learned from his past mistakes, and he does not want to repeat the sad lessons of history. He has learned to get along with his fellow man. He has learned to practice love and brotherhood. He sees no need for wars or violence. In this modern age there is no need for such things. In this new age of computers and electronics, man is using his great scientific knowledge for the advancement of all mankind. The nations of the world share all their resources and work together for the common good of all. The prisons of the world are so seldom used that they need to be renovated for other purposes. Crime is very rare, and it is almost a thing of the past. Kindness and courtesy are seen everywhere. Yes, the effects of Adamís sin are no longer felt. The human race has freed itself from the awful curse of sin and wickedness!
What do you think of this description of modern man? Is it accurate? Is it true to facts? It is true that modern man has made some amazing advancements, especially in the areas of science and technology and medicine, etc, but is it true that man has made advancements when it comes to putting away sin and putting on righteousness?
As God looks upon our earth, what does He see? Does He see what He saw in Genesis 6:5? Does He see what He saw in Psalm 14:1-3?
We cannot see the world through the holy eyes of God. Something might seem
bad to us, but we can be sure that it is much worse in the eyes of God. When it
comes to viewing sin, we can only see the mere tip of the iceberg of wickedness,
but God sees the whole iceberg. Even though we cannot see all that God does,
letís take an honest look at our world to find the evidences of sin. Where does
sin show up? Where can sin be found? Where can it be seen? Where does it raise up its ugly head?
You can only see one little section of the world--that section where you live. You can see your own neighborhood, your own town, your own school, etc. With the help of television and radio and newspapers your view of the world can be greatly enlarged, and you are able to get a better view of the world (a bigger and better picture of what is really taking place on our planet).
Consider the daily news. Is it mostly good news or mostly bad news? Do we learn about a world with more and more problems and troubles, or do we learn about a world with less and less problems and troubles? How does the news help us to see the effects of sin? Look at the front page of a recent issue of the newspaper. Notice each front page story to see if and how it publishes menís sinfulness and wickedness. Do you find the same evidence of man's sinfulness from tuning into the news on television or radio?
What are some of the major problems that the nations of the world face? Do most of these problems spring from the sinfulness of man? How is this so? Are there wars going on somewhere in the world today? Why is this so (see James 4:1-2)? Why do some countries want to invade and conquer other countries? How is the sin of man seen in such acts of aggression? What are some of the major problems that our nation faces today? Do some of these problems spring from the sinfulness of man? How is this so?
As you look in and around your school, can you see any of the effects of sin? What problems does your school face? What problems do the students face? Do any of these problems derive from sin? Can the effects of sin be seen by watching the way the students talk and act (and even by the way the teachers talk and act)? Are there ever any fights in school? Does cheating ever take place? Are school rules ever violated? Are teachers ever disrespected? Are students ever unfaithful in fulfilling assignments?
As you look at your home and at other homes, do you see any of the effects of sin? Do you find everyone living together in peace and harmony? Do you always find parents lovingly caring for their children? Do you always find children obeying and respecting their parents? Do you always see brothers and sisters getting along well together? Do you see many divided homes with parents divorced or separated? Does the sin of man have anything to do with such things (see Matthew 19:6-9)? Consider carefully the sins listed in Ephesians 4:25-31 and Colossians 3:8-9. Do any of these sins rear up their ugly head in the homes with which you are familiar? If the homes have problems, can you understand why nations have problems?
Think about the church. Do you attend a perfect church or are there problems in the church? Why is this so? Has there ever been a need for your church to exercise church discipline? Is the church shielded and protected from the effects of sin? Can you think of problems that your local church is facing right now that are the results of sin?
Television is a reflection of society. What we see on television often accurately reflects what is taking place in the world. As you view different television shows, can you see the effects of sin? Does television help to illustrate the wickedness of man? How? Can you think of a show which you saw this past week which pointed in some way to manís sinfulness? Are there some shows that should not even be broadcast? Why or why not? Are there shows which you know are not appropriate to even turn on (Psalm 101:3)? If you wanted to train a young child how to think right, act right, speak right and live right, would you want them to copy much of what they might see and hear on TV? Why or why not?
In the world of entertainment, can you see the effects of sin? What do people do and where do people go for entertainment? Are any of these activities "sin-related"? Are sex and violence popular themes in many of todayís movies? Do movies portray the things of the world or the things of God? In the films of the world, how common are alcohol and drugs? How often do such films portray the Bible and God-fearing people in a favorable light? Is 2 Timothy 3:4 true of our day? (See also John 15:18-19; 1 John 2:15-17 and 1 Corinthians 2:14.)
In the world of sports, can you see the effects of sin? Do the great athletes always live exemplary lives? Do they all come from happy families that are characterized by love and peace? Do any of the "superstars" ever have problems with drugs? With women? With greed (the love of money)? Have even sports been spoiled by the pollution of sin?
As people drive on the highways, can the effects of sin be seen? Are drivers always courteous and thoughtful? Do they faithfully obey the rules of the road? Do drivers always refuse to drive when they are under the dangerous influence of alcohol? Do they refuse to ever let one piece of litter fall from their car window? If a driver disagrees with the driving habits of another, does he usually roll down the window and in a calm voice politely express his disagreement with the other driver?
Can the effects of sin be seen everywhere we go? Do you have liquor stores in your town? Is pornography sold in stores located in your town or city? As you go into other stores (drug stores, convenience stores, department stores, music stores, book stores, etc.), what do you see that reminds you of manís wickedness? Does a Christian young person need to be careful when he is shopping? Why? Are there some things that believers should not look at?
Take a good, hard look at the music which is so popular today. Does this music point in any way to the sinfulness of man? Think about the lyrics of many of the popular songs. What are some of the common themes that many of these lyrics address? Think about the popular musicians of our day (even those who are so idolized by young people). Are these people worthy examples for other young people to follow? Do they set a good example by their appearance, their speech, and their private lives? When you walk into a store where music is sold, would you feel a sense of peace and harmony, a feeling that everything is right and in order?
Can you think of other things in our world that clearly show the effects of sin? Wherever we look, we are reminded that we are members of a fallen race and that the curse of sin is upon us.
In Genesis 2:17 and Romans 5:12, we learn that D____________ is one of the major consequences of sin. Sin brings death, and death always follows sin: "...and sin; when it is finished, __________ ___________ ____________". ( James 1:15)
The world is full of reminders that we live in a world that is under the curse of sin and death. Consider cemeteries, hospitals, diseases, funeral homes, insurance companies, undertakers, electric chairs, obituary pages in the newspaper, a will (legal document), fossils, wars, etc. Such things remind us that we live in a sin-cursed world in which all men are surely headed towards the grave (compare Genesis 3:19).
Spiritual death also results from sin. Spiritual death means separation from
God (Isaiah 59:2). The person who is spiritually dead does not enjoy a
personal, real, and right relationship with the living God (John 17:3; compare 1 Thessalonians 4:5). Instead of knowing God and enjoying His
life and fellowship (1 John 1:5-9), most people live each day showing clearly that God is absent from their lives. They leave God out of their thinking
and acting. They live as if "there is no God" (Psalm 14:1). Is this a good
description of "modern day man"?
We have considered sin and wickedness in the nations of the world, in our own nation, in our school, in our home, in our church, on television, in the world of entertainment and sports, on the highways, in the shopping centers, in the lyrics of our songs, and in the lives of our popular musical performers. We have looked almost everywhere, but we need to look one more place. Do you see sin and wickedness in your own heart? Do you see the effects of sin in your own life? Have you been affected by the pollutions of sin?
It is easy to spot sin in others, but often we are blind to it in ourselves (see Matthew 7:1-5; compare 2 Samuel 12:1-7). Sins are like the headlights of a car. Those of others always seem more glaring than our own. Are you part of the sin problem in this world? How?
Are you ready to see God's picture of you? Are you ready to see Godís spiritual X-RAY of your heart? Read carefully the following verses:
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Do you see yourself in these verses? Do these verses really describe you? Or, do you say, "Iím not really that bad. I know Iím sinful, but Iím not that sinful. Some people are like that, but that does not describe me."
Did you know that a person cannot really be saved unless he (or she) sees himself as a sinner in God's sight, as described in these verses? If we do not see our own SINFULNESS and WICKEDNESS, then we are not ready for the SAVIOUR who came to "save His people from their ____________" (Matthew 1:21).
May God help us to see ourselves as God sees us, and then to flee to the only Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you put your trust in Him?
LIFE IS SHORT
DEATH IS SURE
SIN THE CAUSE
CHRIST THE CURE!
How can Christ be the cure for sin? In the remaining chapters of these notes we will find the answer to this as we study the mighty crosswork the Lord Jesus Christ.