The intense guilt that comes after sin has its own interesting methods of creeping into our minds, crippling our confidence, our thinking, and possibly everything else. In my particular case I recall that every time I sin, the memory of one particular scene in the movie 'Gladiator' comes up: that's the scene of the late actor who played Marcus Aurelius, saying a hard line to Commodus, played by Joaquin Phoenix:
“You will not be emperor.”
This line scares me in the sense that it takes away hope that things in the immediate and far future would be good; it takes away any hope that any endeavors in the future would be prosperous. In the movie, Commodus pleaded desperately despite his standing in his father's eyes, and got no sympathy that brought him back to consideration to be an heir to the throne of emperor. He took things into his own hands, killing his father, setting him off in a series of events involving jealousy and revenge, ultimately leading to his own notorious demise.
(Jb, thank you so much for ruining any of my hopes to watch that awesome movie. You already spoiled Saving Private Ryan for us. What do you have to say about that?)
Nothing, beyond my point: sin, in any form, in any 'degree', is sin. There is no such thing as a sin for the greater good, nor is there a difference between a little white lie and a false executive report of nuclear weapons present in a remote desert area or in a secluded tropical island. A lie is a lie as sin is sin, and it has its consequences – though some consequences may be less harmful to our physical bodies, they definitely have their toll on our spiritual life.
My friends, stay away from sin. Stay away from disobeying the Lord. Sin brings us a step further from the Lord's presence and a step closer into harm and vulnerability. Sin creates an opening for the enemy to take advantage of. As believers, we need to always strive towards the goal of Christ, not tarrying along the way but ensuring that our time here on earth is spent in obedience, according to His will.
If we fall, and we will fall because of our physical bodies wired to the world, there's no other way to go but back up. We need to claim the promises of God in His Word: again, 1 John 1:9 says that if we confess our sins to God, He will forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.
It doesn't stop at merely receiving forgiveness. If we really are to take this seriously, and if we truly have received forgiveness, we are therefore strengthened and empowered by Christ to 'go, and sin no more.' (John 8:11)
What a great God we serve.
If Commodus knew the Bible, he knew that he had authority bigger than what was denied of him.
Then again, history is history.
To God be all the glory.
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