"Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the Word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation..." (Heb. 2:1-3).
The Scriptures clearly warn that if we neglect, do nothing about, the great salvation God offers sinful man through Christ we cannot escape His righteous judgment. "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Rom. 1:18). "Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off" (Rom. 11:22). "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 11:31).
No Sinner Has Ever Escaped The Consequences Of Sin -- Even In This Life: -- Moses gave warning that is as true today as it was then: "Be sure your sin will find you out" (Num. 32: 23). Solomon observed, "The way of the transgressor is hard" (Prov. 13:15).
Adam and Eve, the first sinners, did not escape the consequences of their disobedience. In giving them a paradise in which to live God intended for them to be happy, but Eve believed the lie of the serpent, ate the forbidden fruit, gave to her husband, and he also did eat. Their sin cost them their paradise, and brought them under the sentence of death.
Cain did not escape the consequences of the sin of murdering his brother. When sentence was announced, he cried, "My punishment is greater than I can bear" (Gen. 4:13). A marginal reading indicates that he came to recognize the enormity of his sin, for his lament could mean, "My iniquity is greater than I can bear."
Even Moses and Aaron did not escape punishment for their disobedience at the water of Meribah. When God told Moses to speak to the rock to supply water for the children of Israel, he struck the rock with his rod. Though water came forth to quench the thirst of the people of Israel in that dry land, Moses had failed to do what God told him to do. "Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not believe Me to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them'" (Num. 20:12). Though they had given years of their lives in bringing the children of Israel from the bondage of Egypt to the promised land, both died before Israel crossed the Jordan into that land "flowing with milk and honey."
No Sinner (Unredeemed) Will Escape The Consequences Of Sin -- In The Life To Come, Throughout All Eternity: -- The rich man did not escape. In this life while faring sumptuously he chose to waste his opportunities to do God's Will. After death his situation was entirely different. Being in torment, he cried, "Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame" (Lk. 15:12-31). As earnest as it might have been, his cry failed to bring relief.
Judas did not escape. He was chosen to be closely associated with Christ, to learn the Will of God, to be an apostle, therefore to occupy an office on earth that gave the greatest opportunity to be a blessing to mankind, but he gave it all up for thirty pieces of silver -- which he later threw away "and went and hanged himself" (Matt. 26:14-16; 27:3-5). When one was being selected to take the place of Judas as an apostle, Peter said, "Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place" (Acts 1:25). Christ said, "It would have been good for that man if he had not been born" (Matt. 26:24).
Even angels have not escaped. "And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day" (Jd. 6).
The devil himself will not escape. "The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Rev. 20:10).
There Is A Way Of Escape -- Thanks Be To A Merciful God!:-- Out of love that reaches from heaven to a world contaminated by the sins of rebellious man God has provided a way of escape for us through His Son. "For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21). It is as if we were imprisoned because of our misdeeds in a dreadful dungeon, awaiting the coming of the executioner. We hear footsteps. We know the time for justice has come. There can be no escape. But there is! The king has not sent the executioner. He has sent His Son to pay the penalty for our crimes, to die that we might live. In all the annals of history this no doubt has never happened in the affairs of mortal man. It has happened in the affairs of a loving God, Who has made available for every lost sinner the cleansing power of the blood of His beloved Son. (1 Pet. 1:18,19).
The way of escape is through faith -- that destroys the love of sin; through repentance -- that destroys the practice of sin; through baptism -- that destroys the state of sin, that brings one to the death of Christ, and therefore to the cleans ing blood of the Lamb. "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rom. 6:3,4).
Yes, there is a way of escape because God has provided for us the means of "a great salvation" through the sacrifice of His own dear Son. Reject it, and we can be sure that our sins will find us out both in this life and in the eternal lif to come.
By W.B. Norris in Gospel Guide, Jan. 1996.
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