THE STING OF DEATH IS SIN
Certain simple passages of scripture have a way of escaping our understanding. The story recorded in Numbers 20:1-13 tells us Moses was denied entrance to the Promised Land because of his unbelief at Kadesh. The people complained because of lack of water. God told Moses what to do about the situation but the Bible says that Moses' actions were very displeasing to God.
God told Moses and Aaron, "Therefore because you believed me not to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them," verse 12. God in essence told Moses that what he did in this situation was done thru unbelief. "You failed to believe me," He said.
Moses' failure of faith caused him to smite the rock with his staff rather than speak to it. His failure of faith caused him to speak unadvisedly to the people thru anger. His failure of faith caused him not to sanctify God in the eyes of the people. The actions Moses took were performed because he "failed to believe God" in this situation. Moses, it seems, had a temporary failure of faith in God.
Another scripture that escapes the understanding of some is found in 1 Corinthians 15:56. Paul states that, "The sting of death is sin." What does Paul say the sting of death is? Sin. Just saying that all men fear or dread death cannot explain this verse away.
God gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. Just as sure as Christ arose from the grave the third day, we have assurance that we will be raised when he comes again. The great thing about all this is that if we have overcome sin while in this life we will be raised to eternal life in heaven. Death will have no damaging consequences to us if we die in the Lord.
On the other hand, dying outside of Christ and not having overcome sin in this life assures us that death will bring a condemnation of eternal punishment in a lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. Friend, that is the sting of death.
Sin's sting, which was brought on by Adam's transgression in the garden, is likened to the bruising of heels. Compare that to bruising Satan's head when Christ arose victoriously over death, Genesis 3:15.
The sting of death is sin.
By Wendell Ward via Road Creek Bulliten 09/26/04
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