What destroys the sinner? God or sin?

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The sinner brings destruction upon himself by his own choices and rebellion (Romans 6:23; 5:12; James 1:15; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11). When a person neglects to pay attention to the invitations, reproofs, and warnings of the Holy Spirit, his conscience becomes partially seared, and the next time he is warned, it is harder for him to obey than the time before (1 Timothy 4:2). And eventually he reaps the results of his own evil actions (Revelation 21:8; Numbers 32:23).

Old Testament

When Saul’s heart strayed away from God and the “Spirit of the Lord departed from” him, the evil spirit, which came instead, is said to have come “from the Lord” (1 Samuel 16:14). However, this must not to be understood that the Lord is the author of evil. But that in His plan, He simply does not perform a supernatural work to prevent the results of sin. “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26).

The sinner is like a man who is suffering from a horrible sickness, yet refuses medical treatment. However, the Bible teaches that God, the great physician, is often represented as sending also the results of the disease upon those who refuse His remedy. For example, He is represented as sending a lying spirit into the mouth of the prophets that they might counsel a king to undertake the wrong course he was already determined to pursue (1 Kings 22:19–23).

Ancient Israel destroyed themselves with their pride, idolatry, immorality, and unbelief. For sin is ever suicidal (Proverbs 8:36; Ezekiel 18:20; 33:10, 11). Israel’s destruction was caused by their own evil deeds. They had ample time to change their course of action and return to God but they refused. The Lord said, “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thine help” (Hosea 13:9).

New Testament

The story of Judas Iscariot, Christ’s disciple, is an illustration to the deadly consequences of rejecting the convictions of the Holy Spirit. When Judas finally ignored every appeal to his soul, he betrayed his Lord (Luke 22:3; John 6:70; 13:27). And later on, he hanged himself for his evil act (Matthew 27:1-10).

The Lord withdraws from the person that rebels and rejects Him. He withdraws His Spirit, and then gives up that person to his own mistakes, and allows sin to bring forth its unavoidable fruitage of death. Therefore, the Lord invites His children saying, “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion” (Hebrews 3:15).

A message of hope

While throughout the whole history of mankind destruction and defeat are the just consequence of sinful man, goodness and mercy are the dispensation of a righteous, loving God (Romans 5:8). All what the sinner needs is to open his heart to the Lord. For the Lord declared, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?’” (Ezekiel 33:11).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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