Which Are You?
"Now the son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel; and this Israelite woman’s son and a man of Israel fought each other in the camp. And the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the Name of the Lord and cursed; and so they brought him to Moses." Leviticus 24:10-11 Today, cursing the Name of the Lord is hardly recognized as a sin, and certainly not judged a crime worthy of the death penalty. People don't think about sin anymore, that's just so old fashioned. Men have risen up teaching that sin is an archaic idea based on Scriptures that were written thousands of years ago and no longer relevant in "modern" society. But those are lies. God's Word does NOT change with the times, it remains forever because it is the Word of God. "For I am the Lord, I DO NOT CHANGE;" Malachi 3:6 "The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the Word of the Lord endures forever.” 1 Peter 1:24-25 Moses was directed by God to pronounce the death penalty upon the man who cursed the Name of God. "And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Take outside the camp him who has cursed; then let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him.'" Leviticus 24:13-14 vs 16: "...whoever blasphemes the Name of the Lord shall surely be put to death." To the modern mind this seems crazy, it seems so extreme. Why is it so serious that it brings the death penalty? Why were so many of the sins listed in the Old Testament worthy of something as drastic as the death penalty? Well Scripture answers this question for us. "For whatever things were written before WERE WRITTEN FOR OUR LEARNING..." Romans 15:4 Man needs to know the seriousness of sin. In today's society everything is relative. Little white lies are laughed at. The huge sins are those most people don't commit, murder, rape, incest, etc. Many would agree that heinous sins perhaps might draw the death penalty, but to be stoned for a "minor" sin? The whole point is to drive home the DEADLINESS of sin. ALL sin. Because once one has broken the law of God, he's broken the whole law, just as a break in a glass breaks the whole glass. And one who has broken the law of God is forever guilty. "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all." James 2:10 And the penalty for sin is death, both in the Old Testament and in the New: "For the wages of sin is death..." Romans 6:23 (in the New Testament) In our world today, this just isn't the case. But in God's economy, the wages of sin is still death. Once a man understands this, what will his reaction be? If he truly understands it, he will become aware of the hopeless burden of guilt he bears. Whether it's in "minor" sin or great sin, the penalty of sin is death. If he truly understands this, he will realize he is TOTALLY LOST. And that's the point: the law is meant to bring us to the realization that we are all sinners, guilty of great sins and "minor" sins, every sinner is totally lost. Knowing that mankind is lost, God himself provided the solution. He sent his Son into the world for one purpose: to take upon himself the penalty of our sin and bear the curse of sin on himself -- IN OUR PLACE. This is why Jesus died, and this is why it is exclusively through him that a person can be saved. No other "religion" offers someone sinless who paid for all mankind the penalty of death. To be sure, if there were any other way to salvation, that would have made the crucifixion of Jesus Christ unnecessary. Jesus Christ said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME." John 14:6 The solution the Lord provided is the ONLY solution, and it is granted to him who turns to the Savior, confessing his own sin and in all humility asking the Savior to save him. If he is willing to surrender his sinful self to the Lord Jesus Christ, pardon is granted because Jesus Christ has born the judgment on his sin on his behalf. But it's all or nothing. Salvation is not cheap - it cost Jesus Christ his life. But that wasn't the end of the story. Three days later, Jesus Christ rose from the dead, promising believers that they too, as long as they are in him, will be raised from the dead and brought to heaven. Why were there two criminals crucified with Jesus on Calvary? Those two criminals represented all of sinful mankind, because all of mankind is criminal. One rejected Christ with sarcasm, the other criminal humbled himself before the Lord and asked him to remember him when he came into his Kingdom. The first represented all who reject the Savior, and the second represented all who receive him. The first sinner was lost, the second sinner was saved. It's all or nothing. Which are you?