Tag Archives: penalty for sin

(Jeremiah 4) You’d Be Foolish

God’s judgment is real – and without mercy. He doesn’t want to sentence anyone for crimes committed against Him. In fact, we know He Himself paid our penalty, took on Himself the sentence our sins deserve. But He will judge those who reject Him, and they will be found guilty.

As devastating as impending judgment will be, God is anxious and willing to forgive anyone at any time – if they surrender to Him. Obedience, a repentant heart, putting on the righteousness of Jesus renders my guilty sentence paid in full. Someone paid my debt!

Chapter 4 likens surrendering to God by five actions. It’s like plowing the ground to receive the seeds, like performing heart surgery, joining the army, taking a bath, like growing up. In each instance, the person is changed. And God demands we change. (from Warren Wiersbe’s With The Word, Chapter by Chapter Bible Handbook; Thomas Nelson Press; 1991; p 499)

God wants to be very clear – judgment is inevitable. It’s coming for you. The question is – are you going to take it on your own, or are you going to surrender to the Judge and allow His Son to take your death sentence for you? That is a decision you need to make BEFORE you meet the judge. Standing before Him after you are dead will be too late.

Don’t be foolish. You don’t want to take your own punishment. You don’t want to serve your own death sentence. That is one sentence from which there is no parole. And there is no need to serve it, if you only surrender to God and accept Jesus’ death on the cross as your own.

He’s willing to make that happen. Choose Jesus! You’d be foolish not to.

February 20; Not Diseased Any More

Leviticus 13:47-15:33

Don’t read these chapters while you are eating. It’s pretty disgusting to read about leprosy and mold and body fluids with a spoonful of cereal in your mouth. Trust me.

But don’t let that stop you from reading these chapters. God has some serious warnings, and a beautiful promise for us to hear through His Word today.

Scripture often uses leprosy or disease as a physical picture of the effects of sin in our lives. (Ps 147:3; Isaiah 1:5-6; etc.) So as I read chapter 13 I see that sin goes deep into our souls. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us:

The heart is deceitful above all and desperately wicked. 

Paul even said in Romans 7:18:

For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) no good thing dwells.

If you believe in the innate goodness of humanity, you would be wrong.

The diseased person was considered unclean, and anyone coming in contact would also be considered unclean. So lepers were forced to live in isolation, outside the city. Even then, if a person would come near, the leper had to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” to warn them not to get too close.

The Bible tells us sin isolates us. Oh, we may enjoy hanging out with other sinners, but your sin is your sin, your hangover your hangover, your venereal disease destroying your body. And, be warned: Hell is the ulitmate isolation. Don’t count on receiving an invitation to a party there. Don’t expect to even be chained to the wall next to your buddy. Your sin, your choice to isolate yourself from God, will isolate you from everyone and everything, including God, for eternity. Not into nothingness, but into an eternal state of knowing you are unclean, and without hope.

Don’t stop reading with chapter 13. There is a sweet picture in chapter 14 of forgiveness, of cleansing. I love how the former leper is pronounced clean. It’s a description of Jesus Himself; confined to a clay jar of flesh and bones, blood shed and applied, then He rose again! It’s also a picture of me: bound in a clay jar of sin, accepting the blood of my precious Savior, and free to fly, free from the disease of sin!

If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9) That’s a promise you can count on!

Oh, another thing. Notice in chapter 14 the priest went to the leper. The priest defied the “Do Not Touch” order and went to where the leper was. Does that remind you of anyone?

I love Jesus so much!

Chapter 15 reminds me of my responsibility to others. There is nothing sinful about bowel movements, sex between a husband and wife, (or a sneeze). But allowing myself to do those things without cleaning up, can be harmful to those with whom I have contact. It involves a washing every day, sometimes multiple times a day.

God tells us to be holy, like He is holy. That doesn’t involve a bath, or baptism, at some point then assuming you’re fixed for life. Every time God points out a blemish, a sin, I need to throw it under the blood. I need to repent, receive His forgiveness, let Him clean me up. And once that is done, I am not diseased any more. And I need have no fear of spreading the disease of sin to anyone else.

Thank you, God for drawing us this picture in Your Word. Some of the details of the diseases, the creeping crud, the body fluid are disgusting. But I’m reminded sin disgusts you even more. Thank you also for the picture of forgiveness in the two birds used for the cleansing ceremony. Thank you for the truth that once I was lost, diseased, disgusting, I am found, heal, and holy in your sight because of what Jesus did for me. I love you!



August 6 – God’s Anger


Nahum begins his oracle by telling us how jealous, vengeful, and angry God is. Nothing PC about that these days when we’d rather talk about God’s love. Nahum tells us the Lord “will by no means leave the guilty go unpunished.” (1:3)

Some of us, when we hear that think, “Good! ISIS will get what they deserve. Homosexuals, atheists, Michigan fans (ok, it’s a joke. I’m from Ohio and it’s almost football season) will get what’s coming to them. I hope they suffer!”

But God is talking about you, too. He won’t let any of YOUR sins go unpunished, either. But, you say, “I’m not a terrorist, haven’t committed adultery or stolen anything big. I’m a nice guy, a good neighbor, a church goer.” That may be well and good. Except for the fact that the Bible says ALL have sinned, ALL have fallen short of God’s standard of holiness. And, dear one, you are included in ALL.

You have sinned. That makes you guilty. And God has said more than once that He will not let the guilty go unpunished. sin=guilt=punishment.


Scripture tells us that Jesus felt the extent of God’s wrath, He took on Himself God’s vengeance, and went willingly to the cross to take your punishment because YOU ARE GUILTY. God was angry at YOU for the sins you commit. But He took His anger out on His guiltless Son instead.

Oh, you don’t have to accept His forgiveness. (Not sure why you’d want to face God’s wrath on your own, though) But rest assured that your sins demand God’s wrath. Your sins.

My prayer is that you’ll accept what Jesus did for you when He felt the pain of the Father’s anger toward you. There is no reason why you need to feel that anguish or pay that price when it’s already been done for you. And all you have to do is ask God to forgive you, to repent and let God change you.

He will. And then, instead of His anger, you’ll really understand His love!

July 9 – It’s Not Too Late


Nineveh was forty days from destruction because of their disobedience. Forty days. But when they heard Jonah’s warning, the people repented and turned to God. And God relented. He didn’t destroy them.

Folks, we might not have forty days. But I know from reading Scripture God punishes disobedience. He is not willing that any person should die in their sin, but He will not let the guilty go unpunished. I kinda want to carry a banner and do a Jonah:




God will relent if His people humble ourselves, and turn from our wicked ways. So I am pleading with you: