We have seen that the condition of sin is “universal”. By this we mean that everybody everywhere is a sinner. Moreover, the penalty for sin is also universal. Everyone is doomed to die because of their sin. “All have sinned … [and] the wages [penalty} of sin is death” (Rom 3:23; 6:23).
The Bible describes every human being as being under the sentence of death. Apart from God’s grace, no one is accepted. From the very beginning, the penalty fat sin has been the same. God firmly and clearly warned Adam and Eve that to disobey meant death.
“Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen 2:17).
The prophet Ezekiel further affirms the death penalty for sin in these simple but very strong words: “The soul who sins shall die” (Ezek 18:4, 20). Nothing could be more certain. The wages, or outcome, of sin is death. By nature and by deed we are sinners. We have chosen to go our way rather than God’s way. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way” (Isa 53:6). What is the result of getting our own will and going our own way? “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov 14:12).
A DARK DESTINY
The way of man is a dead-end street! It couldn’t really be otherwise. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).
The Father’s will and way to life centers in His Son. Any other way leads to death. When we choose to disobey God and go our own way, it will lead in only one direction – downward to destruction.
Sin can be defined as opposing God’s will and way with our own. By its very nature, disobedience can lead only to death. This is the reason that all sinners are doomed to die. We have all willfully chosen the wrong road. It began “in Adam” when he chose to disobey God. Not only were we victims of that choice, but we have nurtured that choice by our own acts of disobedience. Apart from God and His grace, we are in this world without hope. Death is our destiny!
OUR ONLY ESCAPE
There is only one way we can escape this destiny: Someone who is sinless must pay the penalty of sin for us. God has already done this -by sending His only begotten Son Jesus to take all the guilt of our sins on Himself and die in our place upon the cross.
A BRIGHT HOPE
Every sinner is without God and without hope in this world. It is indeed a dark night of despair. But against this black background shines the bright light of God’s love. As the Bible tells us: “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom 5:20).