'How much does it cost?' With sin, the price is high

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Minister's Forum

Don’t you just love cell phone commercials? For $29.99 a month,  you, too, can become a member of the modern-day communication community! I will never understand the 99-cent concept – just add the penny and round it off – be honest and make it $30!

For $30 a month, you can have instant contact with family and friends anywhere in the country. But then, you soon realize that $30 only buys you a limited amount of talk time and little or no text messaging – that costs extra!
So the cell phone sales rep will show you low-cost additions that will save you money! They will show you how spending only $5 more for this and $5 more for that can SAVE you lots of money in the long run! How quickly that $29.99 cost increases to $50 or more (usually more) per month! That original $30 per month estimate ($360 per year), because of all the “for only $5 more” additions, becomes a $600-plus yearly cost!
Back in the “good old days,” my parents had to rent their phones from the telephone company; no one, at the time, could own their own phone. And these were just simple rotary phones (for you young people, that meant the phones had a wheel thingy with numbers on it that you had to dial)! They were not cordless, they had no call-waiting, no caller ID and no speed dial. And for the luxury of having these marvels of modern technology, my parents paid $5 per month to rent them!
Several years later, the government regulations changed, allowing people to purchase their own phones. My parents,  however, continued to pay the $5 per month rent. Their phones worked and they saw no need to change – besides, it only cost $5 extra per month ($5 back then was like $50 today). My dad felt that was reasonable because he could afford that.
It wasn’t until someone showed my dad that for half of what he was spending per year, he could own his own phone! Had someone not showed him the REAL cost of renting, he would have continued to spend the $5 per month, because “he could afford that.”
Using this same logic, there are many today who are in the same boat when it comes to the “high cost of sin!” Sin seems pleasurable to them, and they don’t seem to suffer much because of it.
In Hebrews 11:24-25, the story is told about Moses who, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose, instead, to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.
What many don’t realize is that if they continue in their sin,  they will find it to be very costly on the Day of Judgment! Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death.” The “death” referred to here is not the physical death that comes at the end of our natural life on earth, but the eternal separation from God in hell.
Jesus tells of the high cost of sin in Matthew 16:26: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?” It’s sad how many folks never realize the price they are paying  for their sin.
“But it was such a little thing,  preacher – it only cost $5,” they say. But ministers see the real cost every day! We see the results of sin in troubled marriages and in rebellious youth.
However, there is hope for mankind. Jesus died on the cross to pay the high cost of sin. “For you know that it was not with perishable things, such as silver or gold, that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
Sadly, there are some who decide to continue in their sin – even when they know “the truth that will set them free” (John 8:32)! They refuse the saving power of the gospel because they are happy in their sin, and even rationalize that “If God is a loving God, he will not really send people to hell!”
It is true that God is described as a loving God, but in the Bible he is also described as a “consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:29) Do not underestimate the high price of sin and the even higher price of refusing to come to Christ. The small price of your sin today will cost you greater in the end!