Summary: the sin problem is a deadly virus, a universal illness, a malady with deadly consequences if not treated and dealt with.
Have you heard anything recently about the bird flu scare? Several years ago we were all scared to death of the Avian Flu. It was to be the greatest pandemic in the history of mankind. It was predicted that this virus would mutate and become communicable from human to human and would spread quickly over all the world. In the Spanish bird flu epidemic of 1918 they say 50 million people died. Millions and millions more could die in our time due to greater population and the advent of air travel..This pandemic would devastate poultry farmers, and put their suppliers out of business. Poultry storage and transportation facilities would shut down. It would severely cripple the world economy.. Hospitals would be overflowing with people too ill to come to work. Those not in hospitals would keep themselves shuttered inside their homes, fearful of any human contact. Congress approved nearly four billion dollars to battle what was considered to be the world’s greatest health challenge. Some laboratories went on 24 hour shifts in a rush to find some anti-virus to the terrible disease with no success.. And, if an effective cure could have been found, they realized they would not be able to manufacture it fast enough. Some people would resort to violence to obtain the medicine, some resorting to armed robbery, just to obtain a vial of the precious anti-virus. Practically everyone on the face of the earth became scared to death of the bird flu. Millions of people especially in the Orient where the flu had killed thousands of birds, began to wear face masks when going out in public places. Many people began to stockpile food, cramming their pantries and garages with enormous quantities of non-perishable foods thinking they might have to live in total isolation for several months. It was a very possible and very serious health threat that threw many people into complete panic.
Fortunately, the bird flu scare did not materialize. It became the greatest health scare of our lifetime and so far it has not happened. So far the virus cannot be transmitted from one human to another.
But let us suppose that all these dire predictions had come true. What if this deadly virus had spread throughout all the world? With our modern means of rapid global travel and the close human contact that comes from air travel, it could be expected that, in a matter of a few months, every part of the world would be contaminated. What if it had happened? What if ten million Americans had perished? What if major food industries had shut down? What if our world had been thrown into a deep financial depression? Just think about it a moment.
There is today, however, a pandemic, a plague, a disease, a virus far, far worse than anyone’s bird flu or bubonic plague or deadly virus. And the Bible tells us what it is, what it’s source is, what its deadly consequences are, and what the cure is. This virus is deadly. It is lethal and it is universal. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” the Bible says. The virus I am speaking of is sin. The Bible makes it very clear that no one is immune. All have been infected. All are stricken with this most deadly of all diseases. “There is none righteous,” the Bible says, “no not one.” All have sinned. All have gone a stray. All are afflicted. “All we like sheep have gone astray,” the Bible says; “we have turned every one into his own way.”
Now I want us to examine the sin problem today as a deadly virus, a universal illness, a malady with deadly consequences if not treated and dealt with.
1. First of all, let’s begin at the beginning: Where did this deadly sin virus come from? What is its origin? Well, as you probably know, sin originated in the garden of Eden. God created man and woman and placed them in a perfect garden where everything was beautiful and perfect. All their needs were supplied. There were trees with all manner of fruit upon them. I am sure there were also vegetables of every kind growing in profusion. There must have been every kind of flowering tree, every variety of shrub and flower – all provided for the enjoyment of that first couple in a wonderful paradise called Eden.
Someone who was an unbeliever asked me once: “Why did God create evil and then expect man to be perfect?” I said to him, “God did not create evil. God created good, everything that was good He placed in the garden of Eden. God created a perfect world. And in that perfect garden, He gave man the power of choice either to obey or to disobey. Man’s disobedience brought sin into a perfect world and destroyed a perfect paradise. Adam and Eve lived in a perfect paradise without any taint of sin. Someone said, “And they had an ideal marriage. He didn’t have to hear about all the men she could have married, and she didn’t have to hear about how much better cook his mother was.”2