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Summary: Using the true story of a Civil War General, this sermon explores the way sin can destroy lives.

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What Is Wrong With Sin?

Revelation 21: 1-8

1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

2Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

3And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God.

4And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

5Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful."

6And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.

7He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

8But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

PRAYER: ______

Here’s my question today, "What in the world is wrong with sin?"

For Christians, the answer is simple –

sin is an offense to a holy God.

For us that is very serious! Why?

Because we know that due to the holiness of God,

sinners will be excluded from heaven.

Notice these 2 verses from the reading of Revelation chapter 21:

4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

To be excluded from God’s heaven is serious!!

But at the beginning, the question I asked was,

"What in the world is wrong with sin?"

I did not ask, "What in heaven’s name is wrong with sin?"

Do you see the difference?

For a few minutes, let’s forget about the rewards of heaven

the punishments of hell.

Let’s try to understand

some of the terrible consequences of sin in this present world.

Yes, sin will have eternal consequences!

But there are also consequences for us right now.

There are in "this world" consequences of sin,

and they are severe.

So, "What in the world is wrong with sin?"

Daniel Edgar Sickles was born in 1819 in New York City. As a young man he took an interest in politics. Politicians taught him that the end result is far more important than the means and the ways taken to get there. This motto fit Sickles’ well. He became a heavy drinker and a womanizer. Sickles’ political career was loaded with personal scandals.

Point #1.

There will be no peace for the sinner

Isaiah 48:22 "There is no peace," says the LORD, "for the wicked."

Isaiah 57:20-21

But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest,

Whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

21 "There is no peace," Says my God, "for the wicked."

David experienced this as expressed in Psalms 38:3:

There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger,

Nor any health in my bones because of my sin.

At the age of 33 Dan Sickles began seeing 15 year old Teresa Bagioli. When she became pregnant, against the wishes of both families, he married Teresa. Mrs. Sickles was often left alone while her husband ran around advancing his political career and engaging in affairs with other women. During those days, it was considered appropriate for wives of Congressmen to be taken to social events in the absence of their husbands by young bachelors in Washington. It was then that Mrs. Sickles met Philip Barton Key, U. S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, son of Francis Scott Key, the author of "The Star-Spangled Banner". It wasn’t long before Key and Mrs. Sickles began having an affair for Mr. Sickles seemed to have no interest in his wife. Once a week, Key would walk to the Sickles house and wave a white handkerchief to the upstairs bedroom window. He would then go to a house he had rented just a short distance away. A few minutes later, Mrs. Sickles would join Key where the two conducted a sexual affair for more than a year. This illicit affair was common knowledge to many people in Washington, but Mr. Sickles apparently was unaware it. In February of 1859, Sickles received an anonymous note informing him of his wife’s unfaithfulness. The day after confronting his wife about the affair and having her confirm it in a written affidavit, Sickles saw Key in front of his house signaling to Teresa in an attempt to arrange another meeting. In a rage, Sickles grabbed his pistol, went out to confront Key, and shot him several times. Arrested and tried for murder, Sickles was acquitted, resting his defense on the plea of temporary insanity--the first time this plea was used. Mrs. Sickles took their daughter back home to New York where she was shunned by society for her actions.

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