Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Passing Pleasures of Sin

Among the great examples of faith in Hebrews 11, we read this about Moses:

"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward" (Heb. 11:24-26).

It is acknowledged in this passage that sin is pleasurable. That is why people choose to sin. It is a choice. We are never forced to do right or wrong. But many times we choose to sin. We do because we are enticed by our own lust (James 1:14-15). When we give into these desires, we sin.

While sin may be pleasurable, the pleasure of sin is temporary. That's why this passage speaks of the "passing pleasures of sin." This is why people have to keep going back to sin. The pleasure that was derived from one sin doesn't last. So they have to go back for more. Ultimately, the pleasure will pass forever with no way to get it back. John wrote, "the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever" (1 Jn. 2:17).

What should we do, knowing that though sin might be pleasurable, it is passing? We should seek God and His reward regardless of the consequences. Moses gave up the "pleasures of sin" for "ill-treatment with the people of God." Why? He was "looking to the reward" which was "greater riches than the treasures of Egypt."

There will be hardships and difficulties in living as a Christian (2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet. 4:16). But in the end, the reward is more than worth it, no matter what came before. We are admonished to "lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Heb. 12:1).

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