Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lies Preachers Tell: Finite sin deserves finite punishment...

Okay, so yet again, this doesn't come from all preachers, I admit.  But it's been pretty popular of late and to the sensible, modern, western mind, it overcomes a major objection.  Maybe you've heard this and maybe you haven't.  Maybe you have objections or maybe you don't.  Maybe you're one of the sensible, modern, western minds or maybe you're not.

The lie goes something like this:  why would God punish a 20-year old who has rejected Him and dies in a car wreck for 20,000,000 years (or more)?  That doesn't seem (wait for it - here's the sensible, modern, and western part) fair.  Typically, the argument moves toward either "God is going to let them into heaven anyway" or "God is going to punish them for a while and then they'll just cease to exist."

Here's the flaw in the logic of that question.  The logic that a finite sin cannot be fairly punished infinitely misunderstands the nature of sin.  You don't measure the offense by looking at the sin itself.  No one measures murder by looking at the murderer.

The measure of an offense is based on the value of the offended.

Murder a mosquito?  No problem.  Murder a child?  Big problem.  In the case of sin, God is infinitely valuable.  So you have the infinite value of the infinite glory of the infinite God.  Any sin, then, is not a matter of a temporal offense.  It is infinitely offensive to God.  Sin is an infinitely offense against the infinite value of the infinite glory of the infinite God.  Therefore it deserves an infinite punishment.

And that's what the Bible describes when it talks of hell.  It's an infinite punishment.

Which is why you, me, and everyone else must, in the words of the old hymn, flee to Jesus for refuge.  He took the punishment for that infinite offense.  Through confidence in Him, we find forgiveness and life.

But that's just me thinking thoughts...

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