Can the sin of one person or even a few people cause suffering for many?

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Q: Can the sin of one person or even a few people cause suffering for many? -- S.D.

A: Just as Adam and Eve's sin of disobedience infected the entire human race, sins committed by one can have devastating results for others. It spreads like poison gas into every available crevice. What may have been the rebellion against God of a few people has resulted in the most insidious plague the world has ever known. The influence of sin touches the innocent as well as the guilty ... perhaps more.

In the early years of its discovery, the AIDS epidemic sent panic into people's hearts. Criminals take innocent lives and while they may be caught and imprisoned, loved ones are left agonizing for a lifetime.

The Bible gives us story after story of sin-stained pathways. David's sinful thoughts about what he had seen led him to commit adultery with Bathsheba; eventually it led to murder. Sin left its mark on his entire family. Even our own thought life can have a powerful influence on our lives. Yes, sin permeates. Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin (Galatians 3:22).


Most things listed in the Ten Commandments hurt others: murder is taking someone else's life, stealing is taking something that belongs to another, etc. Jealousy begins in the heart and mind and while it may never result in hurting someone else, jealousy certainly eats away inside.

This is why the Bible urges us to turn our minds away from things that feed our hearts in a wrong way and instead turn our attention to those things which are good. We are to think on things that are true, noble, just and pure (Philippians 4:8).


(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)



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