I watched a movie called the Second Coming of Christ. The devil convinced a scientist to create an immortal gene. If people were immortal there would be no death, no heaven and no hell. And no need for God. At least that’s what the plot was about.
What if the consequences of sin were taken away? I am not writing about forgiveness and the spiritual consequences of sin. These are covered in detail in the Bible. But what if we could just sin against ourselves and others and get away with it?
I suppose first we need to define sin. Wikipedia states “While sins are generally actions, any thought, word, or act considered immoral, selfish, shameful, harmful, or alienating might be termed sinful.” Sin is not always in direct relation to God; it is in relation to each other as well. So, if we were immortal without God, could we then sin?
The short answer is we are free to sin or to not sin regardless of God’s love for us. Being immortal would not alter that free will although it may make sin more tempting and an easier choice if we do not have to account for the spiritual consequences.
Does sin affect our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing?
Let’s say that I sin according to the definition from Wikipedia. I steal some cash from your purse. What happens next is that our relationship is damaged even though you don’t know it was me. I have to pretend that we are okay while I hide a secret amid fear of it being discovered. My once peaceful emotions are now attacked with this fear and guilt.
Physically the stress of this makes my heart beat faster. My sleep may be disturbed and I may need to be more active to keep my mind off what I did.
Mentally I begin to see myself as divided. There is the public or relationship persona and my inner self. I try to unite the two but I have difficulty with my view of who I am and who you think I am. This can cause serious mental anguish and identity issues.
In short, my stealing from you impacts me internally through emotions, intellect, and physical.
Now suppose you stole from me. In that case, I would be in a state of anxiety, even if I don’t know it was you, I’d feel violated and, in some way, betrayed. Physically I’d feel stressed, nervous, and angry. The flight or fight response may rev up and if I am not able to calm down, the stress would be chronic causing all kinds of auto immune and other diseases and symptoms. Emotionally I would feel hurt and scared. Anger and helplessness might struggle for control off my emotions. Mentally I would be focused on the sin against me and may use it to rationalize changes in behaviors and how I relate to others. Over time, I could become someone different than who I was. If I was a nice, easy going and trusting man, I may become a stand-offish, anxious and suspicious man.
These consequences of sin are just the ones we feel in our lives here on earth. Sin will always have consequences on us and our relationships with each other. There is no such thing as a free sin.
Immortality will not remove these consequences. Adam and Eve had immortality. Living in Paradise and walking with God every day. No sin and so no consequences of sin in the Garden of Eden. Then sin entered. Immediately they felt guilty and ashamed. Eve blamed the snake, Adam blamed Eve. They even hid from God. Sin changed everything for them.
There are two things to know about sin and immortality. The first is that the consequences of sin can only be removed if you are repentant of sin. That means not just being genuinely sorry about the sin you committed but want to turn from doing that sin again. Forgiveness come es from seeking it with those you offended yourself, and the only one who can wash away your sin, Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is also the only path to immortality. The wages of sin is death. Sinful people can not live forever. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus is the only way to ger rid of sin and is the only path for immortality.
Andy Becker is a retired counsellor and author of The Travelers, a fictionalized account of spiritual warfare (available on Amazon) as is, Stupid Thyroid, a book he co-wrote with his wife, Stella. Andy and his wife, Stella, lead Lighthouse Ministry in North Central Regina, one of Canada’s poorest and roughest areas. He is a retired counselor, speaker, and writer. Andy Becker is working on his second book about spiritual warfare. His first book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.