I recently heard a wonderful talk by a priest on the nature of Original Sin and it got me to thinking of how quickly we can fall prey to Satan’s deceptions.
God did not forbid Adam and Eve from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because he didn’t want them to understand what was good and what was not. If they wanted to know, they could have simply asked God and he would tell them what offends him (sin) and what does not.
The reason they were forbidden is that, by eating of the fruit, it gave Adam and Eve the belief that THEY could decide what was good and what was evil, what was a sin and what was not. Moral relativism. And by deciding for themselves, not only would they continue to offend God, to sin, but would not recognize it as sinful.
And isn’t that the way Satan lures us to sin every time? He gets us to sin by convincing us it’s not a sin.
Nothing has changed since the dawn of creation.
Why does Satan want us to sin? Because, having been cast out of Heaven, he can’t enact his revenge on God, only on those made in God’s image and likeness. So, he and his fellow fallen angels spend every moment of every day tempting us to offend God by presenting it as not a sinful act.
And that’s the first domino on the path toward damnation.
- If you think you can decide what offends God and what doesn’t, you will invariably be wrong.
- When you are wrong, you are sinning against God, slowly separating yourself from him.
- If you don’t think what you’ve done is sinful, you will not seek God’s mercy.
- If you do not seek God’s mercy, as the church teaches, you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
- If you are blaspheming the Holy Spirit, as Jesus says, you are guaranteed damnation.
- Because when you die, your actions, your sins, will have separated yourself from God. And God will respect your free-will decision and he will place you in the only location in his creation where he is not present… Hell.
- And in Hell, Satan will unleash his vengeful anger against God against those made in God’s image and likeness.
- And this suffering will go on outside of time, which means it will continue forever, with wailing and gnashing of teeth.
We, as a society, have dismissed the concept of sin because we’re gorging ourselves on the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We are awash with our own justifications about what we do and whether it is sinful or not.
Meanwhile, God watches from heaven as we continually offend him, waiting patiently and expectantly for us to seek out his mercy so we can not only be forgiven, but continue to learn to be holy and be able to spend eternity in his presence.
And yet, so many die unrepentant and certain of their own versions of what offends God.
I can’t fathom the devastating weight of despair that hits unrepentant sinners when they are in the presence of God’s perfection and sinlessness.
Unfortunately, Satan is winning this battle and winning it handedly. How do we know? Seventy-five percent of Catholics utilize the sacrament of confession less than one a year or never.
Jesus knew there would be time between his ascension and his second coming and the very first thing he did after imbuing the Church with the Holy Spirit was to grant that Church God’s own authority to forgive or hold bound sins. This wasn’t by accident. It was that important, because without God’s mercy we are all damned.
God created us with the simple intention of spending eternity in his presence. Don’t fall for Satan’s tactic. Let us not think that we can decide what offends God. Only God can do that. Start with the 10 Commandments. Do we adhere to them without fail? What about what Jesus said about lusting in our heart? Or divorce? Do we adhere to God’s own words from his incarnate self?
Getting to heaven isn’t easy, because rising above concupiscence and our attraction to sin is incredibly difficult. Impossible, actually, without the loving grace of God, which guides us and protects us.
That grace of which we receive in the sacrament of confession.
Don’t die still chewing on the piece of the forbidden fruit. Seek out God’s mercy immediately and continually so that we can spend our next life in our loving Father’s arms.