I’m not really sure if Daily Evangelism is the proper category for this question, but I wasn’t sure where to post it…
I’m reading Psalm 109. This has led me to primarily consider two aspects of sin and secondarily the “nature of eternity” (if that even means anything). I would love some feedback on these thoughts, from anyone who is so inclined.
The Experience of Sin:
My Experience of My Sin: I experience my acts of sin as moments in time; as occurrences — that is, existing in a place, under a certain set of conditions. This is simply in reference to my actual (loathsome) acts themselves, not necessarily my sin nature.
God’s Experience of My Sin: Since He is outside of time, not tethered in constant relation to space, is my sin to Him not momentary, but eternal? Again, I’m referring to the acts themselves, not the consequences i.e. judgment, etc. If for the Lord every moment is eternal (2 Peter 3:8; Psalm 90:4 and 90:2 - “from everlasting to everlasting”), simultaneously existing in His Presence, is what I say and do but once, in my experience, being said and done eternally before Him (Psalm 109:15; Psalm 90:8)?
Also concerning sin:
Psalm 109:16-19 describes a sinner. May I quote some: “He loved to curse; curses have come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; it is far from him! He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; it has soaked into his body like water, like oil into his bones! May it be like a garment that he wraps around him, like a belt that he puts on every day!”
So, as I thought about this, a bit and piece of The Great Divorce came into my mind, and I wondered if there is some truth to this thought: do we go from being a sinner to being sin? What I mean is, is one first a sinner, but then, if they don’t let God heal them, does one actually become sin itself? Does it soak into them like water, like oil, until there is no longer a distinction between the sin and the being?
Here’s the quote from The Great Divorce:
“Hell begins with a grumbling mood, always complaining, always blaming others… but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood or even to enjoy it, but just the grumble itself, going on forever like a machine. It is not a question of God “sending us” to hell. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE hell unless it is nipped in the bud.”
So what if we took the liberty of replacing some of C.S. Lewis’ words to elucidate this point, and hope he won’t mind?
Hell begins with a [sin],… but you are still distinct from it. You may even criticize it in yourself and wish you could stop it. But there may come a day when you can no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the [sin] or even to enjoy it, but just the [sin] itself, going on forever… It is not a question of God “sending us” to hell [because of our sinful acts]. In each of us there is something growing, which will BE [sin, and warrant] hell unless it is nipped in the bud.
On a side note, I came across the whole concept of annihilationism (as a doctrine) asserted quite matter-of-factly just recently, and I’ve really been grappling with it ever since in theological, philosophical and scriptural terms. I don’t know if it’s simply a matter of eisegesis versus exegesis or if it goes beyond that. But these considerations and other research have helped my perspective greatly.