Remember how I’ve talked about good
persons who may find themselves in hell, after death? I’ve wondered how such a thing could be. For example, that "little
old lady" who I use as a reference from time to time, because she seems to be faultless. After all, what can she do
that’s so bad. I have a Thorntonism that "there’s no virtue in lack of opportunity." Then I think
of such things as gossip and even mean thoughts against someone. They can kill a person in a manner of speaking, through
harming their reputation and many other such things.
But Jesus Himself took what I call the "quiet" sins, a step farther. He
said in Matthew 5:21-22, "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall
kill shall be in danger of the judgment…but I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause,
shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, "Raca," (or a bad name) whosoever shall
say, "thou fool" shall be in danger of hell fire. And John said it, also in hard terms: Whosoever hateth his brother
is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him (1st John 3:15).
I’ve always shied away from that word "fool,"
although I’ve heard ministers use it against others and even themselves. Folks, the Bible also says for us to "abstain
from all appearance of evil," and it must be there because of these very kinds of silent sins.
We can’t be too careful. "Love thy neighbor
as thyself" is wise counsel (mark 12:31).
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