Flee from Sin

A leader of City Harvest Church, Chew Eng Han, was sentenced to jail for 3 years and 4 months for criminal breach of trust. Several days ago, he tried to flee to Malaysia to escape jail. What led him to do that? For certain, the thought of being imprisoned for years is frightening and distressing. Perhaps he felt that his sentence is not reasonable. Thus, some may say that his attempt to flee is understandable. Christians must not lie, and yet he lied, saying that he was not fleeing but was on a fishing trip. Again, some may say that such a reaction is not surprising. We take no pleasure in seeing someone sentenced to jail. It is frightening. Even as I write I am reminded to be vigilant as it could happen to anyone:

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. (Gal 6:1)

That said, this incident also makes a point very clearly: the consequences of sin is deep and wide. It is deep because it is painful—you will suffer mental and physical anguish in jail. It is wide because it can lead to many other consequences. In this case, he had to use one sin to save himself from the consequence of an earlier sin. Had he successfully escaped, he would begin the life of a restless refugee. This consequence is on top of the sufferings his family members are already going through and have gone through.

Dear fellow Christians, you could never take advantage of sin. When you partner with sin, you may enjoy for a little while the pleasures that come along with it. But know this for sure: “your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23). Then, you will eat the bitter fruits of sin—there will be a pay back time because sin will never allow you to owe it money. And the consequences will always be horrible—we know that because sin has the power to send you to hell. Some sins seem so minor. “Surely, this will not hurt.” But this is foolish talk: if your body has a very small cancerous tumor, will you say: “Surely, this will not kill”? Just as a small cancerous tumor can kill you, minor sins, too are powerful: we know that because it can send you to hell.

First, if you have not started on a sin, do not start it. Job wisely does this: “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman” (Job 31:1); Pauls urges us: “Flee the evil desires of youth” (2 Tim 2:22). In order not to begin sin, you must avoid it. Don’t go near it. Keep a 1000km distance from it because the closer you are to it, the attraction gets greater. As you near it, there will be a point where you do not have the strength to resist it but will be sucked into it. Thus, flee from sin while you can.

Second, if you have started on sin, stop it. You will suffer the consequences of sin (Gal 6:7b-8a): “A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction.” Do not use one sin to cover an earlier one—you must face the consequence—you cannot escape. Rather, before the sin goes out of control and ruins greater parts of your life, do this: repent of your sins by asking God for forgiveness and help to overcome it. And you can surely overcome it:

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom 7:24-25).

Your Saviour Jesus Christ can help you: “Because He Himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Heb 2:18). Your Saviour understands your struggles. Ask Him to help you.