One summer's day two men and their wives went fishing on a well-known lake. They had a boat and some of the finest equipment, and were looking forward to a good catch. They fished for several hours, but hadn't gotten as much as one bite so they decided to pack up and return home. It intrigued them, however, to see a small boy on the shore pulling in one fish after another.
Curiously, one of the women walked over to the little boy to find out just how he was catching all those fish. The little fellow, happy to explain his success, pointed to an old rotten log. "There are a lot of worms under that log," he replied, "and they make good bait, although they bite your hand a bit when you put them on the hook. Help yourself; there are plenty of them."
Lifting up the log the woman looked, and there, to her surprise, she saw not worms, but a nest of dozens of poisonous baby copperhead snakes! She called to the boy, "Let me look at your hands."
The boy's hands were covered with tiny bites, and already were beginning to swell from the poison. They rushed him to the doctor, who injected some anti-venom serum, and the boy's life was saved. The doctor estimated that the amount of poison from the little bites actually equaled the bite of a full-grown copperhead. Another hour and it would have been too late!
This little boy was very innocently handling the snakes, not realizing that they were poisonous. They were actually destroying him. He was using them to his own advantage, so he thought, but they would have caused his death.
Many people today are innocently living their own lives, not hurting anyone else, yet completely unaware that sin in their lives is destroying them. You may not consider yourself a sinner, most people don't, but God says, For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23). Every man, woman and child since Adam is a sinner, with the exception of God's Son, Jesus Christ, who was sinless. (1 Peter 2:22).
Everything that does not please God is sin. Do any of your actions fall into this category? Many of the things you do for your own advantage, so you think, are really sins, and the bite of these sins is eternal death. "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23).
Is there any hope? Just as there was hope for the boy because of quick action, so there is hope for you if you act in faith. The boy's life was saved because he went to the right source for help - the doctor. So it is with you: there is only one source of help concerning the sin question - God himself. God has decreed that sin must be punished, but He has also provided a Substitute who already suffered and died for your sins. "Christ died for our sins." (1 Corinthians 15:3).
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust,
that he might bring us to God,"