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The Mark Study
Page 13: The Bad News

Isn't that bad news? It sure isn't very uplifting, but it's something we have to know about. There is good news, but first we need to address the bad news so we can know the full extent of our situation. The Bible sure doesn't hold back on telling us the reality of things, and below we'll look at some scriptures that specifically relate to this bad news about sin.

The following Scripture references are arranged so that each verse will be from the book in the New Testament after the current one. So currently we are in Mark, and the next verse will be in Luke, right after Mark. And we'll keep going back book by book like that.

Let's look at Luke 12:47-48. The "slaves" here, or "servants," represent us as sinners, and how we respond to God's will for us. What happens to people who continue in sin? They are like the slave who receives a beating or many lashes with the whip. In short, sin will be punished!

Now flip to the next book, and look at John 8:24, as well as verse 34. What happens to us as a result of sin here?

  • die in sins (v. 24).
  • slave of sin (v. 34).

Moving forward, let's look now at Acts 17:30. Here we have a straightforward insight into God's attitude toward sin. Do you think there are some things God just might shrug off? Does He play favorites? No matter what He used to do, in overlooking the times of ignorance, God is clear that here and now, He calls all to repentance. Does that include you?

Now we're in the next book, the book of Romans, and we'll look at Romans 3:19, 23. The whole world is accountable to God, as we see here in verse 19. Just to be sure, let's look at verse 23 -- all have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God. If there is one thing that all of us accountable, adult humans have in common, it's that we all sin. Does that include you and me?

Keep moving ahead to the next book, and take a look at 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Look at some of these sins listed here. Try saying some of these out loud, these are real!

  • fornicators (sex outside of marriage)
  • adulterers
  • homosexuals
  • thieves
  • drunkards
  • swindlers

What does it say about people living in these sins? They will not inherit the kingdom of God! In other words, they cannot go to heaven. Do you see that sin is a serious matter? Nothing in this world is more pressing than the problem of our sin. Do any of the above things, or others mentioned in that passage, describe you? If so, you're not alone. What do you learn from this scripture? There is bad news.

If sin is so bad, why would anyone ever do it? How did we get involved in it in the first place if it's so obviously terrible??? We can find an answer in the next book... Look ahead at 2 Corinthians 11:3,14. Read that and ask once again the question, if sin is so bad, why would anyone ever do it?

  • They have been deceived (verse 3).

How far will Satan go to deceive someone?

  • He can look like an angel of light (verse 14).
  • Maybe you've been taught something contrary to God's word, but it came from a nice and good person.
  • Maybe you've even had a remarkable religious experience that makes you second-guess God's word or reject it.
  • What is our standard to know the truth? What other people say? What your experience says?
  • We must rely on God's word alone!

Next flip a few pages up to the book of Galatians, and check out Galatians 5:19-21. Here we have another list of sins, this one a little longer. Notice some of the "big sins" listed:

  • Sexual immorality, idolatry, witchcraft, etc.

Maybe we don't have a problem with those, but how about these?...

  • Hatred, selfishness, envy, jealousy, anger.
  • Do any of those seem a little more familiar?

This is starting to get a little more personal, because as the end of verse 21 says, those who live like this cannot go to heaven! Sin separates you from God.

Now we'll arrive at our destination, which is a couple pages over in Ephesians 2:1-3,12. Go ahead and read that. Read it again, if you need to. Verse 1 says "dead in sin." Let's look at some of the key words and phrases in these verses:

  • dead
  • objects of wrath
  • no Christ
  • no home
  • no friends
  • strangers
  • no hope
  • no God

Graphic summary of study up to this point

What does all this add up to? Bad news! We must understand the process of sin: Sin separates us from God...

  • We can't take it away by ourselves.
  • We can't make it go away by being good enough.
  • We can't give enough money.
  • We can't help enough people.
  • We cannot buy forgiveness.
  • Knowing just what we have seen above, there is no hope.

But wait, because there is more. Read on...

The Good News -->

 Article info: 
Need help? Have a question or comment on this study? Email Robert Hindman
This study was originally arranged by Rex Boyles, with adaptations by Kris Smith and Rob Hindman.

 This Series: 
1 Jesus Can Help - Introduction
2 Calming the Storm and Sea
3 Casting Out the Demons
4 Jairus's Daughter and the Bleeding Woman
5 A Look at the Resurrection
6 Listen to Him
7 Why Listen?
8 Care for a Leper
9 Disrespected and Misunderstood
10 Betrayed and Used
11 Curses and Lies
12 Sin Separates
13 The Bad News
14 The Good News
15 Let's Get Personal
16 The Moment of Salvation
17 The Conversion of Saul
18 The Conversion of the Crowd in Acts 2
19 Your Choice

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