WILL GOD KILL FOR ONE WILLFUL SIN?
What do the Scriptures say? We can start with Adam and Eve.
Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Since Eve did not die physically we know that God was speaking of spiritual death. Here was a specific example of one sin and death.
Now lets move to Exodus and the case of the man picking up sticks on the Sabbath:
Num 15:33And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation….
….And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.
Again – one willful sin and death directly commanded by God.
In fact God was going to destroy all of the Israelites who worshiped the calf after the Israelites had made a covenant with God and then broke it.
Exo 32:9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
It was the nature of God to condemn to death a whole nation for one sin.
Now let’s hear the specific instructions of God to His prophet Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
All the righteousness he has done…. No matter how righteous he had been; when the righteous man turns back to his wickedness he shall die.
Did God mean one sin?
Ezekiel 33:12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people,
The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression:
as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness;
neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness IN THE DAY that he sinneth.
Just as Eve was condemned to spiritual death “in the day” she disobeyed God – so is the righteous man who turns back to his wickedness.
Again – one willful sin and death.
Can we see an example of this harsh judgment in the New Testament? Yes!
Act 5:1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,
Act 5:2 And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.
Act 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
Act 5:4 Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.
Act 5:5 And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.
Obviously these people were believers – they even wanted to give support to the church by selling some of what they owned. And yet God killed them for one sin and that merely a lie.
The result of their death was a restoration of the fear of God:
Act 5:11 And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.
To remove the fear of God from the believer has been the main trick of Satan from the beginning. That is why Satan told Eve that even if she disobeyed God – he said: “Ye shall not surely die.
Mat 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.