Sin Leads to Death

One of the really big principles of the Bible is the principle that sin leads to death. This is stated on a number of occasions, but is summarised very concisely in Romans:

"Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned..."                     (Romans 5:12)


This refers to the fact that the first man sinned. If one thinks hard, it is obvious that there must have been a first man, and that that first man was disobedient to the rules set him by God. Since that time mankind has continually disobeyed God and as a result death has been visited on everyone.


The principle that sin leads to death is found in a wide range of passages throughout the Bible. It can be seen as one of the core principles of the Gospel.


Here are some further passages which indicate this law:

  • "Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die."

                 (Ezekiel 18:4)

  • "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."             (Romans 6:23)

  • "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins…"                (Ephesians 2:1)

  • "Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."         (James 1:15)  


These and similar passages show a clear teaching. Sin leads to death.


It is relatively easy to see why sin must lead to death. If this were not the case and one could have immortal sinners, then evil men would never die, and one might be faced with a world which contained immortal characters like Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao Zedong, Stalin and Hitler - it is likely that the reader can think of other such characters. The law that sin leads to death prevents the victory of such people.


However, the principle also leads to a problem. As everyone has broken the moral principle of God, everyone deserves to die. It is not only the very wicked who are sinners: everyone is, and that includes us. This means that we too will die because of our sins. Sin leads to death, and because we are sinners we must die.


Not only this, but death has to be eternal. A form of death where the dead continue to live some kind of life in another place has not brought an end to their wrongdoing. It would solve nothing.