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« Fresh Start | Main | Help! I’m A Recovering Sinner! »

What Happens in Vegas

Here’s a myth that too many people believe: “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” One would think that it is some sort of law. Bumper stickers even say, “WHiVSiV.” (It’s a line of clothing.) And then, I came across these Phil Vassar lyrics, “What happens in Vegas is just between us; Ain’t nobody’s business what anyone does; You can let down your hair, be as wild as you dare; Go crazy, do something outrageous; But what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” In fact, this phrase has been dubbed the most powerful advertising slogan of all time.  The insidious intent behind this phrase is that there are vacuums in which sin is free. It posits that “safe zones” actually exist in which a person can sin with no accountability. But the Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23. So, can you smoke in Vegas and have no cancer risk anywhere else? Can you murder without penalty back home? Can you lie, cheat, steal, drink, or be unfaithful with impunity? Nope. Life is interconnected. Your sin in one area of life affects all other areas. What happens in Vegas follows people home. But, there are other sinister lies that the world believes as well. 

My sin affects only me. No. Sin affects other people. Exodus 32:21. “And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people do to you, that you brought so great a sin upon them?” The sin in the heart of Aaron did not exist in a vacuum. It impacted Israel. Our actions form within the confines of the heart. Tarnished hearts, misguided spirits and corrupted souls shape the message spoken from mouths into destructive plans for others. Jesus said, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.” Matthew 15:18. 

I can stop whenever I want to stop. No. Sin entraps. “They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.” Exodus 23:33. Like the ancient Chinese finger trap, one easily enters into the act of sin, but soon finds it impossible to back out of it. Just as every coin has an obverse and reverse, every individual act of sin has two sides: Commit the sin; Cover the sin. The instant a sin is committed the flip side comes into play. 

I can manage my weakness. No. Sin opens the door to other sins. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.” 1 Samuel 15:23. How can rebellion be related to witchcraft? Because all branches of sin grow from the same trunk. That’s why John the Baptist said, “The ax is laid to the root of the trees.” Matthew 3:10. The root of offense gives rise to many sinful branches. David’s lust led to adultery; his adultery led to deceit; his deceit led to murder. When sin enters one’s life, it brings with it the seeds of further transgressions. 

God will forgive me. Yes, if you repent and forsake your sin. Sin cannot go unpunished. When we sweep sin under the rug, when we treat it differently from person to person or when we simply let it go unpunished, the sinning person gets a false view of God’s justice. We cannot afford to be dismissive, tolerant or defensive of sin. Without consequences, sin loses its dread.  A diminished view of sin means a diminished view of Calvary. Ambivalence toward sin casts doubt on the efficacious blood of Jesus. 

No, what happens in Vegas never stays in Vegas.  It’s a myth.  Operate your life out of truth, not mythology. Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

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