January 19, 2022 • By Ed Wrather
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…. – Romans 3:23 NKJV.
For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 6:20-23 NKJV.
The long arm of the law has finally caught up with 30-year-old Jorge Navarro. Jorge was the head teller at the URW Federal Community Credit Union and he used his position to enable him to embezzle $617,000 from his employer. He was successful in getting away with it for a couple of years in part because he replaced the money with counterfeit bills. That allowed him to have time to take off with it all. He did send a text a day or two after he took off to the CEO of the credit union saying that he had taken the money.
Jorge apparently used the money to set up a cocaine and marijuana trafficking operation. He was arrested after reports of gunfire from his neighbors and police found blood, guns, cocaine, marijuana, money counting machines and $74,000 in cash. Jorge claimed he had been robbed of $200,000. No word as to where the embezzled money went. He has been charged with counterfeiting and embezzlement.
Jorge was charged with one count of embezzlement and one count of counterfeiting along with possession of firearms during commission of a felony. He has pleaded guilty to those charges. Criminal penalties for counterfeiting can be as much as 25 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, but the penalties can be enhanced with fines being doubled. Criminal penalties for embezzlement can be 10 years in prison and fines as much as the embezzled amount. (CBS17 Durhan NC 12.20.21; U.S. Attorney’s Office News Release; News and Observer 12.20.21 and various other news venues.)
Just as there are criminal penalties for our bad deeds here on Planet Earth there are spiritual penalties for doing bad things in violation of the spiritual laws God has given to us. In Romans 6:23 we are told of one of those spiritual penalties as it is plainly stated: “For the wages of sin is death ….” The ultimate penalty for sin is to spend eternity in hell. We are told about this in Revelation 20:11-15, Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. Those are some really high wages!
The truth is that as Romans 3:23 states we have all sinned and the only perfect person who ever lived was Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who was tempted at all points without sin (Hebrews 4:15) and became the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Thank God that the second part of Hebrews 6:23 can become our testimony if we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior “…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 sets before us two ways of living and dying. We can reject Jesus as our Savior and live and die for the things of this world suffering the second death that we are told about in Revelation 20:15. Or, we can live for Jesus now and forever by receiving Him as our Savior. Jesus says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus also says in Revelation 3:20, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” And we are told in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If you haven’t already done so, what better time than now to pray and invite Jesus into your heart and life asking Him to forgive you of your sins, the bad things you have done. You can pray a prayer similar to this one: Dear Lord Jesus, I believe you died on the cross for my sins and rose again on the third day. Please forgive me for the sins, the bad things I have done, I want to change and be like You. Please help me to change, be my Lord and my Master and my Savior. In your Name, Lord Jesus, I ask You to come into my heart and save me.
Just saying the words will not save you, you will only be saved if you truly mean what you say in your heart. Romans 10:13 says, “For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”