Object Lessons

Sinful Circles

Objects: A cardboard cross, about eighteen inches high, colored red; three pieces of adding machine paper, six, eight, and ten feet long, and a pair of scissors. (Paint with black poster paint half of each piece of paper, the full length, on both sides. Paste the ends of the six-foot piece together, making a circle. Before pasting the ends of the eight-foot piece together, give one end a half turn. Give the ten-foot piece a whole turn before pasting the ends together.)

Who can tell how these circles of paper resemble people?

"They all have black, which represents sin."

Yes, you are right. And there is another way in which they remind us of people. Each is endless. People do not stop living when the body dies. The soul lives on for eternity.

In looking at these sinful circles, I am reminded of the words of the prophet Amos, in chapter 5, verse 15: "Hate the evil, and love the good." God is calling people today, as in that day, to hate their sins, and forsake them. Many people, knowing this, treat their sins variously.

With these scissors I will cut the black away from the white on the biggest circle. It takes a long time to get around this circle, and it often takes a long time to get people willing to separate from their sins. Look! The black is linked to the white, and is holding on to it. There are many people like this circle. They apparently separate from their sins, but in reality they hold them.

We will try the next circle. It is not so long, and we can get around it sooner. It is not linked to the black, but joined. I suppose we could hide the black behind the table, but this is not what God meant when He said to hate the evil.

The smallest circle does the wise thing—it comes to the cross to get rid of the sin. Notice what hap­pens when the scissors cut away the sin of this circle—the white circle—leaving it free.

God wants each one of us to come to Christ for salvation; He wants us to hate sin, and forsake it.

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