The Point is … Periodically 12/22/2020

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by James Collins

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23   

understand people today don’t believe in spanking kids, but I was raised in a different time. Spanking was a daily occurrence for me.  

Corporal punishment was still in the public-school system when I was growing up. I used to get spankings at school. At my school, they used the board of education. They used a wooden paddle.  

When I was in the eighth grade, we were studying the periodic table of elements in science. I struggled memorizing the periodic table. I was as lost as a goose in a snowstorm.  

Who came up with those abbreviations anyway? Some of them made sense. For example, hydrogen is H. Oxygen is O. But some of them don’t make any sense. Take potassium for example. Potassium is K. There isn’t even a K in the word potassium. Sodium is NA. I thought NA meant “not applicable.” Silver is AG. Isn’t AG the abbreviation for agriculture?  

In the eighth grade, I could not remember the periodic table for the life of me. There was a big test over the periodic table coming up. So, I decided to cheat. I took an ink pen that was made of clear plastic. I copied out the entire periodic table on a very small piece of paper. Then I rolled up the piece of paper and put it inside the pen. All I had to do was look at the pen for the test answers. 

My plan would have worked if not for my cousin, Bubba. Bubba’s real name was Jimmy Joe Jeff Johnny Paul Ray Elmer Junior. But that was a mouthful. We called him Bubba. Bubba was in Mr. Alford’s Science Class with me. He was sitting in the desk behind me on the day of the test.  

When the test started, things were going great. I was filling in all the blanks on the test thanks to the periodic pen. Suddenly, Bubba whispered, “What’s the abbreviation for Mercury?” I tried to ignore him because I didn’t want to get caught.  

He was persistent. He asked again louder, “What’s the abbreviation for Mercury?” I still didn’t answer.  

Finally, Bubba stood up and said, “Mr. Alford, my pen quit writing. Can I borrow James’ pen?”  

Mr. Alford walked over, took the pen, and marched me out into the hall. Mr. Alford had my pen in one hand and the paddle in the other. It was a bad day after that. 

I cheated, got caught, and had to pay the price.  

The point is: There are consequences when we sin. When we disobey God, there are consequences. God is just and because He is just, He must punish sin.  

The Bible says the wages of sin is death. For the lost, it means death in hell. For the Christian, it can mean physical death pre-maturely. Sometimes God will kill a Christian if that person loses his testimony and lives like a non-Christian. Sin brings physical death.  

Sin can also bring death to your marriage, to joy in your life, and to your relationships. Sin destroys. Sin kills.  

However, God has given us a gift. God gave us His Son, Jesus Christ. Eternal life is waiting for those who call on Him in repentance for salvation. Get off the path that leads to death. Get on the highway to Heaven. Turn to Christ today. 

The Point Is...

James Collins

James Collins

James Collins is pastor, columnist, and author. You can write to him by email at







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