Doug Johnson: Crime doesn’t pay, but sin does

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 17, 2024

You may have heard the phrase “Crime doesn’t pay.”

Well, it’s true… sooner or later the penalty will catch up to the perpetrator.

Here are some humorous examples, given by author Wayne Rice, of actual crimes committed by criminals:

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Years ago, two Kentucky men tried to pull off the front of an ATM machine by running a chain from the machine to the bumper of their pickup truck.

The front panel of the ATM machine was so secure that instead they pulled off the bumper of their truck.

Scared, they fled the scene and drove home, leaving the chain attached to the machine… with their bumper still attached to the chain… and their vehicle’s license plate still attached to the bumper!

Needless to say, they were caught and charged.

Another man was convicted of robbery in Texas and worked out a deal to pay $9,600 in damages rather than serve a prison sentence. For payment, he provided the court with a check — a stolen check with a forged signature!

He got 10 years in prison.

One bumbling burglar successfully broke into a bank’s basement through a street-level window, cutting himself up pretty badly in the process.

He then realized that he couldn’t get to the money from where he was and he couldn’t climb back out the window.

On top of that he was bleeding from all his cuts.

So he located a phone and dialed 911 for help!

Another man walked into a convenience store, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change.

When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and demanded all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided.

The man grabbed the cash from the clerk and fled — leaving the $20 bill on the counter.

The total amount of cash he got from the drawer?

Fifteen dollars!

And now, the winner of the “Bumbling Bank Robber of the Year Award:” In San Francisco, a man walked into a downtown Bank of America and wrote, “This is a stickup.

Put all your many in this bag.”

While standing in line waiting to give his note to the teller, he began to worry that someone had seen him write the note and might call the police before he reached the teller window.

So he left the Bank of America and crossed the street to Wells Fargo.

After waiting a few minutes in line, he handed his note to the Wells Fargo teller.

She read it and, guessing from his spelling errors that he was not the brightest bank robber in the world, told him that she could not accept his stickup note because it was written on a Bank of America deposit slip and that he would either have to fill out a Wells Fargo deposit slip or go back to Bank of America.

Looking somewhat defeated, the man said “okay” and left the Wells Fargo Bank.

The Wells Fargo teller then called the police, who arrested him a few minutes later as he was waiting in line back at the Bank of America!
Crime doesn’t pay… but sin does.

Romans 6:23 tells us: “The wages of sin is death.”

The only payoff we’ll receive from sin is death.

I think I’ll pass on that paycheck… how about you?

You may never rob a bank or an ATM machine or even forge a signature on a stolen check.

But if you’ve ever lied to someone, lusted after another person (besides your spouse), or coveted (wanted) something so bad you’d be willing to do anything to get it — then you know what sin is.

And sooner or later, the penalty will catch up to the perpetrator.

I’ve been there and I can tell you how to get free.

The rest of Romans 6:23 says “…but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

While it is true that the payday for sin is death — it’s also true that Jesus died in our place; paying the price for sin once and for all!
So everyone who puts their faith and trust in Him can be free from the penalty of sin.

Payday is coming. Will you receive death or eternal life?

The choice is yours

Rev. Doug Johnson is the senior pastor at Raven Assembly of God in Raven, Virginia.