WWII had been all over for nine years by the time I was born, but I’m pretty sure if I had been around at the time, Adolph Hitler would have summoned me to Berlin to advise him on his future course of action.
A good time for this would have been early 1941. By this time, Hitler and the euphoric German people had basked for nine months in their lightning victories over France, Holland and Belgium. If an American minister such as I arrived then, it would, of course, have been accompanied by a great deal of media attention.
Though most people would have been incredulous, I would have been eminently qualified to offer him counsel. With a long history of indulging in and overcoming sin and then helping others out of it, I would have been someone who could reliably predict his inevitable future.
“First of all,” I would have begun deliberately, “in the beginning, sin is exhilarating. Right now you are flush with victory. It seems as though everything will continue to be wonderful. But I’m afraid it is all an illusion. This period of elation will only last for a season.”
“The second thing I must tell you is that sin always leads the person to make foolish mistakes.” This bit of news would have undoubtedly rattled the Fuhrer. “Adolph,” I would say condescendingly, as if speaking to a child, “you and your generals have made some brilliant moves, but I guarantee that your string of victories is about to come to an end. They must because sin corrupts the mind, which in turn leads to terrible errors in judgment. You can count on making one bad decision after another. I’m afraid there’s no way around it.” (Sure enough, they did in fact make a series of disastrous military blunders and within six months, the Wehrmact lay in icy ruins outside Moscow.)
“The third thing I should probably mention is that sin is a liar.” At this the little dictator’s face would have grimaced. “It promises so much fulfillment, but in the end, it hollows a person out and strips him of everything decent. It doesn’t take long for the thrill of sin to come to an end.”
“And Adolph, there’s something else, in all good conscience, I must tell you.”
“Yah?” he would whimper.
“Sin always destroys. You and your nation are quickly heading for destruction. You are in real trouble!”
“Vell,” he would fretfully respond, “since I now know vat to expect, can’t I circumvent zese spiritual laws und find some vay around dem?”
“No, I’m afraid not. They are unavoidable. Once sin has been loosed, it cannot be controlled. You will become like a twig being helplessly carried along in a rushing stream. Once you are engulfed in the flow of sin, it is impossible to control it.”
With that, the little villain would have begun frantically pacing back and forth, mulling and fretting over what he had heard. This would be my signal that the interview was over. The tortured author of Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”) was now beginning to see, in horrible clarity, that he was a loser in the most important struggle in life—the one against his own sinful nature. Eventually, the German thug came to see for himself that sin always comes with a terrible price. “Yah,” he would whine. “Sin never pays.”