2 Kings 23:26
Notwithstanding the LORD turned not from the fierceness of his great wrath, wherewith his anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had provoked him withal.
One thing that is very evident as you read the Scriptures is that sin’s consequences are generational. No, you don’t inherit someone’s sin, but many generations suffer the consequences of one person’s sin. In the verse above, God’s anger was kindled against Judah because of the sins of Manasseh. Manasseh was dead, and yet the consequences of his sins lived on.
Every generation suffers the consequences of the sin of others, and often those sins affect several generations. In the United States, I believe we are suffering because of the sin of one evil woman, Madalyn Murray O’hair. This evil woman influenced a nation to remove God’s Word and prayer from the public schools. Sadly, the Supreme Court agreed with this woman, but the consequences of this sin are reaped in the godless minds of people in our society today. Suicide, mass murders, mental health issues, and crime have all risen since this time, and I believe it is because we removed our moral horizon of God’s Word from public schools. This lady’s evil has generational consequences, just like all sins have generational consequences. Let me share a few observations about the generational consequences of sin.
First, sin affects more than you. You may think that you are going into sin alone and that your sin only affects you, but that is a foolish mindset. Sin has long fingers that often reaches much further than we could imagine. You will never know the reach of your sin and how many it affects until sin has destroyed your life. Sin always affects and hurts many generations for the worse.
Second, living a life of sin is selfish. The selfishness of sin is always great. Many who live a selfish life of sin never take into consideration who they're hurting with their sin. Sin has a way of causing any individual to think only about themselves and that everybody else around them is the problem. When you live a life of sin, you are hurting many generations after you are gone, which is a selfish mindset.
Third, living a life of sin reveals your lack of love for those you say you love. If you truly love your family and friends, you would never live a life of sin because your sin affects them and many generations after you are gone. The coldness of sin, in that it is only concerned with its personal gratification, reveals a lack of love for those around them. If you truly love your family, you would never live a life of sin. If you truly are a good friend, you will never allow yourself to live a life of sin that would hurt them or even affect them to do wrong. If you truly love those around you, you would avoid sin at all costs because you don't want to hurt them with the consequences of your sin.
Fourth, all actions have generational consequences. Just like sin has generational consequences, so righteousness has generational blessings. Many second-generation Christians enjoy the blessings of God because of their parents who lived a righteous life. If you must choose between living a life of sin or a life of righteousness, look at the generational affects and effects of either, and you will find that the life of righteousness is always the life that affects those you love for good.