In 1996 a grain ship, “Bright Field,” was heading down the Mississippi River near New Orleans, when it lost control, veered toward the shore and crashed into a riverside shopping mall. The impact demolished parts of the wharf and injured 116 people. According to the Coast Guard investigation, the ship’s owner and crew had failed to repair long-standing engine problems. This is a clear example of not doing what you should do and receiving the consequences of bad decisions.

            The Devil deceived Eve into thinking that there would be no consequences for eating the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:1-7). God said, “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, ye shall not eat of it lest ye die” (v.3) The Devil said, “Ye shall not surely die.” (v.4) Eve dilly-dallied with the temptation and contemplated the possibilities that the Devil had suggested and threw away all restrain and ate the fruit!  Why?  The Devil deceived her into thinking that there would be no consequences for sin.

            The Devil continues to lie to us today and tells our society that a little sin won’t hurt, a little indulgence is not a problem, a little transgression will never hurt anybody! The Devil tells us that we are only human and go ahead and enjoy sin. The Bible says, “The way of the transgressor is hard.” ( Prov. 13:15)

            Our society believes that it can live in disobedience to God’s will by practicing homosexuality and never suffer the consequences. The scriptures teach that there will be consequences for our actions. “Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth unto his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that soweth unto the spirit shall of the spirit reap eternal life.” (Gal. 6:7-8) This basic principle applies to the physical world and spiritual realm as well. The word, “mocked” is a Greek word (mukterizete:) which means to turn one’s nose up at God. The point is that if a person sows to the flesh (homosexuality and sinful living) and turns up his nose at God, he shall go the way of all flesh, -- die and face the judgment of God where there will be consequences. (reap destruction – Gal. 6:8)

The scriptures emphasize the consequences of sin in other verses. Ezekiel said, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ez. 18:4) Paul said, “The wages of sin is death.” (Rom. 6:23)  Over and over, again and again, the Bible under all circumstances, emphasizes that we reap what we sow and that sin is always followed by consequences.

            There is rebellion in the hearts and in the behavior of many people in our society today. In view of the fact that sin will always have consequences, what can we predict for the future? According to the basic law of sowing and reaping, the answer can best be given in the words of the prophet Hosea, “They sow the wind and they shall reap the whirlwind.” (Hos. 8:7) There is one time of sowing (while alive), and there will be two times of reaping. We reap in this life and also reap beyond this life in the hereafter. Sin brings forth its consequences both here and hereafter.

            People may do things without realizing the consequences of their actions, but one day there is going to be an accounting! (Rev. 21:8)                                                                                                                                                                                           

Role of Women in the Church - Earl Sutton

Originally published in the weekly bulletin at the church of Christ at Elkins on 10/12/2014

Women serving in important positions in industry and government have given rise to questions regarding their role in the work of the church. Why would anyone object to women being in a leadership role in the Lord's church? Our culture certainly would not!

            There is a driving force behind today's radical feminist movement to eradicate male spiritual leadership in the home and church!  The radical feminist activists see the gender-based role distinctions in the Bible (Eph. 5:22-29, Col. 3:18-19, I Peter 3:1-7, I Cor. 11, 14; I Tim. 2,3; Titus 1) as being oppressive and unfair to women!  Their pursuit for equality has evolved into a pursuit for sameness in the church and has actually resulted in "man-hating"! Radical feminist activism has the goal to redefine the structure of the home and family and the institution of marriage to include same-sex!

            What does the Bible have to say on this subject? God's wisdom is far above the wisdom of radical feminism seeking to expunge every trace of man's leadership role in our society!  God has made the rules, and it is His rule that we must abide by (Isa.55:8-9).  We have just completed studying Genesis 3 on Wednesday evening, and after the disobedience of Adam and Eve in eating the forbidden fruit, God cursed both man and woman! "Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and they conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband,and he shall rule over thee" (Gen. 3:16).  In consequence of Eve's sin, there would be hardship in bearing children and her husband would rule over her in the home and church.

            The radical feminist spew hate with passages in the New Testament which teach the wife's submission to her husband (Eph. 5:22) limits a woman's role as a leader in the church (I Tim. 2:11-12) and gives her a distinct role as mother (Titus 2:4-5).  She is a weaker vessel (I Peter 3:7). She is to keep silence in the church (I Cor. 14:34).

            God has made the leadership of the church and leaders in worship to be male which includes elders, deacons, and preachers!  Why?  This was God's punishment to Eve, because she seized the leadership role to be first in disobeying God and then tempting Adam to sin! (I Tim. 2:13) God's sentence upon Eve doesn't imply lesser worth, intelligence or ability! The fact that woman is not authorized to preach or teach publicly does not suggest inferiority or a second-class status, but it is simply God's plan. Men and women are equal, but are not the same, and the fact that God has created us this way and has given  us different roles in the home and church does not diminish either's worth or value.

            Radical feminists who call men "animals"  need to remember that God's ways are always right and the feminists activists wrong! (Psalm 18:30)  This misguided group needs to clearly understand that God has made the rules of priority in the home and in the church. How surprised at the judgment this hate group (Heb. 9:27) will be to have to bow down before Jesus (male) and swallow their militant opposition to male leadership! (Phil. 2:10-11)  The woman's role in the church assembly is teach other women and children in Bible classes, but women are forbidden to be dominate over men (I Cor. 11:5) in the home and church because of Eve's transgression in the Garden of Eden.        

                                                                        ----  Earl Sutton