THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES FOR OUR ACTIONS! by Earl Sutton

 

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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

Don't Save It For the Funeral - Earl Sutton

Originally published in the weekly bulletin of the church of Christ at Elkins on 11/16/2014

An elderly man lay dying in his bed.  In death's agony, he suddenly smelled the aroma of his favorite chocolate chip cookies wafting up the stairs.   He gathered his remaining strength and lifted himself from the bed. Leaning against the wall, he slowly made his way out of the bedroom, and with even greater effort forced himself down the stairs, gripping the railing with both hands.

            With labored breath, he leaned against the doorframe, gazing into the kitchen.  Were it not for death's agony, he would have thought himself already in heaven.  There, spread out on the kitchen table were literally hundreds of his favorite chocolate chip cookies.  Was it heaven?  Or was it merely one final act of heroic love from his devoted wife, seeing to it that he left this world a happy man?

            Mustering one great final effort, he threw himself toward the table.  His aged and withered hand made its way to a cookie at the edge of the table, when his wife suddenly smacked it with a spatula.

            "Stay out of those," she said, "They're for the funeral." 

            She is not the only person to save something for a funeral that should have been shared long before.  It often seems a shame that flowers are sent to a funeral rather than beforehand when they could truly be enjoyed.  Many of the comments made at a funeral reflect the realization that we didn't express our feelings adequately to those we love while they were alive: "What a wonderful friend she was.  I never told her how much I appreciated what she meant to me!" "I hope he realizes how much I loved him!"

            If someone means something special to you, don't save it for the funeral.  Share it with them now!

            "Therefore comfort one another and edify one another just as you are doing."  (I Thess. 5:11)

                                                                        ----  Earl Sutton