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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

GRIEVING THE HOLY SPIRIT by Earl Sutton

 

Paul admonished the Ephesians: “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). Since the Holy Spirit is a divine person, it is clear that He can be displeased. “Grieving” Greek word, Lupeo, means to distress, to pain, to offend, to sadden the Holy Spirit.

          When a child acts contrary to the counsel of his parents, he hurts and grieves them. So when a Christian acts contrary to the counsel of the Holy Spirit, he hurts and grieves Him. When Christians do not live up to the standard of Christ in word or speech, they grieve the Holy Spirit.

          In the Old Testament, The Israelites grieved the Holy Spirit when they rebelled against the commandments of God (Isaiah 63:10). This same principle is true today. One of the functions of the Holy Spirit is to lead those who would receive Heaven’s approval. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). Those who put to death the deeds of the body are led by the Spirit. The Spirit leads Christians as they obey the Word of God, which was given by the Holy Spirit. The only way that the Holy Spirit speaks to Christians today is through the Word of God. When we obey the Word of God given by the Spirit, we are sons of God (Rom. 8:16).

          How does one grieve the Holy Spirit, and what are the consequences connected with such a course of action? First, the Holy Spirit is grieved when believers allow impure things to penetrate their life or thoughts. Paul said in Romans 8:5-7, that those who are after the flesh are those who are living in harmony with fleshly desires and sin. The bottom line is they are interested in sinful things. In contrast, those that are after the Spirit are those who are interested in spiritual things and follow the Word of God.

          Second, the Holy Spirit is grieved when believers behave immorally. Paul went on to say in Romans 8:12-13 that Christians are debtors to live the good, righteous life which God commanded. They are not obligated to live after the flesh, that is, after sin. If one lives a life of sin and disobedience to God’s will after the flesh, the just payment for such a life is eternal death. This passage emphasizes that the Holy Spirit helps Christians live above sin and put it out of our lives.  The Holy Spirit is grieved when we do not put sin out of our lives!

          Third, the Holy Spirit is grieved when Christians act unjustly. Peter said, “Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land. While it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3-4). Peter’s insight was given to him by the Holy Spirit, and he knew exactly what Ananias was doing. No one had commanded Ananias to sell his property, but the thing that he conceived in his heart was to give a part and claim credit for giving all. This lie grieved the Holy Spirit. Christians are to be what they claim to be.

          It is very clear; therefore, that one pleases the Holy Spirit when he pursues the biblically oriented life. Conversely, when one turns away from God, the divine Spirit, in a manner of speaking, is grieved. The consequences of grieving the Holy Spirit is depicted by the prophet Isaiah who showed the benevolence of God in sustaining His children when they were faithful to Him, but when they rebelled, God became their enemy. It is a sad day in one’s life when God becomes his/her enemy, which grieves the Holy Spirit.