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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

SHOULD WE BE ACCEPTING OF SIN? by Earl Sutton

 

Recently, a visiting preacher in a local congregation in the county told the audience that as Christians we need to be accepting of homosexual couples who are raising children.

The crucial question in evaluating our own attitudes is this: Is the problem under consideration a matter of mere custom, tradition, habit, taste, culture, or a direct command of God? Is it a matter involving some moral or ethical principle which is taught by God? If it is merely a custom or tradition or taste, the decision may lead to us accepting it. But if it is a matter involving a principle of God, the decision to accept it must depend upon if it violates what God has said.

The degrading and despicable sin of homosexuality is condemned in both the Old Testament and in the New Testament (Gen. 18:20; Gen. 19:4-5; Lev. 20:13; Rom. 1:24-32; Gal. 5:19-21). Christians must resist the temptation to go along with the pressure to conform to our society by accepting homosexual couples trying to raise children. Why? The Bible plainly says, “Do not conform to this world” (Rom. 12:1-2). It must be emphasized that marriage between a man and woman only is what God will accept, and so-called “same-sex marriage” is called an abomination.

Jesus was intolerant toward the money changers and merchants in the temple, because they were dishonestly robbing the common people by overcharging them for the sacrificial animals and by requiring a premium when exchanging their money (John 2:13-16). In addition, they were doing all this in the area of the temple, which God had decreed should remain free from merchandising. Because of their sinful acts, Jesus was not accepting of their conduct. His intolerance was because of the evils which He opposed.

This leads us to the clear conclusion that there are times when it is right to be intolerant, just as there are other times when it is wrong to be intolerant. In matters which are primarily concerns of custom and culture, it would seem to be wise to exercise feelings of acceptance, charity, patience and understanding. In matters which involve an ethical principle of God, we must not be accepting of sin, but “abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thess. 5:22).  The Greek here indicates to abstain from evil in whatever form it appears.  The Greek word for “abstain” is “apechesthe” from the verb “apache” which means “to keep oneself away from.”

If we start whittling ourselves down to fit what others think we ought to do in accepting sin, we will very soon be whittled away completely.

Fzinally, in making all kinds of decisions, Christians must seek to determine whether a matter falls into the category of tradition or custom or whether it falls into a category involving moral and ethical principles of God. It is all too easy to follow the crowd which is the way to eternal death. If we allow ourselves to be saturated with the ways of the world, we will gradually be molded into a pattern of unrighteousness.

The bottom line is that in order to go to Heaven when we die is to obey the gospel, live a faithful Christian life, and not be accepting of sin!

                                                                        -----  Earl Sutton