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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

Will God Really Do What He Says? - Earl Sutton

Originally published on 12/14/2014 in the weekly bulletin at the church of Christ at Elkins

All religious questions must center and have their solutions to the problem in the authority of God and His word!  How shall we live?  How or what shall we worship?  Are there limitations on the role of women in the church?  Does any kind of music matter in the church?  What is the Bible's stand on homosexuality?

            In recent years the landscape of religion in the Lord's church has undergone changes, including the shift from traditional to a contemporary style of worship in many churches.  Now there is the blatant disregard for the word of God among our brethren with David Lipscomb University supporting female students as preaching interns!  The Bible clearly teaches, "Don't do it" in I Cor. 14:34-35 and I Timothy 2:11-12.

            With the emphasis on "political correctness" in our society today, it isn't strange that brethren do not believe that God will do what He says!  My friend, our eternity depends on accepting the fact that God meant what He said. Someone may object and say that people are more important than God's rules in the Bible!  This begs the question that rules are important because people are important, and God loves people enough to give them rules to follow in religion because it is for their own good!    Many assume that they know the right way to go in religion without accepting God's authority.  Yet the Bible teaches otherwise!  (Prov. 14:12 and Jeremiah 10:223)

            Will God really do what He says?  Just ask Adam and Eve when they ate the forbidden fruit! (Gen. 3:22-23)  Some argue, "God is love and will forgive, no matter what we do."  God said they would surely die if they disobeyed, and He promises to punish us if we disobey. Just ask Nadab and Abihu about using specified sources of fire and what happened when they substituted something else! (Lev. 10:1-2)

            God still means what He says and when He says not to do something, we cannot do it without being punished!  When God says to do something, we will be punished if we fail to do it!  God's blessings and going to heaven when we die are predicated upon doing what He says!  God cannot lie (Titus 1:2) so we can trust that when He says something, it is the absolute truth!

                                                                                    ---  Earl Sutton