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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

No Substitute for Integrity! - Earl Sutton


NBC news is investigating chief anchor Brian Williams for lying on air about being in a helicopter that was forced down after it was hit by enemy fire during the Iraq war. Also, further scrutiny of Williams’ past statements, he is accused of lying about his experiences in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina that he witnessed a body floating in the French Quarter area of the city.

    An anchor’s No. 1 requirement is that he/she tell the truth in order to have credibility. If we can’t believe what an anchor is telling us, then that person has no integrity!

    Just what is integrity? Webster defines it as “soundness of moral principle and character, complete honesty.”  It means genuineness, absence of lies, no false front and honesty in general.

    What makes honesty so important?  Our culture now places so little value on integrity and thinks that dishonesty is part of life.  When one choses to lie over the truth, you deceive others. But worse, you are deceiving yourself into thinking this lie won’t hurt.  You deceive yourself into believing it will not affect your reputation, your relationships, your life, but it will!

    While many will forget your lies in a few years, they will not forget that you are a liar! They will know you are unreliable and untrustworthy. The worst thing about lying is that the liar is the biggest loser.

    Certainly we find instances of some of God’s servants lying – Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 12), Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5). In these examples, God’s people failed to live up to His standard. Those who continue to lie, cheat, and practice immorality will one day come under God’s punishment. Lying hurts the liar most, and honesty rewards the honest the most. Why not tell the truth, because you win when you do!

Simply put, when we resort to lies, we are using Satan’s method to do right, not God’s method. We should always seek to tell the truth, even when deceit seems to be for a good reason. 

Jesus said that lies originate from Satan (John 8:44). This may be a tough lesson for Brian Williams, but all lies, even so called white lies done with good intentions, serve Satan’s purposes  --  not God’s. Therefore, we must learn to “Let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no’ be ‘no.’”(Matt. 5:37)

    We as a nation, including the President, need to return to a life of integrity. This means telling the truth, paying our debts, keeping our word, admitting our mistakes, and being honest in our relationships with men and God!

                        ----  Earl Sutton