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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO PARTAKE UNWORTHILY? by Earl Sutton

 

 

For nearly 2,000 years, Christians have assembled each Lord’s Day to worship God in the manner described in the New Testament. Eating the Lord’s Supper is one of the five avenues of worship taught in the scriptures.

          Perhaps the most meaningful of all the passages in the New testament concerning the Lord’s Supper is found in I Cor. 11:23-30. After having established the church at Corinth and having given the Christians oral instructions concerning this memorial meal, the Apostle Paul wrote those words.

          First, there is the retrospective look, “This do in remembrance of me (v. 24). The Lord’s Supper is a period of several minutes each Lord’s Day in which we Christians look back to the life of our Lord and contemplate His love and sacrifice for us.

          In the second place, there is the prospective look, “Ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he comes” (v. 26). The Lord’s Supper is to be eaten by Christians, those who not only remember that their Lord dies to make possible their salvation, but who also look forward to His eventual coming again.

          What does it mean to partake of the supper unworthily? “Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily (Greek word “anaxious” meaning treating it as a common meal) shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.”      (v. 27) The words of warning were written to cause each Christian to realize the seriousness which attends the eating of this memorial meal. It is to be done reverently and thoughtfully, never carelessly and idly. During the time of the eating of the Lord’s Supper, every Christian should make a supreme effort to be sure that he/she is worshipping acceptably.

          What does it mean? Some have thought that the passage refers to a person who has lived a sinful life during the recent past, and that he/she should not partake of the Lord’s Supper. In this passage, Paul is speaking directly to the Corinthians who were guilty of partaking of the Lord’s Supper with a spirit of division (v. 18), factions (v. 19), selfishness in indulgence (v. 21), neglecting the poor (v. 21) unthoughtfulness and carelessness in approaching the Lord’s Supper. This list seems to indicate that having sin within one’s heart and life is what is meant by partaking unworthily. But this verse does not have reference to the life of the one partaking, but to the manner of the actual eating of the Lord’s Supper itself.

          Not to discern (diakrino, means to separate thoroughly) or think of Christ and His death for us while eating the Lord’s Supper is the sin being warned against in this verse. The manner in which the individual partakes of the Lord’s Supper is the message in this verse.

          The Lord’s Supper is a witness of the great sacrifice of all ages. “But let a man examine (dokimazo, process of proving) himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” (v. 28) As one prepares to partake of the Lord’s Supper, he/she should examine themselves and make sure that they approach it as a memorial to the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord  --  not a common meal.

          It is true, however, that the Christian who has fallen into sin does need to repent genuinely and pray for God’s forgiveness before he/she comes to the Lord’s Table. When this is done, he/she needs to come and partake; because this person, above all things, needs the spiritual strength that this Supper provides.