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 is Our Authority in Religion - Earl Sutton



We must have adequate authorization for everything that we do.  BEFORE we may drive a car, we must have the authority of a driver’s license. BEFORE we can write a check, we must have a bank account with adequate funds in it which gives us that authority. BEFORE we get married, we must have a license.  BEFORE a doctor can practice, he/she must have a diploma from an accredited medical school and have the license to practice in the state. BEFORE a policeman can carry out his duties, he/she must have a badge which authorizes him to do so.

    Also in the realm of religion, we must have the proper authority for all that we do! In worship and service to God, we must do that which we are authorized to do and nothing else! The most common word for “authority” is the Greek word “exousia” which is translated “power.” This word implies the right to act, forbid certain activities, or impose certain obligations upon others.

    Jesus stated clearly that God had given Him all authority (Matt. 28:18). God expects the followers of Jesus to listen to him (Col. 1:10). The apostles and prophets who wrote the books of the New Testament spoke with the authority of God, since they were guided by the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:20-21).  A careful study of the scriptures indicates that authority has always rested with divinity:  God, Christ and the Holy Spirit and never has it rested with men or a new hermeneutic system! 

    In determining what the scriptures authorize, there are three avenues through which we receive guidance! First, there are direct commands, such as in Acts 2:38. In the second place, there are approved apostolic examples (John 16:13).  The third avenue through which we can know the Lord’s will is by necessary inference, as found in Acts 20:7 where early Christians only ate the Lord’s supper on each first day of the week!

    Some liberals are determined to re-structure the church and have criticized those categories as “CENI” (commands, example, necessary inference), and it’s intended as mocking established Bible authority

    Some liberals have proposed a new  hermeneutic in order to justify their practice of anything they want to uphold!  Only those religious acts which are authorized of God are religious acts which are acceptable to Him! The case of Cain and Able shows that what we do in religion must be authorized by the Word of God! (Gen. 4:2-5) One pleased God; the other did not. Why?  Because one was performed by God’s authority and the other was not! The Bible also contains both specific and generic authority.

    Let us hold fast to Bible authority in order to be saved and please God!

                        -----   Earl Sutton