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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

"Trashing Biblical Authority"

Written and contributed by brother Earl Sutton 

  The inspired record says that Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in “every church” on their first missionary journey (Acts 14:23), and Paul left Titus in Crete for the same purpose (Titus 1:5). Should the organization of the church today be exactly as it was in New Testament days? There are many congregations of the Lord’s church in our county that do not have elders and have not made any serious effort to appoint them as taught in I Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, and I Peter 5:1-4.

     God wisely planned for church government to be congregational in form, so that each congregation could tend to its own business. Also, God gave elders the responsibility and the authority to decide matters of expediency for the local congregation AND NOT BUSINESS MEETINGS!  Obviously, in matters of faith every church must conform to the Bible.

     To accept the outcome of business meetings instead of the decision of elders is trashing Biblical Authority! Someone may object by saying that we have qualified men to serve as elders, but they have no leadership skills. My response would be that one can be trained and  does not have to be a Christian for a long length of time before he can become an elder if he fits the qualifications. The fact that elders must not be a novice indicates some length of time, but within a five to ten year period is reasonable. When congregations put “men’s business meetings” as being more important than appointing elders over ten to twenty year period of time, it begs the question, “Why are God’s rules so important?”

     We must remember that substituting something for what the Bible plainly teaches is disobedience. The idea that something else for what God has commanded will do as well is a fatal idea even for Christians. 

     Cain found out the hard way that substituting was wrong (Gen. 4:3). We must remember that Moses only committed one act of disobedience, and God would not permit him to enter earthly Canaan (Numbers 20:12). The lesson for us is that one sin (substituting business meetings for elders) can keep us out of heaven!    

     I will help any congregation train qualified men with leadership principles to meet Biblical standards.