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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

THE BACKDOOR APPROACH by Earl Sutton

 

Will Apple and other tech companies be forced to install a “backdoor” approach in digital devices to help law enforcement have access to encrypted information during their investigations?  A federal judge in California has ordered Apple to bypass security barriers on theiPhone 5c used by Syed Rizman Farook who, with his wife, killed 14 people in December 2015.

            The former director of NSA, who installed controversial surveillance programs to collect telephone metadata on millions of Americans, says he opposes this “backdoor” device. He said, “We are a safer, more secure nation without ‘backdoor devices;’ because a lot of people, including the government, would take advantage of it.”

            This begs the spiritual question: Is there going to be a “backdoor “ approach to Heaven?  How does the scriptures weigh in on this issue? “Jesus therefore said unto them again, verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved . . ..” (John 10:7,9) Jesus is the door of the sheepfold, as the good shepherd provides salvation for the sheep by giving His life and taking care of them. There is only one door to a sheepfold, and Jesus is that door!

            The implication is clear that the only way to God is through Jesus Christ (without any “backdoor” approach). This truth is confirmed in John 14:6, “Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father but by Me.”  Jesus said, “I am the way,” which means that He is the road that one must travel to reach God. In fact, the Bible says, “There is no other way to God except through Jesus.” (Acts 4:12)

            The Catholic church has tried to create a “backdoor” approach to Heaven. They believe in the doctrine of the “sacrament of penance” which presumes that a priest must mediate after death to absolve sins. The myth of purgatory involves a period of suffering after death until unforgiven sins are sufficiently penalized.

            The Bible plainly tells us that Jesus Christ (not a priest) is our advocate to the Father (I John 2:1). The Bible also assures us that Christ himself (not a priest) “hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He (not a priest) might bring us to God.” (I Peter 3:18)

            The Quran and Islam have tried to create a “backdoor” approach to Heaven by depicting Jesus, not as the Son of God, but Allah as their savior. This conflict between Islam and Christianity shows that these two religions can never achieve harmony.  The New Testament is very, very clear that the heart, core, and soul of the Christian religion is our allegiance to Jesus Christ as our savior.

            The Quran is emphatic that Jesus was not the Son of God. Muslims believe that Jesus was just a man having the same beginning as Adam. They believe that Jesus didn’t die on the cross.

            As followers of God, our confession of faith is, “I believe that Christ is the son of the living God.” (Matt. 16:16) Many may argue that this difference between Islam and Christianity concerning Jesus’ deity makes little difference. In this they are completely wrong. For Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I am He, you shall die in your sins.” (John 8:24)

            It unequivocally does make a difference what a person believes about Christ, for entrance into Heaven depends upon it! (John 10:9) The Quran tries to get Muslims into Heaven by the “backdoor” approach of Mohammed instead of Christ.