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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES by Earl Sutton

 

The term, irreconcilable differences, refers to an inability for two parties to resolve their differences in order to live together. This is what happened in the Old Testament with God’s people when Solomon died (I Kings 12).

                Solomon had exacted slave labor from the people in erecting great public buildings, and the people were determined to obtain relief from this servitude before declaring allegiance to Rehoboam, the new king. A man by the name of Jeroboam sympathized with the people and became their spokesman in the effort to obtain relief from the unjust demands of government.

                The people met Rehoboam at Shechem and asked for a lessening of taxes and forced labor. Rehoboam met with his advisors, and the old men urged moderation. However, the young men urged the new king to keep people in servitude and continue to oppress them. Rehoboam followed the advice of the young men and answered the people roughly in an attitude of arrogant disregard for any interests except his own.

                The kingdom divided, with ten tribes showing allegiance to Jeroboam (who they made king over the Northern Kingdom), and two tribes, Judah and Benjamin, showed allegiance to Rehoboam. They became the Southern Kingdom and continued to follow God’s laws. The ten tribes were without any constitutional rights in this matter, and their action was wrong!

                What were the steps that led to the irreconcilable differences between the ten tribes and the two tribes? Jeroboam, who was influenced by political expediency, conceived a plan of establishing a form of worship in his own territory to keep the people from going to Judaea to worship. The Law of Moses required every male Israelite to go to Jerusalem three times a year on the occasion of great feasts to worship (Deut. 12:11-14).

                To keep them away from Jerusalem, he made two calves of gold and said, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold they gods, O Israel” (I Kings 12:28). Jeroboam knew if the twelve tribes met back together in Jerusalem, they would work out their differences; and he would lose his kingdom.

                The people submitted thereto and were guilty of great sin (v. 30). The steps that led to irreconcilable differences were (a) idolatry, (b) disobedience, (c) division, (d) pride, and (e) ambition which would eventually bring ruin to the Northern Kingdom.

                What are the steps that have led to the irreconcilable differences between the left and right groups in our society? There is simply no common ground between these groups; and as a nation, we are hopelessly divided. We, as a nation, have polarized and separated ourselves from each other. The United States was founded on the principles of following our Constitution, Judeo-Christian values and a limited Federal government.

                The left stands completely opposite to these principles upon which our nation was founded. This group boos at the very mention of the word, “God,” and openly joke about killing anyone who will not turn in their weapons. This group is getting bolder with violence and have no interest in rational compromise. If  you believe in God and limited government, they hate you with a passion.

                The right, like the two tribes, want to follow the rule of law and the Constitution and continue serving God. This group believes in increased school safety, Federal enforcement of illegal immigration, increased border security and restoring Christian values in our society.

                What is keeping the right and left from working out their differences?  The same things as Israel: (a) idolatry, (b) disobedience, (c) division, (d) pride and (e) ambition.  This demonstrates that one sin usually leads to another when we leave God out of society and our lives.