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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

DON'T JUDGE GOD BY HUMAN STANDARDS by Earl Sutton

 

It has always been a mistake of mankind to try to judge God by our human standards and human wisdom. From our human perspective, some things in the Bible appear to be wrong and foolish. This is only because we try to judge God by our standards and ignore the fact that God doesn’t reason as we do.

          The Bible says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

          This is one of the most revealing verses in the entire word of God. God is omniscient and has complete knowledge of the past, the present, and the future. Man is finite and has limited experiences and limited reasoning power. Man cannot see the end from the beginning. It is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps. Those who insist on doing so will find that their lack of wisdom and experience will lead to spiritual destruction. The way of the Lord is perfect, and it leads to eternal life.

          How much higher are the heavens than the earth? This question implies that the heavens where God exists is meant. The heavens mentioned here go on forever. God’s thoughts and ways are that much higher than man.

          In Genesis 2:5-6 is the first mention of rain. The promise of God was that Noah and his family would be saved in the ark. But all of those out of the ark would perish in the flood. Here is an example of the people in that day and time who tried to judge God by human standards. There was no record of rain on the earth before this, but Noah is told to build a huge boat to save his family and the animals upon the earth at that time. Can you imagine the derision that the people had as they laughed at Noah! But their laughter was soon to be drowned out, because they were judging God by a human standard.

          In Numbers 21:4-11, after God had delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt and had given them a law to live by, they murmured (complained) against Him. God, in order to chastise them and bring them to repentance, did this. He sent fiery serpents among them, and they bit the people and many died. The people had no cure for snakebites. God told Moses to make a fiery serpent, put it on a stick, and everyone that was bitten could look upon it and live. From the perspective of mankind that would not work, because it was judging God by human standards. But everyone who was bitten by a snake in the camp of Israel was cured by God’s way, because it was God’s will and it had His power.

          In Joshua 6:3-5, Israel had come out of the wilderness after forty years of wandering. Now they faced the walled, armed, and fortified city of Jericho. God told them that in order to breach the walls and take this city, they were to march around the city for 6 days. But on the 7th day, march around it 7 times, blowing trumpets and shout. From a human standpoint, this was a foolish plan. This is because humans judge God by human standards.

          We don’t have the right to sit in judgment of God and judge His standards by our human standards (Eccl. 12:13).                                                    ---  Earl Sutton, Ed.D.