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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

PURE POLITICS by Earl Sutton

 

As Jesus continued His journey to the cross, He was betrayed, denied, and unfairly treated. Throughout all this ordeal, the Lord faced constant human failure, constant human neglect, and plenty of on-going pure politics. As Jesus faced Pilate for His official Roman trial, He was confronted with pure politics (Matt. 27:11-26).

          Jesus comes face-to-face with a career politician who was rotten to the core! Pilate was a politician and wanted to keep the religious leaders happy, because they had a great influence over the people. These religious leaders made Pilate’s governorship profitable, and he knew that it was envy and jealousy driving this group.

          Pilate could also tell that Jesus posed no threat to Rome or to Rome’s power in Judea. He knew that Jesus was innocent and didn’t deserve death. So, Pilate, the clever politician, played pure politics and conducted a trial to satisfy the enemies of Jesus.

          This same thing happened in Tennessee when the “Heartbeat Bill” was not voted out of committee. Most of the senators were pressured by more than 14 corporations that support the LGBTQ position to vote against the bill. These special-interest groups freely give hush money, and those voting didn’t want to lose their share! Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent and as the legal judge for the Roman government, he should have declared Jesus innocent and sent Him away. That was the right thing to do. Just as our senators knew the “Heartbeat Bill’ would protect innocent babies from being killed but bowed to political pressure to keep their mouths shut!

          Pilate also had the political pressure of Jewish rulers and tried to force the decision of releasing Jesus onto others. This same approach was used by our Lt. Governor, who declared that when Roe vs Wade is decided, we won’t need this bill.

          Pilate fell back on a custom that called for the release of a prisoner. This was usually a political prisoner, popular with the people. But Pilate, thinking he is clever, decides to offer the crowd a well-known felon. Barabbas was a plague on any decent society, so Pilate is sure the crowd will seek the release of Jesus, if for no other reason, to keep this criminal in jail. But the crowd didn’t cooperate, just like the voters of Tennessee who called and kept the senator’s phones ringing off the hook in support of this “Heartbeat Bill.”

          Pilate, like our senators, avoided doing what was right by forcing the choice onto others (Roe vs Wade and the Supreme Court). The problem is that the power was his, and the decision was his, just as the “Heartbeat Bill” was a decision for TN senators.

          Pilate played games with the leaders and the crowd; but in truth, he ought to have released Jesus. The Lt. Governor and many of the senators have played their game; but in truth, they ought to have brought this bill to the full floor for a vote. Instead, they refused to get it out of committee, because of the pressure from special-interest groups (aligned with LGBTQ). Pilate played pure politics and avoided his responsibility to do the right thing. Pilate was guilty, because he failed to be honorable and followed pressure from special-interest groups that had no morals. He pretended to wash his hands, but that did not take away the guilt.

          The same is true now. Some can pretend that they are innocent and say it is not in our best interest at this time, but doing what is right is simple. When we have the chance to do good, do it. We as Christians need to stand up and do the right thing. When we stoop to playing pure politics, we cannot stay clean!