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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

What a Day of Surprises - Earl Sutton

A caption in the Tennessean this week read, “More People Losing Religion” and stated that Americans are becoming more secular. The article said that the number of Americans who don’t affiliate with a particular religion has grown to 56 million in recent years. What a great day of surprises it will be for this group and all who don’t believe in God or obey the gospel of Christ! (II Thess. 1:7-9) The judgment day will be a day in which the hearts of men will be laid bare, and things will be seen as they really are (Ecc. 12:14).

    How surprised the atheists and infidels will be! How surprised will be those who all along have ridiculed the idea of God and cheated Him out of the respect that He deserves. How foolish for a person to believe not in God when there is such irrefutable evidence to the contrary (Psa. 14:1).

    How surprised for those who don’t believe in Christ.  The Bible says, “That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father” (Phil. 2:10-11). Now while we live, we have the privilege of voluntarily confessing Jesus to be  the Christ, but at the judgment all will have to acknowledge that He is the Christ. Those who cheat themselves by saying that Jesus was nothing more than a mere man will be proved wrong, but this change of mind will do them no good. One had better change his mind now than to have to change his mind then!

    How surprised for those who don’t believe in punishment for the wicked. Some cheat themselves out of knowledge that there will be a Hell for the wicked. Some can’t conceive of an eternal punishment for the wicked. God said that He and man don’t always think alike (Isa. 55:8). God says there will be punishment of the wicked, and men had better believe it.

    How surprised for those who don’t think God meant what He said. Some cheat themselves out of the knowledge that God has never said anything that He didn’t mean! He said that He will condemn those who do certain things and will bless those who do certain things. He will do just that, because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2).

    How surprised for those who don’t believe in a hereafter. Some cheat themselves out of the knowledge that there is something beyond the grave. How surprised they will be to find out they were in error (Job 14:14) (John 5:28-29).

How surprised for those who thought the Lord would excuse ignorance. God no longer excuses ignorance (Acts 17:30). There is no excuse for man’s not knowing what God requires of him. We all need

to check the scriptures and see if we are doing the things that are recommended in order to avoid cheating ourselves out of Heaven       (II Cor. 13:5).

                        -----  Earl Sutton