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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

Will God Accept Any Kind of Worship? - Earl Sutton

Published in the weekly bulletin of the church of Christ at Elkins on May 25

The BIBLE says that God accepted Abel’s offering of worship but rejected Cain’s offering (Gen. 4:4-5).  Cain got angry and God said to him, “If thou doest well, shall thou not be accepted?” (v. 7) This question impresses upon us the fact that God holds the right to accept or reject our worship unto Him. This principle shows us as long as we follow God’s instructions and we are obedient unto Him, He will accept our worship. This question also teaches that what pleases man may not necessarily please God!

     Many people in religion labor under the false assumption that God’s feelings are geared to their feelings, and this was Cain’s mistake. The way that man feels is no proof that God feels that same way at all! (Isa. 55:8) (I Cor. 1:25) This question proves that God’s acceptance of man’s worship unto Him depends solely upon him doing God’s will! (Eccl. 12:13)

     It pleases many in the Lord’s church today to extend fellowship perimeters in order to grow! Shall we extend the right hand of fellowship to those outside the body of Christ (denominational groups)?  Paul answered that question: “Have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Eph. 5:11).

     It pleases many in the Lord’s church today to enhance worship by clapping hands, praise teams, women participation in services, dividing the church into groups and worship at home, entertainment in worship services and the starting of satellite churches. There is not one grain of biblical authorization for all these activities.

     Today those who are worshipping God according to His will are doing so in conformity to the New Testament pattern which includes: (1) Praying (John 16:23) (2) Preaching and teaching God’s word (Acts 20:7) (3) Lord’s Supper (acts 20:7) (4) Giving (I Cor. 16:2) (5) Singing without mechanical instruments (Eph. 5:19) (6) Being faithful (Heb. 10:25).

     God’s question to Cain strikes at the very heart of false worship --  that which pleases man may not please Him! What does it require to have acceptable worship? The BIBLE says “do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8). Walking with God is walking in His will (Luke 1:6). God’s acceptance of Abel’s worship and rejection of Cain’s worship was not due to favoritism but was a result of Abel’s obedience! (Heb. 11:4)

     Acceptable worship is according to right attitude, done in right way, and according to truth (John 4:24). God never said, worship me any way you please. If our worship is not done according to God’s standard, it will not be accepted!