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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

PROTECTING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM by Earl Sutton

 

President Trump marked the National Day of Prayer by signing an executive order designed to protect and promote religious liberty in America. This order weakens the enforcement of an IRS rule under President Lyndon Johnson that barred churches and tax-exempt groups from being involved in free speech concerning corrupt politics. Trump told those gathered at the White House Rose Garden, “No one should be censoring sermons or targeting preachers.”

            Certainly, Christian faith is deeply embedded into the history of our country, and our faith should not be targeted, bullied or silenced. The playing field has now been leveled by our new president. After our storm of moral corruption by the Obama era, we must continue to speak out and support our new president to restore moral and religious principles in our country.

            Christians need to re-engage in civil stewardship, from a biblical perspective and like the Apostle Paul, be bold in asserting our Constitutional rights. Members of the Lord’s church must rebel at the corruption in our government and support our new president in putting things back in order by restoring moral and religious principles.

            President Trump deserves praise for applying an emergency brake on the government’s movement toward coercion and discrimination against Christians and churches in America. His action is certainly a breath of fresh air and is a great move toward righting the wrongs of past administrations. He has vowed to restore America to the Christian values that our founding fathers and God intended America to be.

            This signals a rebalancing, a return to common sense in our political system. However, there is more work to be done to restore broad protections for people of all faiths from harassment and lawsuits because of their faith. Our goal on the Presidential Advisory Board, on which I now serve, is to get stronger protections for religious liberty in America. This includes family, faith and religious freedom. I realize that this Executive Order is just the first bite at the apple, not the last. This order is a giant step in the right direction in protecting the First Amendment rights of Christians and other Americans of faith.

            What does religious freedom really mean? Religious freedom is far more than just the freedom to believe a certain way. It is also the freedom to talk about and act on our core beliefs without government and main-stream news media interference. It allows people with similar beliefs to form organizations that govern their own affairs. It ensures us to live and share our beliefs with others concerning the gospel. Under past administrations, huge attacks have been made on religious freedom, and the order to protect churches is a good beginning to restore our moral values in America.

            We need to pray for our president and all in leadership positions that God will give them wisdom in this great endeavor. Also, as a nation we need to ask God’s forgiveness, direction, and blessings to continue on America.

            “O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for your own sake, my God . . … (Daniel 9:19)