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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

NEED TO SPEAK OUT CONCERNING THE TRUTH by Earl Sutton

 

The Bible cautions us to not turn to the right or to the left (Deut. 5:32). In politics or religion, the “right” connotes conservatism and the “left” points to liberalism. The point in Deuteronomy is that it is always wrong to move either to the right or left of God’s instructions.

          Liberalism is the name given when persons are less strict than the truth demands, even though they may regard themselves as fair and honest in their handling of the scriptures. The “left” in religion will compromise essential matters of faith. They hold that there is no way to prove as true any one version of the Christian faith.

         According to this view, Christianity is not unique but is only one religion among many world religions. They reject the Bible as being the actual word of God to man, and the Bible must constantly be reinterpreted in light of scientific evidence. They restate the doctrine of Christ to show that Jesus was subject to limitations of knowledge that only applied to the people of His day and time. They deny that mankind is lost and under the condemnation of sin. Their main concern is about reforming the social order through humanitarian efforts.

         They have no concern for the New Testament concept of the church. They view the church as a useful social agency to be used in promoting universal justice and equality. The liberals say that love should make us tolerant of error.

         Those on the “right,” conservatives, believe and teach that Christ established only one church (Matt. 16:18). All those who obey the gospel are added to that church when they are baptized unto the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38, 47). Christ’s church must abide in His doctrine (II John 9-11). Christ’s church is not on par with denominations established by men and perpetuated by false doctrine (Matt. 15:13).

         CAN WE KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT OR WRONG IN RELIGION? Can people teach contradictions and both be right? Can two and two equal both four and seven? Can baptism be both essential and non-essential unto salvation?  Can instrumental music be both authorized of God and sinful in New Testament worship?

          How can we tell who is right and who is wrong in religion? Not by the number of people who believe and practice a certain thing. Not by our personal desires in the matter (Prov. 14:12). Only by the word of God, and it alone, can we know who is right or wrong in religion. The Bible is the inspired and authoritative word of God which is the absolute standard in all spiritual matters (II Tim. 3:16-17).

          The “left” will argue that the Bible is subject to human interpretation, and we cannot see it alike! If we cannot see the Bible alike, then Paul required an impossibility when he wrote, “Now I beseech you, brethren, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that ye all speak the same things, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Cor. 11:10).

          If we cannot see the Bible alike, John postulated sheer foolishness when he required Christians to distinguish between true and false teachers of the word (II John 9:11). The false notion that we do not have to be correct in our religious beliefs and practices is completely false!

          Faithful elders, preachers and members of the church must cease being a silent majority when the truth of God is mocked and begin to speak out concerning the truth.