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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

WHAT IS HELL LIKE? by Earl Sutton

 

During the Cold War, while the space race pitted the Soviet Union against the United States to conquer the skies, the two countries were also vying to drill the deepest hole ever drilled into the earth. The USSR embarked on drilling a hole in 1970 on the Kola Peninsula located east of Finland. By 1983 the hole had reached a depth of 39,000 feet and finally went 66 meters farther until a section of the drill twisted off. They started a new hole in 1989 and reached 40,230 feet (7.6 miles) and had to stop because of extremely hot temperatures encountered. This hole is the deepest artificial point on earth.

            This drilling endeavor has inspired a legend about a “well to hell” when researchers lowered a microphone into the hole and heard what sounded like moaning, weeping, gnashing and muffled sounds of the damned as described in the Bible (Matt. 25:30). Many of the crew fled the site and would not work there again.

            The bottom line is:  what men think about the deepest hole in the earth being hell, doesn’t matter; but what the Bible says about it does matter.

            What did Jesus say about hell? All else in the Bible about eternal punishment must be interpreted in light of what He said.  After all, He is the final authority! “But when the son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne and all the nations will be gathered before Him: and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats: and He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left . . . Then He will also say to those on His left, depart from me, accursed ones into eternal fire which has been prepared for the Devil and his angels . . . And those will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matt. 25:31-33, 41, 46).

            Jesus here tells us about the final judgment.  All nations will be brought before His glorious throne to be judged. He will separate the righteous from the wicked. He will invite the righteous to enjoy the beauties of Heaven and command the wicked to depart from Him into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels.

            Punishment by fire is often mentioned in the Bible for the wicked. This fire is unquenchable and represents the very worse type of torment. What is hell like? It is a place of fire! In Matthew 13:42, it described as “a furnace of fire.” In Matthew 25:41, “everlasting fire. In Mark 9:44-45, “the fire is not quenched.” In Revelation 20:10, “fire and brimstone.” The Biblical description of hell is God’s way of telling us that hell is far worse than anything we’ve ever considered. The nearest thing to it in our vocabulary is “fire.” The nearest thing to it in human experience is that of a burn.

            If you truly want to know what hell is like, strike a match and hold it to your finger. Or turn up your oven to 600 degrees, let it heat for about thirty minutes, then put your hand in and leave it for a few seconds. If hell is just one tenth as bad as the description found in the Bible, that should be enough to produce fear in the heart of anyone. The truth of the matter is that it’s ten thousand times worse than any description found in God’s word.

            The idea of many modernists is that whatever punishment is meted out to the wicked is temporary and only amounts to nothing more than a learning process. This idea may be popular with our society today, but it surely doesn’t fit the facts of the Bible. Jesus has plainly revealed the reality of eternal punishment. Hell can be avoided by all who will accept God’s way!