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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

Do the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John Belong in the Old Testament? - Earl Sutton

Originally published in the weekly bulletin at the church of Christ at Elkins on June 22, 2014

There are some today who attempt to subvert the teachings of Christ by arguing that these books belong in the Old Testament instead of in the New Testament. There is a woeful ignorance on the part of many concerning this erroneous theory that the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are history books so they belong in the Old Testament!

      Due to a failure to “rightly divide the word of truth,” many folks try to practice in religion things that pertain to the Law of Moses in order to justify their sinful behavior!  For example Jesus said, “And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that marrieth her when she is put away committeth adultery.” (Matt. 19:9)  Jesus clarifies the marriage law and the only reason for divorce! The issue is not about these books belonging in the Old Testament, but some want to justify their reason for a divorce by putting this scripture in the Old Testament context!  By arguing that this passage is in the Old Testament, they can establish the fact that Moses permitted divorce for other reasons (hardness of heart) (Matthew 19:8)

      What erring Christians fail to realize is that the Law of Moses was never given to the Gentiles or Christians and never did govern them!  Christ reigns today instead of the Law of Moses, and through Him we have access unto God! Any who seek to justify divorce by way that Moses handled it will be rejected!

      My friends, if one has entered into Christ but turns back to the Law of Moses, he/she stands condemned!  “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of  you are justified by the Law: ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). 

      The gospel accounts, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John contain history (but not Old Testament history) but history concerning the Life of Christ and His teachings. Those teachings contain commandments that are obligatory for those living under Christ’s covenant as opposed to Moses’ covenant!

      These gospel accounts belong in the New Testament for they contain teachings that are not contained in the Old Testament and are mandatory for a Christian’s faith and practice.  Anyone today who binds the Sabbath, practice the use of instrumental music, wearing of robes, burning of incense, divorce for any reason must also forsake Christ and cling to Moses for their authority! Those who do so, need to read Galatians 5:4, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of  you are justified by the Law: ye are fallen from grace.”

      The last prophet to serve God under the Law of Moses was Malachi, and then there is a 400-year gap at the close of the Old Testament period and beginning of the New Testament period and the Life of Christ recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which is clear proof where these books belong!