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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

DON'T EVER GIVE UP! by Earl Sutton

 

About 15 years ago, I got a phone call one Saturday morning from Bob Spurlin from Hartselle, AL. He asked if I would help him sell his new book entitled, Don’t Ever Give Up!  He explained that he had been bedridden for nearly nine years and was coping with the disease of Multiple Sclerosis. This disease had him confined to a hospital bed. Being in this condition gave him a special insight into the problems of human suffering.

          I later learned that he had preached for over thirty years before MS took control of his life. His family bought him a computer, which he operated with a control from his mouth, because MS had left his hands almost unusable.

          Bro. Tom Holland and Bro. Paul Sain provided great encouragement for him to write a book. I ordered enough books for every member of our congregation at Elkins and contacted other churches of Christ in Cannon County about buying his book. Bro. Garland Elkins wrote an introduction for this book, and Bro. Paul Sain published it. (Copies can be purchased from Sain Publications

(931-363-6905.

          In fact, Bob wrote three books which reflect his conviction, dedication and faithfulness to the Lord and His church. His first book is entitled, Tackling Life’s Troubles.  His second is Dial 911: Essentials to Living. His third book is Don’t Ever Give Up. The cover of this third book shows a crane swallowing a frog that has its hands around the crane’s neck (don’t ever give up).

          Bob said that the difficulties and trials of life can be overwhelming at times. Regardless of our station in life, whether we be rich, poor, high on the social ladder or a social outcast, misfortune and hardship will occur to each of us. “Don’t ever give up” is not just a pleasant slogan to the ear, but rather it is the only formula allowing us to meet the hurts and hardships that confront us.

          The Bible tells us of all the suffering and hardship that Job endured, all his sons and daughters suffered death, Sabeans took his oxen and donkeys, killing his servants, his sheep died in a fire, enemies raided his camels and destroyed them with a sword, his body was covered with sore boils from the sole of his feet to the crown of his head. The pain was so terrible that he sat down among the ashes (Job 2:8). Job’s wife told him to curse God and die. But Job’s strength was in God and regardless of what his wife said, his loyalty to God was steadfast despite his wife’s wishes.

          Job was not one to ask why but answered his wife that she was one that speakest foolishly. In all of this did not Job sin with his lips (Job 2:10). Job’s wife, friends, loss of property, livestock nor the loss of all his children would shake the faith of this patriarch of the Old Testament.

          My friends, when calamity and heartaches strike at our door, may we draw strength from our faith in God as did Job and Bob Spurlin. When life seems its worst, “Don’t ever give up” is the only sane and sensible approach in confronting the trials of life. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and never give up!