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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

WHEN GOD SAYS "NO" by Earl Sutton

 

For 40 long years, Moses had led God’s people through the wilderness wanderings in hope of reaching the Land of Canaan. During that time, something happened that kept Moses from entering the Land of Canaan. This was the time when God told Moses to speak to the rock, but he smote it instead. The people were thirsty, and there was no water to drink. God had told Moses that if he would but speak to a certain rock, water would come forth.

          On a previous occasion God had provided water for His people by having Moses take his rod and strike a rock. This time he was only to speak to it. In doing other than what God said, Moses disobeyed the Lord, and this act of disobedience cost him the Land of Canaan. God had already informed Moses of this, but apparently Moses thought it might work out otherwise.

          When Moses came to the brink of the Jordan, he pleaded for God to reverse His decision; but God said to him, “No!” The conversation between Moses and the Lord is recorded in Deut. 3:25-27. This passage begins with Moses’ petition to the Lord, and then gives God’s reply to him. What a sad and disappointing moment this was for Moses.

          During the wilderness wandering, Moses dealt with a stubborn and rebellious people. There were times when they even thought of killing Moses. He was called upon to solve many problems, suffer many privations, and endure many hardships. Had it not been for his mighty leadership, and particularly his intercessory prayers, this people of Israel would have perished long ago.

          Moses was truly their salvation, and time and time again his prayers turned God’s wrath from them. What great afflictions this man had endured that he might reach the promised land!

          In a sense this seems unfair, but it was Moses’ disobedience that did it. Many today would think that what he did, in smiting the rock rather than speaking to it, was very insignificant but not so. No disobedience is insignificant! There is no trivial sin and no minor transgression. Any disobedience to God is a serious matter, as we can well learn from this incident. When God says “No,” He means NO!

          If we ask God to take away our bad habits, He will say NO. It is not for Me to take away but for you to give up. If we ask God to make our handicapped child whole, He will say NO, because his spirit is whole, and his body is only temporary. If we ask God to grant us patience, He will say NO, because patience is a byproduct of tribulations, and it isn’t granted but learned.

          If we ask God to give us happiness, He will say NO; because He will give us blessings, and happiness is up to us. If we ask God to spare us pain and sorrow, He will say NO; because suffering draws us apart from the worldly cares and brings us closer to Him. If we ask God to make our spirit grow, He will say NO; you must grow on your own. But God will prune us to make us more fruitful! If we ask God to give us all things that we might enjoy life, He will say NO; because He gave us life so that we can enjoy all things.

          Are you willing to admit that God does know best always? When God says “NO,” it is for man’s own good. We must respect everything God has said. May you, therefore, obey Him that in the final day His answer to you will be, “YES.”