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 IS BAPTISM NOT BAPTISM? by Earl Sutton

 

I have been writing about relevant issues and controversial topics in the news each week and giving a scriptural application about the Bible view. Some feel that church leaders should never talk about these issues and consider them to be political. They completely forget that, in today’s society, religious issues have been made political issues by our government sticking its nose into religious matters and declaring war on the home, family and church.

          The bottom line is that many church leaders do not want to deal with intimidation tactics and name-calling that come with standing up for the truth. I strongly feel that it is time for the church to stand up for the truth and help take our country back. It is time for Christians to re-engage in our civil responsibilities, and like the Apostle Paul, be bold in asserting our Constitutional rights against the anti-Christian left.

          We cannot afford to take a, “live and let live,” approach to sin and corruption in our society. Facebook has started blocking conservative views with the goal of supporting the left. YouTube is removing conservative voices from their platform. I plan to continue writing articles on relevant issues but also will examine many issues that keep coming up in the church concerning what is scriptural.

          This week’s article deals with the story of the twelve men in Acts 19:1-7 who needed to be re-immersed, because their baptism was not a scriptural baptism.

          After Apollos left Ephesus and went to Corinth, Paul returned to Ephesus as he promised to do on the second missionary journey when he had visited there briefly (Acts 18:21). He found certain disciples and asked them if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed. They replied that they did not know the Holy Spirit was given (Acts 19:1-2). Paul realized that they had not been baptized with the baptism of the great commission which Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:18-20. Thus he asked them into what they were baptized. They replied, “Into John’s baptism.” At this time John’s baptism was invalid, because it only lasted till the death of Christ. When they realized the nature of John’s baptism, that it was no longer valid and they needed to be baptized in the name of Jesus, they were immediately baptized into Christ.

           It should be clearly noted that these men had been baptized, but not according to the baptism commanded by Jesus; they needed to be baptized in accordance with God’s word. These men could have become angry at the apostles for implying that their baptism was not pleasing unto God. If they had been like some today, they would have said, “But baptism is merely symbolic, and one baptism is as good as another.”

          Sometimes baptism is not baptism, and individuals who have undergone a rite called baptism still need to be immersed. What is necessary to make a baptism scriptural? (1) It must have the right action. (2) Right person. (3) The right purpose. The right action is immersion. The right subject is a mature person who believes in Christ, has repented of his sins and is willing to confess his faith.

          Where the issue becomes complicated is in the area of purpose. Every man and woman should consider their baptism in light of scripture and make sure they have been baptized for the right purpose. Some may have been baptized because everyone else was, or to join a church, or because it was expected. If so, you need to be re-immersed in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the remission of sins.