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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

GENERAL PRINCIPLE NOT IRON-CLAD RULE by Earl Sutton

GENERAL  PRINCIPLE  NOT  IRON-CLAD  RULE

 

One of the well-known sayings of the book of Proverbs is “Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). Many a parent has read this verse and reproached themselves bitterly due to the fact that their children have departed from the Lord’s way. I have known parents who have brought up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord who later suffered the greatest of grief when those children used their freedom of choice to depart from the way and will of God.

          Paul is teaching in Ephesians 6:4 that as fathers rear their children, they are to do it in such a way that children are eager to obey rather than becoming resentful. This verse tells what the father is to do. The father is to nurture, which means to rear them tenderly. He is to chasten them which means to discipline. It includes punishment which is not pleasant, but it is fair and just. The father is to also bring up his children in the admonition of the Lord which means the spoken word (Titus 3:10).

          If disobedient children are always rebellious, because they have been poorly brought up, then God Himself has been lacking in the guidance of His own children who have gone astray. When the freedom of choice is factored into the statement in Proverbs 22:6, it is absolutely true. It is far more probable that the properly trained child will continue in righteous living until death than will the child who has been lacking in discipline.

          There are three factors that must be taken into consideration in Proverbs 22:6. First, it is true that many parents do a very poor job in training their children in the knowledge of God’s word. When the pressures of the world assault these young people, they evidence very little interest in serving the Lord and going to church. The fact is, parents contribute significantly to the direction their children will take.

          Second, it is very clear that this passage contains a general principle and is not an iron-clad rule. This can be demonstrated by what God said to the parents of Israel, “I nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me” (Isa. 1:2). Surely, no one would claim that God was remiss in His parental responsibility. The bottom line is, even though a child might receive the best of training in God’s word, he/she is still a free moral agent and can choose to do right or wrong in spite of what they have been taught, and many times this is the case. Sometimes a child can receive no religious training at all, and then in adulthood, choose to accept the gospel and live a faithful Christian life. The bottom line is choice.

          Third, we are dealing with a general principle and not an iron-clad rule. This can be demonstrated also by what Proverbs 16:7 says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”  This certainly does not mean that every enemy of the true Christian will turn and become a close friend. This statement is not always the case, but is only a general principle. It certainly was not so with reference to Christ.

          God’s enemies even placed His son upon the cross. This verse, Proverbs 16:7, is simply telling us a good Christian has the power to make the world a more peaceful place. This verse, Proverb 22:6, is saying it is more probable that a properly trained child will continue in righteous living than will the child that is lacking in discipline.

                                                          --- Earl Sutton