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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

WHY OBEY GOD? by Earl Sutton


When time came for God to lead His people out of the Egyptian bondage, Moses asked Pharaoh to let the people go, but Pharaoh’s reply was, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?” (Exodus 5:2) Pharaoh felt no obligation whatsoever to obey God, simply because he didn’t know who God was. In substance, Pharaoh was saying, “God has no claim on my life. I do not owe Him anything. I am not indebted to Him. He means nothing to me. Why should I obey Him?”

            Pharaoh soon learned of God the hard way. He came face to face with the works of the true God who could not be mocked. Pharaoh learned that he was not dealing with a powerless god but the true and almighty God!

            Pharaoh saw the Egyptian idolatry confounded and rendered helpless by the power of God who brought on the ten terrible plagues! (Ex. 7-11) Pharaoh’s answer, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice,” expresses an attitude that is seen in our society today. Many feel that God has no claim on their lives, and that they do not owe Him anything! Many today feel no obligation to obey God, for the same reason that Pharaoh felt, they simply don’t know who God is.

            Often, people in our society have to learn their most valuable lessons the hard way from the consequences they suffer from sin and their own stubbornness and hardness of heart. It is sad to see our society destined to spend an eternity in a devil’s hell, because they refuse to learn the lesson that Pharaoh didn’t understand so long ago.

            Intelligent people should be able to read of Pharaoh’s account and avoid repeating the same type of mistakes that he made. The bottom line is that people in our society have no excuse for asking, “Who is the Lord that we should obey His voice.?” Yet many are doing so, perhaps not verbally, but by the attitudes displayed in their lives that God has no claim on them, and they owe him nothing.

            We have the word of God (Bible) whereby we can learn everything we need to know about God and develop a respect that will bring obedience to His will. It is necessary; therefore, that we know the God that the Bible speaks of. The Bible opens with these words, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). This verse places God’s existence as far back in the distant past as human minds can go. Even if we should calculate when the beginning was, God was before that.

            Our God is said to be, “From everlasting to everlasting” (Psa. 90:2). This simply means that there has never been a time when God did not exist. It is this eternal God who created all things and in whose image we are made (Gen. 1:26-27). The Apostle Paul said, “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).  “God that made the world and all things therein . . . seeing He giveth to all life, breath, and all things” (Acts 17:24-25).

            In the Old Testament, Job confirmed this statement by saying, “The soul of every living thing and breath of all mankind is in the hand of God” (Job 12:10). This simply means that since God made the world for us, and since He made us for Himself, we are under obligation to obey Him.

            Pharaoh had to deal with God, whether he wanted to or not. You and I will have to deal with God, whether we want to or not. Are you ready to face God in judgment? (Heb. 9:27)