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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

NEGLECT OF PREACHING AGAINST SIN! by Earl Sutton

 

Many conservative gospel preachers in our society today preach and speak as the oracles of God (I Peter 4:11). The gospel truth can, in fact, stir people in a negative way, no matter how loving and kind the preacher is.

          Preaching about God being the one true God will stir up the Muslim population. Preaching about morality and absolute truth will stir up the immoral and the relativists who think in terms of a social gospel. Preaching the authority of the scriptures will stir up the liberal and post-modern crowds who think we have outgrown the ancient and obsolete scriptures. Preaching against liquor will stir up the social drinkers in the church. Preaching on marriage, divorce and the home will stir up those living in adultery and delinquent parents. Preaching about marriage as being only between a man and woman will stir up homosexuals and transgender people. Preaching on work ethics will stir up the lazy. Preaching against gambling will stir up those who hope to get rich by gambling rather than by working. Preaching on honesty stirs up the dishonest, the liar, cheat and the hypocrite. Preaching against the corruption in government will stir up the evil left who advocate killing unborn babies and socialism.

          Preaching against sin is a very unpopular subject with many liberal preachers and many of the elders in the Lord’s church. As a general rule, the strength of any sermon depends more on the strength of conservative elders. Many preachers know that they should be preaching against sin; but in order to remain on the payroll, they must water down their comments on the subject of sin. Has our preaching gotten too watered down in an effort to please the masses?

          It is right for a preacher to use the pulpit to oppose corrupt political issues such as legalizing liquor, gambling, abortion, easy divorce, homosexuality, transgenderism, and other such things. My friends, these are not only just political issues but are moral and biblical issues. It is a complete shame and disgrace for any preacher to hide his head in the sand and refuse to preach on sin issues that so adversely affect the morality of our community and nation!

          In the Lord’s church, there are matters of great concern. Preaching on modesty, which was common a few decades ago, is hardly ever mentioned today. Preaching about attendance with irregular members and the importance of faithfulness is also hardly mentioned anymore. It is true that preaching about sin will stir up the post-modern, post-moral, post-loving people in the church who seem to think of God as the Great – Freebie – Giver who enjoys watching us enjoy ourselves with no restrictions.

          Our society and church, to a certain extent, has become anti-authoritarian; and our preaching has become non-confrontational and non-offensive that reflects the humanistic spirit of tolerance and good feelings.

          When preachers stand before God in judgment and give an account for how they have handled His word, they will not be rewarded for making people feel good but rewarded for convicting sin. My point is some elders and preachers are failing their congregations by not preaching and teaching strong lessons against sin, which is all around us today.