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)                                                                                                                                                                                           

ONLY IN THE LORD by Earl Sutton


The Apostle Paul writes concerning some of the questions the Corinthian church had asked him in their letter. Paul states that being unmarried is all right; however, due to the fact many people cannot live a celibate life, it is good to marry.

          Husbands and wives are to give their bodies to each other. Paul also recommends to the unmarried and widows that it is good to remain single; however, it he/she cannot live without sexual relations, it is better to marry than to lust.

          Paul’s advice was due to the circumstances at that time, and he was not in any way trying to put marriage down. Paul went on to say, “A wife is bound for so long time as her husband liveth: but if the husband be dead, she is free to be married to whom she will: ONLY IN THE LORD. (I Cor. 7:39) A woman is to remain married to her husband as long as they both live; this applies to the man as well. God’s law rules over both as long as they live. However, if while both live and one become joined to another, it is adultery. But if one dies, the other can be joined to another, and it is not adultery. (Rom. 7:1-3)

          Jesus gives only one exception in Matthew 19:9, “And I say unto you, whosoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication (porneia  -- sexual immorality) and shall marry another, commiteth adultery: and he that marrieth her who is put away commiteth adultery.” Jesus clarifies the marriage law and gives only reason for a divorce. The only reason is fornication. The innocent party can divorce and remarry. If a divorce takes place which is not for adultery and the parties remarry, they are guilty of adultery in God’s sight, because the marriage is still binding. Whoever marries one who has divorced for any reason except adultery commits adultery.

          When a husband dies, his widow is free to marry, because the marriage bond between them ceases to exist as the result of his death. The scripture states the widow is free to marry whomever she wishes, but ONLY IN THE LORD. Does this phrase mean one who is a Christian and the widow must marry only a Christian? The phrase, “ONLY IN THE LORD,” in Greek, “monon en kyrio,” has reference to the fact that the marriage must be in accordance with God’s will. In other words, the marriage must be in accordance with the Lord’s teaching. Who can marry scripturally? (1) Those who have never been married previously (I Cor. 7:8-9) (2) Those who have been married previously, but whose former companion was guilty of fornication (Matt. 19:9) (3) Those who have been previously married but whose spouse is dead (Rom. 7:2) (4) Those who do not fall under the class of prohibitions set forth in Matthew 19:10-12.

          There are other scriptures that use the phrase, ONLY IN THE LORD. In Ephesians: 6:1, “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Can anyone argue that children can disobey parents if they are non-Christians! Children are instructed to obey their parents, because it is pleasing unto God and is in accordance to His will (Col. 3:20-21). Also, in Colossians 3:18, “Wives, be subject to your husband, as it is fitting in the Lord.” Can anyone argue that wives cannot be subject to non-Christian husbands! As is fitting in the Lord means, in accordance with God’s will. The phrase, ONLY IN THE LORD, does not have reference to the person that the widow marries. It has reference to the marriage itself. The marriage must be between those who are eligible for marriage.                                                                                          -- Earl Sutton