Consequences of Sin
Are you suffering from consequences of sin? “well isn’t everybody in one way or the other”?
Can your “little sins” cause unwanted grief and suffering for someone else? What are some of the obvious and clear consequences of sin?
Now I realize many today do not think about this, but what does the Bible reveal about the consequences of sin, great or small? Are there any in today’s modern world, or is everything just happenstance? What about those who commit deliberate sins against others and seem to be blessed? Sometimes people look on those who deliberately “live in sin” and they seem to be blessed; so this kind of thing makes you wonder, does it not?
It has now been reported that here in the USA, of those who were once more religiously inclined—that figure is now on the decline and has been for a number of years.
We should know, if we are truly Bible students with any kind of diligence, that the Bible says that sin is the transgression of the law, or put another way “lawlessness”; found in 1John 3:4 and elsewhere. Some people can never understand that they are being “lawless” as the Bible describes it, by continuing to live the way they want to. None are perfect and without sin however, according to Rom.3:23, we all have sinned. However, some are trying a whole lot harder than others it seems, to obey God and keep His commandments. It seems that there are always some consequences for sin or disregard for God’s law and the direction that leads to righteousness, but again, in today’s world it seems that the deliberate sinner is the one who gets the blessing. (Ps.73:1-17) In this world, sometimes the innocent suffer as punishment on the guilty but the guilty never grasp it! (Innocent—meaning those not involved in a particular sin—yet suffer because of it. In that sense, what about Christ?-didn’t He suffer for all of our sins?)
As astonishing as it may seem this is a thread that is found throughout the Bible, but the consequences of sin can vary from light punishment to severe or heavy in this life, based on the repentance or lack of it by the sinner—but the end result of unrepentant sin is the same for everyone, which is eternal death. (Rom.6:23-first part of the verse) It was revealed from the very beginning that sin will have consequences. What can someone desiring to be a true Christian learn about this through some of the examples found in the Scriptures? Let us begin by going back to the very beginning for mankind; and this example should be one that all true Bible students are familiar with. God had created man for a specific purpose and told Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and if he did—he would die. We can learn much from the words of the two Great Spirit beings that make up the God realm, (See John 1:1-3) if we are willing to focus on those words and believe them! As they converse between each other, we find this recorded, after the fact of man’s wrong choice; Gen 3:22-24 (from the RSV)
“Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever"—When any real effort is put forth to understand this, it becomes clear that Adam nor Eve had either one “Put forth the Hand” to take of this tree and eat; — V.23 “therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, (Why? Clearly this is a consequence of his choice to dis-obey, which is sin—some consequences were the loss of rewards for obedience that the Garden offered, so he now had) “to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 He (God) drove out the man; and at the east of the Garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.” When Adam did not choose this tree of life at any time before taking of the other; and there is no record in Scripture that he did, he was rejecting the way of God that would lead to life eternal and they were thus driven out. This was only after deception on Eve’s part and a deliberate choice was made by Adam to disobey and the entirety of mankind was then cut off and all had to die once! (Heb.9:27) The second Adam (Christ) came to restore access to what this tree symbolized, but only for the truly converted at this time, which is another story.
Another very familiar example to all Bible students is the situation where Abraham was told about what would happen to Sodom and Gomorrah for their twisted and perverse behavior. Gen 19:24-25 “Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.” (NKJ) This “fire and brimstone” consumed everyone, even the little children and everything else that grew—it was all burned up! Of course we all should not forget that God had previously destroyed all human life on earth, after over 1600 years of sinful and degenerate living, except for Noah and his family, to spare the human race and land animals. Gen 6:11-13 “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” (NKJ) These are examples for us and show there are consequences of sins that can affect other people.
Sins of an individual
What about sins of just one individual today—can this bring heartache and possible suffering and death to others, perhaps even innocent family members? Does God still allow the innocent to suffer at the hands of the sinful? Ex 20:5 “you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me”;---therefore we must conclude these things are still happening today and we should be able to see this all around the world.
Adam’s sin could be looked at from this perspective as well, because he caused all of his children to suffer from his act of sin. (Gal.3:22) Some who should but obviously do not understand (Or have forgotten if they did) how God has worked in the past and therefore do not seem to have any concept of how He may be working with some today. This ignorance, sadly to say, is even found in the many of the ministry! We see another example of this in Joshua, chapter 7 and this one individual caused great problems for the whole nation of Israel. God knew who the guilty person was, but went through a process to reveal it to Joshua and other leaders. I hope you will read the whole context; but Note V.20 “And Achan answered Joshua and said, "Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and this is what I have done:”
What was the result of that personal and individual sinful act to “get” something? Josh 7:25-26 “And Joshua said, "Why have you troubled us? (The rest of the nation) The LORD will trouble you this day." So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them (this is his entire family and all his belongings!) with fire after they had stoned them with stones. 26 Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.” Can you even imagine the anguish this must have caused the people having to see or carry out this punishment on even little children who had done nothing to deserve this? (Ezekiel 9:4-6) What about those innocents that were being killed? God wants all to come to understand that sin’s consequences are serious and cause untold or sometimes even unimaginable suffering. Yet God will raise them up in judgment and they will all be taught why this happened; learning that their untimely deaths were a consequence of sin—and in this case the sin of a parent & perhaps even a grandparent. Thanks be to the Great God that Satan will not be around during that time of judgment, as he is today!
Those lead by the Spirit not exempt
But many seem to wonder, even in the COG, if God would REALLY exact that kind of punishment today on them. It seems that some forget that God is consistent through-out time and shows no Partiality! What about someone who is supposed to be a recipient of the Holy Spirit, maybe a minister or even just someone in a COG group somewhere? Are they not set aside as special? How quickly we forget when we settle into a comfort zone surrounding the self! Again, we can learn from another example found in Scripture that also involved the life of an innocent child. As just stated, God shows no partiality—there is no one whom God will relax His standards for, not even in the ministry today. This child lost His life as a consequence of someone else’s sin and in this case it was a combination of two people. The child was a direct result of sins being committed. It is the example of King David, which Scripture says was a “man after God’s own heart”. However, he allowed himself to be pulled off course by wrong thoughts, the power of the throne and his lusting for Bathsheba; he sinned. Even after repentance of the sin and crying out to God—it did not change the consequence that God had determined to be paid for his and Bathsheba’s sins. These two worked together against God, not just Uriah who was loyal to David, by breaking several Commandments!
2 Sam 12:13-15 “So David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.14 "However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD (And the greatest enemy is Satan the devil!) to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die." (This child was totally innocent, even though brought forth in sin by others, it was oblivious as to all of this, as was perhaps some of Achan’s little children or grandchildren, (and little children in the flood) already at what age we are not given.) V.15 Then Nathan departed to his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and it became ill.” When the whole context is studied into, one can see that David was sincere in the hope that God would relinquish the punishment and let the child live—but it did not happen. But did God punish this child, as some might foolishly believe?
No, actually David, along with Bathsheba and their sins punished this child and themselves! It was through their own twisted and conniving carnal minds in violation of a marriage covenant, Commandments and simple honesty and trust—just as all other examples of sin have punished mankind since creation. The child and all other children this is happening to today will be among those who are resurrected, as stated previously, will live a life free of satanic influence working through humans, possibly its own parents or grandparents. They will however, very possibly learn that it was someone else’s sin that cut their life short—and was not their own, because they had no concept of what sin is at their young age. This is not a punishment on the child, but a consequence of sin by others.
How many parents and grandparents or near relatives that little children look up to and lovingly trust, are guilty of their own children’s untimely demise in our world today? Honesty says there are MANY! Even if death is not the end result, too many suffer the rest of their lives and not just children—when adults refuse to see or acknowledge their own sins—they cause many others around them to suffer as well. Even the most well-meaning and caring parents make mistakes. They can hurt their own children and grandchildren just by their own examples and way of living their own lives. There is no doubt many more cases of this kind than anyone but God really knows about, but those of us who have been called out and even chosen by the Spirit of God are not exempt. We have to remain on guard against the wiles of Satan or he will get to us as well and he does not care who suffers. We should know that those who neglect to let the Spirit lead them into right choices; who stubbornly refuse to acknowledge their own sins and repent—it may not be only those individuals that receive sin’s consequences.
God is very consistent in how He handles those who seem determined to have their own way and want to travel a “get” way of life. This can come even after years of instructions and God sending help from others, in hopes for those individuals to see that way of get does not pay off in the long run. God even removes the righteous through death sometimes, to allow them to rest and not have to face any more evils, (Isa.57:1 & Psalm116:15) but he also has compassion on the little ones who may be facing serious troubles ahead in life, under the current circumstances they are now living in and no one but God can know this.
It is a gut wrenching thing for some, as with David, to know that our own sins (Which we all have committed) can sometimes cause the death or suffering of others, even tiny and precious innocent family members, simply because humans are too stubborn to listen to sound reason and Biblical instructions that tell us to stay away from wrong and sinful influences; wrong practices that get in the way of covenants or other Spiritual commitments we have previously made with God. The bottom line is that we all reap what we sow, whether it be in this life or the final judgment. Unless God decides to erase the penalty through our heart-felt repentance and determination to change, sin normally has consequences! God, in His enduring mercy does this as well. (Psalm 136) It is God who may sometimes choose to lessen the punishment, how and when it will be administered and so on, as we have seen here.
Persecutions on the true COG are coming and God’s true servants will be persecuted just for trying to hold fast to truth and their own commitments to God, Christ and humanity. (John 16:2—again, innocents suffering at the hands of the guilty just as Christ went through) Satan the devil is the god of this world (2Cor.4:4) who is also like a lion on the prowl, (1Pet.5:8) seeking to devour by or through evil influence (Eph.2:2) and through the lusts and works of the flesh. (Gal 5:19-21) He seeks to make everyone sin and then suffer the consequences of sin! The wages of sin is death, as Satan well knows, but those void of the Holy Spirit never seem to grasp it long enough to want to repent, until it is too late. How about you?
(Editor for TCOGMSO)
[Other material found here that may be of interest; articles such as Increasing Sorrows, Are things going wrong, Preparing for Baptism & REPENTANCE. You will also find several Bible Studies, such as the one titled Partiality linked within. Don’t forget, all are free to download and use in your study of the Bible and what it reveals. Visit the other pages and feel free to download or listen to the programs on the GOSPEL page. For any other questions or comments, feel free to use the “contact” link on the home page to send an email.]