Clearly, forgiveness of our sins does not shield us from the consequences of the sin we commit. But a closer study of what I have labelled ‘consequences of sin,’ will reveal to us that it can be used by a believer who desires to do away with the pleasures that glue us to sin.
How To Avoid The Devastating Consequences Of Sin!
Pa Kenneth Copeland (he’s 80 now), told the story of an incident that sparked off the thought that led me to write this message. It had to do with what happened between him and one of his young children.
As he tells the story, he found the son, who didn’t know any better at the time, playing with a jackknife in the kitchen. He took the knife from the lad, telling him it was dangerous to play with it. He then kept it where he believed it was safe.
He hadn’t been gone far from that spot when he heard the boy crying. What happened? The son, against his father’s advice, went right back and took the knife. And did what his dad had warned him against, hurting himself in the process.
Of course, the young boy’s injury was treated promptly. But the pain didn’t go immediately. He had to endure it until it was healed slowly.
As I meditated on this story, I realized that most of us, believers, are like that boy. Our own Father, the Creator of heaven and earth, told us that He hates sin. And that, in fact, the wages of it is death. (Romans 6:23).
But, rather than believe GOD and obey Him by staying away from sin, we just must go out there and find out by ourselves if He was telling us the truth or lying to us.
I believe one of the reasons our Father warned us beforehand about the dangers of sinning was because of the agape love He has for us, His children.
Otherwise, the Holy Spirit would still be executing liars on the spot like He did to Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). And there wouldn’t be one liar alive on earth today.
No doubt, GOD’s mercy endures forever. And we obviously have been taking it for granted. But are we aware that, despite this overflowing mercy, it does not take the place of what we suffer for committing sin? I doubt if we are.
Take that young lad in Kenneth Copeland’s anecdote. His dad came to help him immediately after he cried out for it. Which is also what our heavenly Father does, because He does not want any of His children to be harmed.
But did the lad’s injury heal immediately? Obviously, it did not. He had to endure it a little longer. And that is our experience too when we disobey GOD’s instruction. He comes in to rescue us, provided the consequence of our disobedience does not lead to premature death before help came.
Examples of receiving help from our Father after we commit sin are many in the Bible. But I will cite four.
When the most popular King of Israel, King David, committed adultery and murder, GOD treated him like He would treat you and me. He forgave King David’s sins. He even went ahead to give Israel’s throne to Solomon, King David’s son by Bathsheba, the woman with whom he committed adultery. And GOD even loved Solomon. (2 Samuel 12:24).
But, despite all that, even though GOD had testified in Acts 13:22 that: “…I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will,” He did not lift a finger as King David suffered the consequences of his sin. Read the entire episode in 2 Samuel 12 from Verse 11-24.
Samson, who was famous for his strength, is another example. This man, who was anointed to deliver the children of Israel from their tormentors, the Philistines, lost that power to disobedience. (See Judges 13-16).
Samson was not only dissipating his energy frolicking with harlots, he also stubbornly insisted he would get married to Delilah, a Philistine. Delilah betrayed Samson, revealing the secret of his power to her people, and he was captured. His eyes were plucked out.
When he had lost his power, Samson begged GOD to restore his power “just this once,” to avenge himself of what the Philistine had done to him. Our ever-merciful GOD answered his prayer.
“Then Samson said, ‘Let me die with the Philistines!’ And he pushed with all his might, and the temple fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead that he killed at his death were more than he had killed in his life.” (Judges 16:30).
Again, as in the case of King David, GOD forgave Samson and answered his last prayer. But the consequence of his sin was not reversed. He died prematurely because of his disobedience to his parents.
Here is another example. GOD sent a young priest that the Bible simply identified as “man of GOD,” on an errand to Bethel, a nearby city from Judah, where he lived. He was given a clear instruction, which he executed perfectly. (See 1 Kings 13:1-32).
But on his way back, he committed the sin of disobedience. The Bible tells us: “So the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him, and became as before. Then the king said to the man of God, ‘Come home with me and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.’
“But the man of God said to the king, ‘If you were to give me half your house, I would not go in with you; nor would I eat bread nor drink water in this place. For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, “‘You shall not eat bread, nor drink water, nor return by the same way you came.’” So he went another way and did not return by the way he came to Bethel.” (1 Kings 13:6-10).
But the man of GOD was persuaded to “stop for a drink” by an older prophet who told him: “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (He was lying to him). So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.” (1 Kings 13:18-19 emphasis mine).
But he never returned home alive after that error. He was killed by a lion that did not feed on him but guarded his body until the older prophet came and took his body for burial. Obviously, the man of GOD didn’t have opportunity to ask for forgiveness before he died prematurely.
These examples are from the Old Testament. And as they preceded the coming of Jesus Christ, Who came to atone for the sin of disobedience that Adam and Eve committed in the Garden of Eden, which everyone born into the world after them inherited; let’s look at one more example from the New Testament.
The example from the New Testament will serve two purposes. It will show clearly that consequences of sin do not end with the people of Old Testament. It will also show that the grace that our Father gave us freely (see Romans 3:24, 4:16; Ephesians 2:8), that sets us free from the treason committed by Adam and Eve, does not give us the liberty to continue in sin after we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
Apostle Paul’s travails is a good example. He stood out among all the apostles, writing two-thirds of the epistles that we believers rely on today to guide us in our Christian journey.
But before the Lord “arrested” him on his way to Damascus, he was a young, fiery persecutor of believers. He embarked on his journey to Damascus shortly after witnessing the stoning to death of Stephen, one of the apostles. (Acts 7:57-60).
Despite being forgiven and commissioned by Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel, he nevertheless paid for the consequences of his persecution of the brethren. Everywhere he went on his missionary mission, he was often singled out from among his companions for persecution.
Clearly, forgiveness of our sins does not shield us from the consequences of the sin we commit. But a closer study of what I have labelled “consequences of sin,” will reveal to us that it can be used by a believer who desires to do away with the pleasures that glue us to sin the way Evo stick glues wood together.
For instance, we have our Father’s instruction in 1 Timothy 4:8 that admonished us: “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
If we are His obedient children, which we ought to be, we should be exercising our bodies regularly while, at the same time, paying more attention to living a godly life. When we disobey this simple instruction, like we do to so many others in the Bible, the consequences of our disobedience will set in.
We become flabby and obese and open the door to all kinds of disease, which may then lead to a premature death, if we don’t have the knowledge of walking in divine health.
Another example. In my opinion, fully seventy-five percent of the sins we commit can be traceable to greed and sexual immorality. Turn to any news channel, and you will be bombarded with stories of highly-placed men and women tumbling from position of power and influence, because of this twin assault by the devil on man that GOD made in His own image.
Even people at the lower end of the social and economic ladder are not spared from this scourge. Many in that group are languishing in jail for petty thievery and rape.
But what does GOD’s Word say? Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 cautions believers: “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!
“Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For ‘the two,’ He says, ‘shall become one flesh.’ But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
The way we respond to the pleasure we derive from these twin destiny destroyers, is as if we are powerless over it … until I discovered the potent tool for checkmating these destiny destroyers: consequences of sin.
Instead of allowing sin to ravage your life and you end up in hell, take time to think deeply of the consequences if you go ahead and commit it.
Think of the shame (or even premature death) if you’re caught with another man’s wife in the neighborhood where you live. Think of the headlines in national newspapers and your battered image on Social Media when it gets known that you’ve corruptly enriched yourself.
Just think deeply along this line. If you’re a believer, the Holy Spirit will come beside you that moment and ask you not to do it. But your enemy, the devil, who is the one that had been goading you to do it, is going to come after you immediately the Holy Spirit finishes His job and goes quiet.
He will start to work on you until you’re so confused and give in to his pressure. Unfortunately, the Holy Spirit will not struggle with you. He is a gentleman. He will shake His head in pity and watch you go if that is what you decided to do.
After reading this message, who will you listen to?
Remember, Jesus Christ said in John 10:27 that, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” Will you hear His voice today and follow Him as I committed myself to doing from November 1994?
I pray that you will hear the voice of Jesus and follow Him. And be in the rapture flight, flying saints to meet with Jesus at His Second Coming. In Jesus Name. Amen.