Consequences of Our Behavior
I would like to start this article with the same verse I ended the ‘Imagine If’ article: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life!!
How beautiful is that sentence! For many millenniums this Bible verse’s wisdom has warmed and inspired people from all walks of life to see the depth of God’s love for each of us. We are even taught God knows us even before we are formed in the womb. That is how important we are to our Creator.
Many people have been saved by just the power and truth of this one sentence. Imagine if you could the result of us making a conscience decision to believe in Jesus Christ gives us access to the most beautiful consequence of our free will. Life eternal with our God in a place where all pain, suffering, and tears will be absent. Its brilliance will be like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. God goes on to say nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. The earth and universe will be set right as God originally intended and there will be a new heaven and a new earth!
Even the animal kingdom will be renewed as God tells us;
The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest.
They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
as the waters cover the sea.
So do we see that our sin has not only caused travail to our direct relationship with God and each other, but also with the Earth where we currently call home? One day it will all be made right and all of us out of love and compassion and discipline must learn these amazing revelations and instruct all who will want to listen! Everything else and everywhere else with all the things we strive to experience in this world we live in will only give us joy for a short time if at all where heaven will be where the greatest contentment and full understanding of all of God’s glory and majesty will be fully known!! Praise God!! Amen!!
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
This incredible promise of God’s love for us should move us to follow his Way and honor, trust and fear God all the days he gives us on this earth. But let us look a little closer to the entire sentence and see there is another reality we must certainly not overlook!!
The truth is God explains throughout his word in very precise imagery what the consequences of our unbelief will be. Let us take another look at the verse: For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life!!
Ready….here goes…. will not perish…do you see it in the sentence above…right after whosoever believes in him…….
Wait wait, that can’t be right. Let me go back and read that again…something is wrong here…wait ..hold on…please…. now hold on just a minute……I remember this song from my youth!…Jesus loves me this I know, for The Bible tells me so…The Bible is a book about Love right…..God understands if I just want to have fun and I know maybe someday I will read his holy words…. what is the big deal if I wait awhile…he is my heavenly Father after all and he would not let anything awful happen to me…..right….. Ok…before I over react let me read the whole verse again…nice…and…. slow…For God… so loved the world…. that he gave his only begotten son…. that whosoever believes in him….. will not perish …..but have everlasting life!!
Gee…I do not believe I ever noticed that word perish before…sounds so…uh…final!!
Definition please: Perish: To be lost eternally; to be sentenced to endless misery!
Final indeed! Not until your read the entire Bible including the Old and New Testament will you grasp the truth that one day we will all be called to judgment. And no it is not just the Old Testament that opens our eyes to God’s disdain for every sin we commit in thought, word or deed as the verse above is from the New Testament from whom we call the apostle of Love-John! This following verse is also from John in the New Testament: “Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Woow, no need to explain that verse any further-right?!
Well lets a look at some more of the 117 examples of Bible verses with the word Perish from both the Old and New Testament;
If you violate the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you.”
Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless.
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Therefore say to them, ‘This is the nation that has not obeyed the LORD its God or responded to correction. Truth has perished; it has vanished from their lips.
Everyone is senseless and without knowledge; every goldsmith is shamed by his idols. His images are a fraud; they have no breath in them. They are worthless, the objects of mockery; when their judgment comes, they will perish.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age (The Devil) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade —kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Here is a startling statistic: throughout the total 66 books of The Bible, the punishment of God is discussed 5 times more than the rewards of God. Why, what kind of tactic is that?!!
Hey man I just want to talk about peace, hope and love man………….right!?
It could not be plainer that our Heavenly Father does not want any to perish so he gives amazing tools to teach us and believe me when I tell you The Bible can scare the living daylights out of you if you do not heed the warnings about his righteous judgment.
A most important point needs to be stressed here! God does not bless us to heaven or condemn us to hell when we die…..we do ….by the choices we make!! Are there laws in our country that we must follow to remain free? Absolutely! And if you break one and commit a crime and get caught…who condemns you to a jail term…the jury or The judge….no…no…no ….you do by making the decision to break the law!
And we know God sees into the hearts of all people so we will not be able to hide or get repeated appeals to our ultimate consequence of our actions and we will all be judged fairly as God is not impartial!
The late Adrian Rogers once said God created us perfectly free!
Yes he did! Free to choose the path we are to follow as he never forces his will upon us! Our loving Lord did not create us as robots, but free living species given a free will to decide which path we follow.
You see we will all have eternal life after we die…it is just our choice where and with whom we will spend it. This is the key to why his word exists! God does love us enough to give us access to an eternity with him and he also loves us enough to let us decide for ourselves!
Our very souls are at stake every day and we can never take this reality lightly. We must discipline ourselves and our children with all of our might to spread this news with gentleness and respect to everyone…without hesitation. I certainly do not want to perish nor do I want anybody else to perish!!!
In Florida where I have lived for 33 years, we are taught to put provisions (water, flash lights, batteries and canned food, etc) away during the hurricane season which runs from June until November in case a hurricane strikes. Which we all know from experiencing a Hurricane can make our lives very inconvenient to say the least and even take our life from us!
Or on all of our computers, most of us have some kind of virus protection software which should be on constant guard against computer viruses and worms that can corrupt your whole computer or destroy all of your files. This happened to me just 6 months ago, but I did have a back-up drive which was only partially corrupted so I was able to save all 16 years of my photos, letters, pool designs etc.
Well you need to think of the Bible as your virus protection for your soul. Seriously, it will teach you all of the pitfalls that creep into our lives and it will protect you a lot longer!!
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. Just God’s word is all the protection we need!
This takes a lot of hard work and conviction, but I promise you once you start to read and study and meditate on God’s word daily, the Holy Spirit will open your eyes first to the path of unrighteousness you are currently following and you will be shocked and dismayed and then he will strengthen you to confess and repent.
I know that God uses me often to help others as he does you…but I would be very sad to know I missed an opportunity. The miracle Jesus most often performed on his time here on Earth and still today is helping the blind to see. Physically and spiritually!
The first thing I must say to all of you is I am so very sorry for letting all the distractions of the world around me infiltrate my heart. I do know my Lord and Savior will forgive my sins as I have many times confessed the wrongs I commit but the stain of my actions still sadden my soul. I know now that the wisdom and love of our heavenly Father through his Son and Spirit have through so many different outlets tried to show me that there is only one Way. The Holy Bible not only shows me the Way but God uses each of us as messengers to the good news at different times to drive his point into our lives and others.
“A thorough understanding of the Bible is better than a college education.”
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, 1858-1919
Let us just think about that quote for a moment. Remember I mentioned in the first article that just 180 years ago most of America’s Universities were Bible Colleges and your Major was to study God’s Holy Scriptures. No kidding, of the first 125 Universities founded on our shores, 123 were Bible Colleges designed to teach all people about God’s amazing Grace!
What is your Major today? Today the most instruction a person gets in God’s Holy Book is maybe a few Bible verses at Church each Sunday! Let me ask all of you educators out there how much effect would you have if you taught our children just a few sentences a week….on any subject?
I have found that if I read 7 Chapters every day, I can read through the whole Bible in 10 months. I have done this now for nine years and it is still shocking to me how much I have learned and have begun to digest in my heart and mind. This only takes less then a half hour a day…..yet sadly most of us will say “I do not have time”. I know the feeling as I was studying the Bible on Sunday mornings in my local Church for many years and thought I was doing so good.
But this is exactly the problem, when the Devil see’s you have an interest in knowing your Heavenly Father better, he will put as many obstacles in your way and you will not even be aware of it as our culture has so much better things to show you………….or does it…….
Today more than ever we have so many other distractions to guide us down the wrong road. The first thing we must all do when there is God’s work to be done is to always pray for forgiveness and strength to help us change into the type of people that honor God not only with our mouths, but more important with our actions. And as mentioned in the first article the only way we will repent (change) is to acknowledge that we have a problem. This is the most basic and important step. You see if we feel we have no sin, we decease ourselves and the truth is not in us!
Just ask yourself a few quick questions based upon the Ten Commandments; Have you ever lied?…..Ever stolen anything?…..Ever used God’s name in vain? (As a curse word). If you were honest, we would all say yes that we have not kept just these three Commandments and there are seven more…….
I pray as we continue together that we will take all the pain in our hearts and souls and bring them to Jesus’ feet as he is our help and our deliverer. I know how easy it is to accumulate a whole boat full of bad emotions and philosophies as the world constantly distracts us and The Bible actually is chock full of testimonies of people of all walks of life calling out to God in absolute pain, despair and loneliness! Like us today! But I ask you! Who knows those feelings and can relate to you better then Jesus Christ. We today still suffer under the pangs of despair and hurt until Christ return and nothing comforts me more then to know that one day all of the faithful will meet in our new home.
Our Holy God was not immune to the sinful depraved nature of mankind! This was the reason he came to Earth. To sacrifice his life for a full atoning of our sins.!
We must teach all people that Jesus the Holy Son of God went from a triumphant entry into Jerusalem as a Royal King should be treated and the people were singing Hosanna in the Highest!!! But sadly in just one week the whole town, together with the so-called religious leaders conspired to kill him on the Cross!
Such an interesting twist in this story in the Roman Government which was the largest pagan nation in the world at that time and even they did not see cause to kill Christ. They tried to exonerate him, not once…but three times….but the “Holy men” of the day would not let Jesus continue to teach they were living life’s contrary to God’s ways and needed Christ out of the way!
And he was the only man ever to be born and live without sin, yet was humiliated and suffered by the hands of the same people to whom he showed great love and compassion! Jesus suffered more than anyone else subject to crucifixion as he was carrying the load of a trillion sins on his back to free us from that endless cycle.
Question to Ponder: Do you think Jesus would fare any better today!?
This past Easter I went to one of the nationally known pharmacies in the town I work that seem to always have the best selection of greeting cards and as I looked through the card racks I was totally blown away by what I discovered. Out of 188 cards in The special Easter section of the racks, I found only 10 cards that actually had the word God or Lord in it and even worse was I only found one card….let me repeat this again….only one card out of all the 188 cards in this special Easter Section that had the Name Jesus in it!!!!!!!!
This is just another perfect example of how far we as a nation have slid away from the true meaning of the most Holy of Christian Holidays. The only reason there were not more cards containing the name of our Holy God is that we as a people do not desire them and most people who buy Easter Cards are just as content in sending cards about cute bunnies, springtime adjectives and Easter eggs then about our Holy Lord and Savior who through the most wonderful act of Love and Hope suffered and died on The Cross of Calvary to help to save us poor miserable sinners from ourselves!!
Walking in “The Ways” of God is so very serious indeed and we must work together to help and nurture our souls back to good health….but remember it all starts with me and it starts with you!
Jesus is our interceder and our advocate in our life and every request we make in prayer and supplication he can relate to it and help heal us!!
I believe only when people see a true consequence or negative effect of their bad behavior will they modify said behavior. Let us diverse for a moment and look at the following earthly examples of consequences of our behaviors;
More people speed then run red lights. Why, well certainly because chances are good if you keep running the red, you’ll end up…..dead!
Now I do know a thing or two about speeding and after 20 years of getting speeding tickets, I am finally keeping my speed down. (Most people in my family are now chuckling.) But it did take a lot of money out of my pocket for not only for the speeding ticket fines, but the price of my car insurance was always a quite a bit higher too. But why did I do it for so long? And that is not to say speeding is safe as we know it is not!
How many of us like to have a beer here and there…I know I do. Nothing sedates my heart and mind more than a few beers. What about theses sobering (sorry) statistics!
How can alcohol be blamed for 100,000 deaths each year?
- 5% of all deaths from diseases of the circulatory system are attributed to alcohol.
- 15% of all deaths from diseases of the respiratory system are attributed to alcohol.
- 30% of all deaths from accidents caused by fire and flames are attributed to alcohol.
- 30% of all accidental drowning’s are attributed to alcohol.
- 30% of all suicides are attributed to alcohol.
- 40% of all deaths due to accidental falls are attributed to alcohol.
- 45% of all deaths in automobile accidents are attributed to alcohol.
- 60% of all homicides are attributed to alcohol.
(Sources: NIDA Report, the Scientific American and Addiction Research Foundation of Ontario.) Also see Alcohol Consumption and Mortality, Alcohol poisoning deaths, CDC report.
Well, why is it even to this day that 24% of our adult population in America still smokes even though we have known for nearly a century sucking hot ash into our tender lungs prematurely kills over 400,000 Americans each year!? And we wonder why our teenagers are still taking up smoking?
And since I am on these dreary subjects, according to the CDC, over 30% of Americans are now obese and within 10 years it may be near 45%. And we could go on and on and on! Actions do have consequences.
And the really sad part is all this bad behavior costs all of us dearly as it raises all of our health and car insurance premiums. Ok, enough already, can you please stop and can we talk about something positive!! Uh, no not yet.
Riddle me this. Why is it after a plane crash or an oil spill does everybody go off the deep end and we want all sorts of committees and probes so we can spend millions (even Billions) of dollars in America to make sure we minimize the chance of these horrible events happening again…..as we drive home after a few drinks, have a nice hearty delicious dinner and smoke a few before we go to bed. When the truth is all the plane crashes and even terrorist attacks in America over the last forty years does not even scratch the surface of the deaths caused by only one of the bad habits listed above!
God certainly did give us a free will…..for better or for worse.
What is it going to take to open our eyes?
I dread that thought but I have a good example. I know we all remember the horror of 911, yet it united us as a country better than anything else did in my life and I remember how many people were flocking back to the faith of their Fathers as the Churches in America were filling up for the first time in decades. Boy what a joy to see as people started talking about God and his true nature and love and judgment and not themselves.
We were all so scared and felt so vulnerable!
But how long did that last? All those truths are now nearly forgotten after only 14 years. And get this….there was not one prayer lifted up for the deceased and their families at the 10 year anniversary service at ground zero in New York as the promoters felt it was too controversial! Too controversial?! Why do you think that 83% of our young adults from ages 18-24 have presently written off their Christian heritage…..why?!
The only truthful answer is we have not shown them by example! We have as Christians in America watered down all of Gods guidelines so much to suit our life styles and because of this our children in most cases do not see any self-control and discipline in our lives. All they see are loud mouthed hypocrites. Just look at the manners and behaviors of our politicians if you want a good example.
This being said…who elected these people in office…right…we did! The politicians’ behaviors in our country reflect directly upon its people who voted them in!
Americans say they disdain negative ad campaigns by politicians, yet in the Presidential race 2012, 2016 and now the run to the 2020 elections all the politicians did it seems were negative ads and character assassinations as they know the sad facts….it works!!
Matter of fact the Christians in America views on divorce and pornography are just about the same as the so called secular world around us! God warns us faith without works is dead!! Even our Pastors in our Churches have a divorce rate very close to all others!
The problem is those of us with sin (that is everybody) like to take the heat and spotlight off our sins, and so we cast the first stones onto the entire world around us. How can we look at a Gay couple and sneer when most of us have had three sexual partners on average before we marry and how many virgins do you know-seriously now who are we kidding? God teaches us only to have sexual intimacy in marriage otherwise we are all committing the sin of adultery!
Please think about how beautiful God envisioned the ultimate relationship between a man and woman learning to communicate and falling in love and saver the relationship and build on it to create a true and strong foundation. Sexual intimacy was never ever meant to be experimented outside of marriage. God tells us we are to leave our parents and become one flesh after we have committed to a lifetime together. How wonderful that would be!! Imagine if you could the anticipation we would have for that moment! There is no higher respect we should have for ourselves then save this for the true one and only! This gift works for both the man and woman as God only wants the sexual purity we are born with to be shared by one lifetime partner. Radical? Absolutely! Awesome? You better believe it!
We could truly change so many lives forever if we really do care to share God’s timeless truths! Even in our sinful world!! It is never too late!
But what we have done instead is make sexual intimacy almost a first test for compatibility in our society and we wonder why abortion and contraceptives are so accepted today. They are directly related! Even teaching sex education in our public schools and handing out condoms to 8th graders has only accomplished the opposite effect.
A study was released recently that proved that abstinence was the most successful means to keep kids from having sex, but it was quickly suppressed. Why? Abstinence is the only form of birth control that is 100% effective in preventing pregnancy. Abstinence is the only discipline that protects all people against Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) which is running rampant in America and the world.
Google says 1 out of every four searches on the web is pornographic. Look at You-tube and the number of views on the videos always sky rocket if it has sexually content. Ads on most internet pages show a pretty woman when it may be promoting simply a new bank interest rate. It is so out of control that most of us are like sheep gone astray and do not even pay it any mind to it. But this has caused so many young girls and woman to feel inadequate about themselves that they jump into sexual relations without a thought about the consequences. How do they have a chance when our culture and their music and friends promote it day in and day out!
Look at this sad statistic; 18 million young people between 16-24 are getting sexual transmitted diseases every year in America. The cause…you guessed it…me and you! Until we stop handing over parental responsibilities to our government and the Churches and take the proper authority God gave husband’s and wife’s will we continue to slide further from Gods precepts and further damage our families which has already affected our Churches and our country as a whole. Only when our families are healthy spiritually in Christ will there be a noticeable change to the positive!
Divorce has done a billion times more damage to America and its moral foundation then the 5% gay population (From CDC) in America and yet we hear so much more regarding gay marriage then we do divorce. Only until we put out the raging forest fires that affect 50% of our population like divorce can we tackle the still burning hot spots that affect a smaller but as important part of our family. The Bible is able to teach us to put the embers of sinful behavior out way before they burst into flames as it teaches us to recognize them.
Luckily we have a forgiving God who will through his unchanging Grace and Love remove the stains of our behaviors as long as our hearts are open to the Holy Spirit’s strength and guidance. Then our eyes will be opened to the truth and no longer will there be a chance that you and I, our spouses, our children and their children will perish for an eternity as we will know and be prepared! Remember when people used to call the Bible “The Good News”!!
Please let us not forget that all ours sins need our attention and love and we all share this state of unrighteousness and Christ does the heavy lifting for us. Thank You God! We should be comforted by the thought that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God as we can lovingly help each other as we all know how difficult it is to stop the behaviors and attitudes that have held our great society hostage for so long. So we need to do a lot more one on one to help those in need around our immediate circle of life through love and respect as I hope others will watch out over me to help me when I stumble!
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.