By Lou Coleman
Listen, you can’t do evil and expect good to come to you. God gives principles in Scripture to serve as warnings and as an encouragement. In [Galatians 6:7], His Word states, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows this he will also reap.” This principle applies to everyone, both Christians and non-Christians. This principle is irrevocable; there is no escape, either for the believer or for the unbeliever. It is a law of life. You cannot sow disobedience to God and expect to reap His blessing. “Behind every action is a reaction.” Every choice has a consequence. If you make wise, godly decisions, you can expect God to reward you for your faithfulness. If you make rash or sinful choices, you can anticipate negative consequences. “Do not be deceived,” introduces an undeniable truth. God may not be “treated with contempt,” or “outwitted.” Don’t think that you “can ignore the commands God has given and go [your] own way with impunity.” Don’t be fooled about this! Actions and consequences are inseparable; if you sow corn, you will not reap wheat. This is a truism of agriculture. What you plant is what you will harvest. What you do will determine what you will become and where you go. What you put in is what you will get out. In the end, over the long haul, justice is served; we all get what we deserve.
When we disobey God, the message we convey is that His Word is not important to us; we’ll simply do what we want to do regardless of what His Word says concerning our choices. These kind of evil tendencies really create an environment God can no longer operate into our lives. We literally kick Him out of our life, so that we can do what we want to do. But thank Jesus that God is so loving that He always grants us an opportunity to confess and receive cleansing. The Scripture is true, “Be sure your sins will find you out.” The Bible teaches that we cannot hide our iniquities. Saul sowed the seeds of rebellion and reaped the crop of judgment. How true are the words of Job, “Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble, reap the same.” God’s judgment is slow, but it is sure, and it is always SAD!
But when you do what is right, you bring blessings on yourself, blessings to others and you are a blessing to God. I tell you, if you’re not walking carefully, you’re living dangerously! You’re adrift without rudder or power in dangerous waters! You’re wandering aimlessly in a minefield! Christ’s admonitions to the seven churches of Asia Minor are filled with urgent warnings to repent and turn away from practices that conflict with God’s will [Revelation 2 and 3]. I tell you, repentance involves a state of mind, a disposition. More than a one-time act, it is a life of obedience that involves continual changes—spiritual growth—and a continuous desire to do the will of God, not merely for the purpose of reaping the rewards of obedience, but because it is right in the sight of God. “Therefore, having these promises, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” [2 Corinthians 7:2]. God’s desire is to bring all to repentance and grant us the gift of salvation. As long as we yearn for His loving embrace, even if we’ve temporarily strayed from Him, He is always there for us, always ready to receive us back into full fellowship with Him.
What should you do?
If you have come to a knowledge of the truth—knowledge of God’s law; of His way of life, particularly as expressed through His Ten Commandments; of His provisions for salvation through Jesus Christ, who offered Himself for the sins of the world; of the resurrection of the dead; of the Kingdom of God and reward of the saved—and if you truly believe the good news of Christ and His Kingdom, then Peter’s timeless words are for you: “Repent, and…be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” [Acts 2:38].
If you are one who previously came to a knowledge of the truth, responded in repentance and baptism, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit, but have since drifted away from God, perhaps returning to old habits or allowing despondency and doubt to overwhelm you, then God’s Word has a message for you, as well: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” [1 John 1:9].
Whether you are new to the faith or are a “backslidden” Christian, God desires to receive you into the loving fellowship of His family. The next step is up to you!