Thursday, July 2, 2015

God Is Not Mocked

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                Newton’s third law states that every action has a reaction. You throw a pebble into a lake and ripples become the reaction. The bigger the rock, the bigger the ripples, and the farther the
ripples travel. I had a friend recently tell me that she believed God was punishing her for a bad decision that she made. She knew that she should not have done what she did, and she was sorry for it, but now she was suffering the consequences for it and her first thought was that God was the one causing the consequences. I explained to her that God does not punish us for sin, Jesus Christ took our punishment upon Himself, but, the consequences of the choices we make are still present. God is not mocked; we will reap what we sow.
                “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.”
Galatians 6:7 ESV
                I think we have this idea that because we are believers, because we are followers of Christ that not only are we not punished for our sins, we are also no longer held accountable for them. We think because Jesus died for our sins, then the consequences died with Him. But let me reassure you that is not the case. God will not punish for our sins, but He also will not wave a magic wand and make the consequences of your sin go away. If we believe this, then we are deceived.
                Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, and took our guilt and shame. The guilt and the shame that caused us to turn from God- that is what He took upon Himself, but the consequences of our sinful choices still remain. You can’t throw a rock into a lake and expect it to sink to the bottom without causing ripples along the way. Every action has a reaction. The affects of your sin will cause ripples in your life, and in the lives of all those around you.
                Paul goes on to tell us that God is not mocked, or as one translation put it, God does not suffer Himself to be mocked. One of the greatest deceptions in the Church today is the idea that because we have grace we can live our lives anyway we want to. We can drink, party, curse, lust, and behave just like the rest of the world but because we have grace God will forgive us and bless us, oh- and still admit us into His holy presence. This deception has caused many countless men and women to fall away from the Lord and turn to lives of unholy living because they do not understand why God would still allow them to suffer the consequences of their bad behaviors. God will not suffer Himself, or His word to be mocked, and He is definitely not going to suffer the heart wrenching sacrifice of His Son to be mocked either.
                When we turn to Jesus we are forgiven for our sins, but that does not give us the right to remain in them. Go through the Gospels, what does Jesus say every time He forgives someone their sins? He says, “Go and sin no more.” He has forgiven you for the transgression and He has taken the punishment of death that our sins carry away, but we cannot continue in those same sins without suffering the consequences for them. You can’t keep living a life of sin and expect God to be okay with it. After everything that Jesus endured on your behalf, after all that He has done and continues to do for you- that is how you thank Him? Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.
                What you scatter in the field of your life today is what you will harvest tomorrow. If you sow sin today, know this, you will reap the consequences of it tomorrow. God will not be mocked, nor will He allow you to use His precious gift of grace in such a deceitful way. There will come a time, there will come a day when your sinful behavior will catch up with you. Do not be deceived, grace saves us from the power of sin and death, but not the consequences of it.
           “For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”
Galatians 6:8 ESV
                The seeds you are sowing today are your actions, your desires, your ways in the world. Newton’s third law teaches us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you sow to self and your own sinful passions then that is what you are going to harvest. If you plant weeds in your garden, you are not going to harvest roses. The reward you get for sowing to your flesh is sin and death. There is going to be a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth when the doors of heaven are closed upon those who seek to sow to their flesh today, yet expect to reap the spiritual tomorrow. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, and neither is His Son.
                Before I became a Christian I listened to various styles of music; from classic rock and country to Judas Priest and ZZ Top. Then, not long after giving my life to Jesus I stopped listening to these styles of music and started to focus on worship and hymns. What I noticed was that when I listened to the radio and heard a song about making love or going out and partying, my flesh desired those things again. The behaviors that had begun to change in me, started to come back into my heart and I found myself sliding down a slippery slope of sin again. I am not saying that music made me sin, but it did cause me to desire sin and the trappings of it. It had an effect on my heart which led to my actions, which led to my feet walking into sin again. What I was sowing into my mind through music eventually became my actions. When I began to sow to the Spirit, through hymns and worship songs, I began to reap in the Spirit, and I saw a decrease in the desire for those fleshly passions. Eventually, they just went away.
                Anytime we make allowances for our fleshly desires and indulge our passion for sin, we are going to reap the consequences sooner or later. The rock of sin will create ripples in your life, do not be deceived, the bigger the rock the bigger the ripples, too. God does not punish us for our sins, but He does allow us to suffer the consequences for them. He is a just God, let us not forget that. He will not be mocked by us. Every action has a reaction, whether good or bad. What you put into your heart will become your actions, whether of the flesh or of the Spirit. What comes out of your heart will be your harvest. You may be forgiven from that sin, but you will feel the effects of it sooner or later. Do not blame the devil for your sinful choices. Know this- that what happens to you today is a result of the seeds you planted yesterday.

                Do not be deceived my brothers and sisters, God is not mocked, nor will He suffer our blatant disregard for the purpose of grace. Grace was not given as an excuse or justification for your sins. Grace was given so that our punishment, our guilt and our shame would no longer separate us from Him. Grace is not a free pass to sin it up today. Grace was the price that was paid so that we could be free from the power of sin and turn our lives to the Living God. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked. Amen.