December 7, 2021

Pastoral Nuggets: Dealing With the Consequences of Sin

One of the hardest lessons in life to learn is that every action has a consequence.

Trust me; I’m still a student regarding this one!  I haven’t mastered it yet!

I remember a story a pastor friend told me years ago. One of his teenage members was crying. He took the young girl into his office. There she informed him that she was pregnant.

After counseling with her for a little while, he was able to lead her to faith in Jesus Christ.

The following week she returned to church. It was obvious to the pastor that something still wasn’t right. When he asked her what was wrong, she replied, “Pastor, I thought you said I got saved.” He replied, “Honey, as far as I know you did get saved.”  She responded, “Then why am I still pregnant?”

As with the girl in the story above, we often equate God’s forgiveness with Him removing the consequences of our sinful actions. The only problem with that is – it just ain’t so! It doesn’t work that way! There is a law that weaves its way throughout the entire Bible. It deals with sowing and reaping. The Bible clearly teaches that whatever we sow is what we will reap.

The lesson being: Our actions have consequences! Sadly, neither the home nor society at large teaches much about consequences today!

A Christian testimony that has taken a lifetime to establish can be lost with one careless word, one poor decision, or one sinful choice. It happens! The Bible refers to it as, “a sin unto death.”

Although it could, this doesn’t mean you die immediately. Adam & Eve are a good example of this.  God had warned them that they would die the moment they partook of the forbidden fruit. They disobeyed God. And by their actions, sin entered into the world. However, while death was the end result of their sinful actions, we know they didn’t die immediately.

Therefore, “a sin unto death” can mean that you are guilty of committing a sin, so egregious, that some people will never be able to find it in their heart to forgive you, and the consequences of your sin will follow you to your grave.  Forgiven?  Yes!  Life after the sin?  Yes!  Consequences removed?  No!

I think one of the biggest errors we make in the Christian faith, is that we cheapen it by foolishly believing that just because we ask God to forgive us of our sin, regardless of how broken we may be and how serious we are in our asking, that the consequences of our sin will somehow just magically be overlooked and forgotten.

As I stated earlier, I haven’t mastered this one yet. I deal with the consequences of my actions on a daily basis. Therefore, I’m not qualified to be anybody’s judge.

However, through the years, I have learned that to extinguish a flame, you must either deprive it of the fuel or the oxygen it needs to continue burning. So, yes; seeking forgiveness is the first step to extinguishing the fire of sin. Forgiveness from God deprives sin of the fuel and oxygen necessary to continue burning.

After forgiveness comes the more difficult part – dealing with the path of destruction and devastation our sin has left in its path: The broken lives, the broken families, and the trust that has been destroyed.  In short – the consequences!

So, when we sin, is there forgiveness? Yes! A thousand times yes! Is there restoration? Yes! Are there consequences? Sadly, yes! And sometimes those consequences follow us to our grave. As it has been so aptly said by others: “Sin will always take you farther than you wanted to go, will keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and will cost you more than you were willing to pay.”

So, let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter – avoiding sin to begin with – is far better than having to seek forgiveness, restoration, and deal with the consequences of our sin.

Brother Aaron 

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