"Sin Has Consequences"

With the Spring Holy Day season upon us once again, we are reminded to examine ourselves whether we be in the faith, and to rid ourselves of hidden sins. We must be constantly aware that sin has consequences. It will ruin our lives or the lives of others, and eventually kill us if not repented of and rooted out.
What brings this to mind is the recent tragic death of a young man whom we knew well. On Friday morning, March 5, he was found dead, lying underneath the back of a car with the motor running in a closed garage. To all appearances it was suicide. He had discovered that his wife, who had recently taken a job outside the home, was having an affair with a co-worker. He was rightfully upset and depressed, and a divorce was imminent. Therefore suicide seemed likely.
However, everything else in his life seemed to be going his way. He had a 15-month-old son, a career as a music teacher who had just earned a master's degree in music, an extended family, and many friends. This makes suicide seem less likely, but his wife had moved out, which creates two other possibilities:
1) He was planning to seek custody of his son; he had life insurance; therefore, he could have been the victim of a plot between wife and her "friend."
2) He could have simply been overcome by carbon monoxide and passed out while working on his car, not realizing how quickly he could be overcome.
Whatever the immediate cause, the fact remains that if she had not played the harlot and chosen to become an adulteress, he would almost certainly be alive today. Sin has consequences. Her sin destroyed their family and at the very least contributed to his death.
All this brings to mind the story of David, who had the misfortune to have his sins written in the Bible for all to see. The account is found in 2 Samuel 11. In verses 1-4, David lets his lust get the better of him; then in verse 5, Bathsheba informs him that she is pregnant, and he begins to devise a scheme (v. 6) to cover his sin. He tells Joab to send Uriah home, ostensibly to report on the war. His real intent is to cause Uriah to go home and visit with his wife so all will think the child is his.
But Uriah is a man of honor. He will not partake of family pleasures while Israel's army is living in tents and fighting a war. So David sends him back to the front lines with a note to Joab, which in effect is his own death sentence. "Put Uriah in the hottest part of the battle and then pull back so he will be killed." (vss. 14-15). So Joab did as he was told, and Uriah, a brave and dedicated soldier, died fighting David's battle.
When his sins were pointed out to him, David repented bitterly. See the 51st Psalm, which is David's prayer of repentance. But the damage was done. Even though Yahweh forgave him, from that time on, David's family life deteriorated drastically. Somewhat akin to smoking or some other sin, we can be forgiven for it, but forgiveness does not remove the physical damage already done.
In David's case, his son Amnon raped his daughter Tamar, chapter 13 (Amnon and Tamar were half brother and sister), which led to another son, Absalom, killing Amnon in retaliation. Then Absalom rebelled against David and caused him to flee in panic with most of his household, chapter 15.
Yet, in spite of all David's faults, Yahweh called him a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22). He had a repentant attitude and was willing to examine himself and change his ways. Notice what he said in Psalm 26:2-3:
Examine me, O Yahweh, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.
"Examine Yourselves…"
The Apostle Paul admonished the early believers to examine themselves before partaking of the Master's Supper (Passover): 1 Cor 11:28-29 Examine yourselves, and only then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves.
1 Cor 11:31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. What does Paul mean by this? The Apostle Peter explains, in 1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of Yahweh: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of Yahweh?
Our judgment period begins when we repent, and lasts until we die, or are changed at the resurrection. If we are faithful to examine and judge ourselves now, we will not be condemned with those who will not repent when Yahshua returns.
Yahshua Himself said, John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (the resurrection day).
Again Paul admonishes: 2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Yahshua the Messiah is in you?--unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test! (NRSV)
We can sometimes hide our true character from our friends and even our families, but we cannot hide our "secret" sins from Yahweh.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
The answer:
Heb 4:12 For the word of Yahweh is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
And by what standard are we to be judged? What or who is our authority? Isaiah 8:20 tells us "to the law and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them."
Read John 12:48 again (at the top of this column); we will be judged by the words of the Bible and His testimony.
Revelation 12:17 speaks of those who "keep the Commandments of Yahweh and have the testimony of Yahshua the Messiah." Revelation 14:12 tells us "here is the patience of the saints; here are they who keep the Commandments of Yahweh and the faith of Yahshua."
Yes, sin has consequences. Romans 3:23 tells us that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of Yahweh." 1 John 3:4 tells us that sin is the transgression of the Law. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of Yahweh is eternal life through Yahshua the Messiah our Sovereign."
We are told what we can do about it - what we can do to save ourselves - in Acts 2:36-39:
Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that Yahweh hath made that same Yahshua, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Messiah. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahshua the Messiah for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as Yahweh our Elohim shall call.
It is this indwelling of the Holy Spirit that makes us eligible to be in the first resurrection - the one the Saints will be in. Obedience to His Word and acceptance of His Son's sacrifice to pay for past sins is the only way salvation can be attained. Notice the following scriptures:
Romans 8:7-9 Because the carnal mind is enmity against Yahweh: for it is not subject to the law of Yahweh, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please Yahweh. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Yahweh dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of the Messiah, he is none of his.
Brethren, it is time to get serious about our salvation. Let each of us resolve to examine ourselves, especially now in this Spring Holy Day season, and root out those sins that "do so easily beset us."
Heb 12:1-4 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us,
looking to Yahshua the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of Yahweh. Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
The time may soon come when we are severely tried, perhaps even required by the authorities to recant our beliefs and practices or perish. If we are not strong now, how can we be then, when the "chips are down?" Let us exercise our wills now, so that when Yahshua returns, He can say to us, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant…..enter thou into the joy of thy lord." ~fb

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