CALL TO OBEDIENCE #436
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"The Law of Consequences"
By Reimar Schultze
...for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7).
The law of consequences is the queen and mother of all laws. Where it is respected, immeasurable blessings will flow. Where it is despised, untold misery and damnation will be the result. The law of consequences is the first law of educationit is the first law by which learning takes place. A child learns that if he cries, mother will come. If he touches a hot stove, he will be hurt. Before a child knows that there is an A or a B, he knows that there is a law of consequences. This law is older than teachers, textbooks, schools and knowledge itself. We find it at the opening of the age in these words: God said… and it was so, and we also find it at the closing of the age in the book of the Revelation: Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life... (Rev. 22:14). The law of consequences fills all time and space and is in operation everywhere. You find it in the movement of the heavenly bodies and in the earth below: in the life of amoebae in a pond, fish in the sea and birds in the sky. It governs the law of gravity and Newton’s Third Law (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). You find this law not only in operation in science, but also in the spiritual heart of man. As you see from the scriptures, the law of consequences has two ingredients, sowing and reaping, which is the same as saying cause and effect: …whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Notice further that the law of consequences works with pinpoint precision, with absolute predictability and irresistible force. You cannot play with ityou will reap what you sow. Furthermore, notice that this law has impeccable credibility, because God is the author of it. When you warm water to 100° Celsius, it will turn into steam, if you cool it to 0°C, it will become solid. With that same predictability Jesus said, He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it (Matt. 10:39). The law of consequences has no mercy. It is not a respecter of persons. It does not make exceptions. Can you think of any law more predominant, more powerful, more all-intrusive than the law of consequences?
Yet, despite the fact that this law fills all space and time, it is perhaps the most neglected and ignored law in the life of the average Christian. Somehow, deep in his heart, the average Christian has come to think that God, rather than being a “God of consequences,” is a “God of exceptions.” Many seem to think “I can violate this law and get away with it, while perhaps others cannot.” So let me repeat our Scripture text again, but this time with the introductory phrase: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal 6:7). It is this deception in our hearts and a God-mocking spirit that causes us to defy or twist the laws and promises of God and create exceptions for ourselves. It is deception that caused Eve to believe that God did not mean it when He said: Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die (Gen. 3:3). In her mind, the God of holiness and justice had somehow become a God of permissiveness, a God who does not mean what He says.
For anyone to say: “God is a God of exceptions” is to recreate God, to make Him something He is not. It is the same as creating our own God to suit our lifestyle. It is paganism! It is idolatry! My friend, God clearly said of Himself: For I am the Lord, I change not... (Mal. 3:6, James 1:17). Again, God means what He says, and He says what He means when He says, The soul that sinneth, it shall die... (Ezek. 18:20). We can count on it. If we could not count on God, nor His laws, nor His promises, the foundation of our faith would crumble. That is why the psalmist said: If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Ps. 11:3). What makes us think that God, who said “Do not lie,” will lie to us?
If you obey God, He will bless you. If you disobey God, He will curse you. Embedded within the law of consequences is a system of jurisprudence where actions are determined to be right or wrong resulting in reward or punishment. This precept was clearly laid out to the children of Israel as the very foundation of their eternal covenant with God: Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey... And a curse, if ye will not obey... (Deut. 11:26-28). Do not expect to be blessed if you are disobedient; do not expect to be other than blessed if you do obey.
You may never go to college, obtain riches, or be a “somebody” in this world. You may only be a nobody in this world, but if you obey, God will bless you. You can count on it. It is an inviolable law of our sovereign God, and it is so because of His very nature. He cannot and will not lie and He will not deceive you. And it is by His infinite power that He is able to deliver His blessing to you during any circumstances of your life. On the other hand, you may get the finest education, acquire significant wealth and be a respected person in the company of the “successful,” but if you will not obey God, you will be cursed. There are no exceptions to the law of consequences. There are no exceptions for your loved ones: “they lived a good life,” or “they had a good heart,” or “they were kind to everyone,” or “they gave so much money to the poor or to missions.” Regardless of all this, if they did not obey God, they are cursed. Whether you obey or not is a matter of life or death. This is part of God’s eternal covenant with man (Deut. 28:15-68; Rom.1:30-32].
Jesus said: ...strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matt. 7:14). Yet, at nearly every funeral you get the impression from the minister that God is a God of the broad way and that His love allows for exceptions. Friend, the first law that God gave man was not the law of love or faith; it was the law of obedience. The first words God spoke to man were not “I love you” nor “have faith” but rather “obey or die” (Gen. 2:17). This theme is carried along into every book of the Bible. This call to obedience is at the heart of the Lord’s prayer in the instruction to pray, ...thy will be done... (Matt. 6:10). Thy will be done is the core of the Bible; it is the kingdom of God; it is heaven. It is the essence of Christianity. Love, mercy and faith can soften the blow of the of law of consequences, but they can never annul it. God will not have it. God will not allow it.
If God would occasionally make an exception in nature to the law of consequences, it would throw the whole physical universe into confusion. Science would collapse. If God would allow the laws of aerodynamics to fail just once in a while, you would never want to get into an airplane. If God would cancel the law of gravity for just one second we would all be sucked into space. What is true in the physical universe is true in the kingdom of God. The greatest blessing of the saint is that he can count on God. If he obeys, he shall be blessed. Thank you Jesus! By the grace of God, you can obey and be blessed.
So, the law of consequence remains in force even when we are forgiven. Abraham was forgiven for having slept with Hagar, but the consequences of that sin are still with us today with all the turmoil in the Middle East. David committed adultery and because of his sin, there was a “therefore” during the rest of his life that also brought pain to others (2 Sam. 12:10). Everytime you disobey, there is a consequence. You and others then miss a blessing that can never be regained. Every disobedience has a ripple effect that will last until the end of time. The forgiveness of sins will remove guilt, but never consequences.
Because life and death hang on this law of consequences, it must be taught to our children early in life. Parents, do not teach your little ones that God is a “God of exceptions.” You say that you don’t, yet if you punish your children inconsistently, you are teaching them that the law of consequences cannot always be counted on and therefore God, who created that law, also cannot be counted on. You are then teaching them that God is a “God of exceptions” and you are preparing them to believe that God’s promises will not always come true. You prepare them to question the reliability of God’s word. You prepare them for the eternal flames of hell. Almost all of the damned believed that God is a “God of exceptions.”
You will reap what you sow. If you spend more money than you earn, you will reap disaster. If you fill your mind with the negatives of this world instead of the things of God, you will be discouraged and weakened in your faith. If you are slothful in your Christian disciplines, you will receive the reward of an unprofitable servant. You will be gnashing your teeth forever (Matt. 25:30). God will hold you accountable. Conversely, if you are faithful and obedient, you are headed for the throne. Don’t ignore the law of consequences.
God will do what He said He would do: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.