“Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD … they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.” – Proverbs 1:29,31
When was the last time you had to deal with the natural consequences of a bad choice?
As a parent, there are generally two ways I discipline my kids. Sometimes I impose a consequence for their actions, such as sitting in time out or losing electronics for the day. Other times, however, I don’t have to impose anything. Nature takes care of it for me. I simply have to get out the way, just not step in and prevent the natural consequence.
Sin has natural consequences both here on earth and in eternity.
If you rob a bank, you may end up in jail. If you lie to a friend, you may lose that friendship. If you steal from work, you may get fired. These are natural consequences.
Of course, these are all temporary consequences. They will end at some point. The biggest consequence of our sin is eternal condemnation.
God will often allow the temporary natural consequences in order to draw us to Himself.
Even this discipline is out of love. The Scriptures tell us that God disciplines those whom He loves like a father disciplines his children.
“‘because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’ Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.” – Hebrews 12:6-8
Thankfully, when it comes to the eternal, natural consequence, God stepped in. Through Jesus’ work on the cross, He stopped the natural consequence of eternal condemnation for all who believe in Him.
I don’t like the natural consequences of my sin, but I know that I caused them. Please forgive me for my sin so that, while I may face some temporary, natural consequences now, I know I will not face the ultimate consequence for my sin. Thank you for standing in my place and taking that consequence for me.
In Christ’s Service,