<<outcome, results of action taken>>
The consequences or effects of wise decisions generally result in blessing and peace, while poor choices bring heartache and personal loss. The book of Proverbs contrasts many consequences of wise and foolish decisions. (Other examples include Deut 28:1ff, Ps 1:1-6, Mt 7:24-27). As Christians, we should not live in the flesh by sowing to the sinful nature but rather sow to please the Spirit and display Christ-like fruit (Gal 5:19-24, 6:7-9). King Saul disobeyed the clear directive of God, and tried to justify his decision when confronted about it but to no avail as God wants implicit obedience, rather than repentance after sinning (1 Sam 15:22). We must bear the consequences if we go against authority – be it God’s Word, government, parents or even the laws of nature, eg. jumping from a building with no parachute!
Especially in important matters, prayerfully consider the options, be guided by Bible principles and seek counsel from others rather than making quick decisions or being pressurised into making choices that violate your convictions.
Our choice determines the consequence
accepted. But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door; it desires to have you, but you must master it” (Gen 4:7). When we sin we are in reality hurting our own selves by distancing ourselves from the source of divine life and we will bear the penalty (Isa 59:2; Ezek 18:20; Jn 5:40, 10:10). God's penalty or punishment for sin is eternal death or separation from Him but His gift of eternal life is available through Jesus sacrifice on our behalf if we turn to Him in repentance and accept Him as Lord (Ezek 18:4,20; Mk 1:15; Rom 6:23). Although God forgives sin when it is confessed and we walk in the corresponding right way, the consequences can remain for a long time (Ex 20:5; 1 Jn 1:9).
No other question has more profound consequences for life and action than the affirmation or denial of God.
The aftermaths of confessed sin are not erased in this world (they remind us of the effects of the terrible and serious nature of sin and guide us back to the right way) but we will not face their culminating eternal punishment (banishment from God's presence and torment in the lake of fire) although there will regret and loss of heavenly reward for unwise efforts (Ps 103:12; 1 Cor 3:10-15).
After the sowing is the reaping, or time of accountability, when “God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or bad” as sins are kept on record (Eccl 12:14; Hos 13:12; 2 Cor 5:10; Gal 6:7,8). “We have sinned and turned away, refusing to obey you, therefore the curses and judgments have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against you” (Dan 9:11).
Evil acts ensnare. Scripture asks, “Can a person play with fire and not be burnt?” (Prov 5:22, 6:27,28). Unless we live God’s way there will be unpleasant consequences, designed to encourage positive and beneficial choices in the future.
The seriousness of sin is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do I comprehend the holiness of God and the ultimate price Jesus paid to release us from its eternal ramification of punishment?
The Bible states, if we are not disciplined for going astray we are not loved by our Heavenly Father (Job 5:17; Ps 119:71; Prov 3:11,12; Heb 12:11; Rev 3:19).
See also: accountability, cause and effect, choice, decisions, obedience, punishment, reason, regret, results, sow and reap.