The Wages of SIN?
America is enduring enormous suffering because of false religion!
Last summer, when the United States Ninth Circuit Court issued its decision against using "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, this was just one small symbol of America's rejection of the true God of creation. For even many who profess to be religious are constantly defying the God of the Bible!
America is increasingly becoming an armed camp because of the fear of terrorist attacks. Our crime rate is going back up. Drug use—especially among young people—is taking a terrible toll. Cocaine use is rising rapidly. The AIDS epidemic is once again rising among homosexuals. Enormous wildfires are destroying vast areas of our nation. Priests, professing to be servants of God, are increasingly found to have been engaging in horrifying and perverted acts with young people. Meanwhile—in the "land of the free"—millions of unborn babies are being vacuumed out of their mothers' wombs in what has been called "the silent holocaust." Drought, followed by water rationing, is becoming more and more widespread, yet massive flooding is occurring in other parts of the nation. And now, some one billion Muslims, and hundreds of millions of Europeans, are becoming disillusioned and resentful of America's dominance and power over world affairs.
Why is all this happening?
It is happening because—as a nation—we have absolutely rejected the God of the Bible. The real God of the Bible, with whom most people are not familiar, does indeed intervene in world affairs to fulfill His purpose. He is the One who has given us the awesome blessings and power that America and her allies have shared for well over a century. He is the One who helped us win World Wars I and II—and indeed all our major wars for nearly 200 years!
The God of the Bible told our forefathers: "If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them, then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall last till the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last till the time of sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely. I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none will make you afraid; I will rid the land of evil beasts, and the sword will not go through your land. You will chase your enemies, and they shall fall by the sword before you" (Leviticus 26:3-7). For several generations, God has certainly fulfilled His promise to bestow blessings upon the American and British-descended peoples. But, today, the "handwriting is on the wall." The tide of world events is beginning to change—and change dramatically!
A few verses later in the above prophecy, the Creator said: "'But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you'" (vv. 14-17). This is certainly a dual prophecy that had an original fulfillment on ancient Israel. But it will have a modern fulfillment on our people in this present generation. Many of you will live to see this happen! And nearly all of us will see, over the next several years, the beginnings of this unfolding tragedy.
We will witness the beginning of God's intervention to chasten the American and British-descended peoples for our own good. For God said: "I will break the pride of your power; I will make your heavens like iron and your earth like bronze" (Leviticus 26:19). If you do not yet know about our national identity in biblical prophecy, be sure to contact us at one of the addresses listed on page 2 of this magazine, and request a free copy of our eye-opening booklet entitled What's Ahead For America and Britain?
In His inspired Word, the Eternal tells us: "For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob" (Malachi 3:6). In His overall approach, God is consistent in His dealings with men and with nations. We are told in the New Testament book of Hebrews: "And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: 'My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him: for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives'" (Hebrews 12:5-6).
If God loves us, why would He powerfully "chastise" the American and British-descended peoples?
The real answer is that we are a nation of hypocrites! While we in America put "In God We Trust" on our coins, we are a people in constant rebellion against the laws and ways of that same God. Do millions of Americans attend church every Sunday? Yes! But, shocking as it may seem, that is part of the problem!
"How so?" you may ask.
It is part of the problem because the vast majority of churchgoers are never taught about the very way of life that would spare us from the severe chastisement soon to befall our peoples. As we saw above, God said that He would punish His people: "If you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments…" (Leviticus 26:14).
And "here's the rub"—the vast majority of professing Christians are told that they do not have to "literally" keep the Ten Commandments! Yes, as little children they may be taught in Sunday School to memorize the "short form" of the Ten Commandments, but their ministers consistently refuse to teach the Ten Commandments as a way of life—as Jesus Christ Himself did. Those of you who can work up the courage to ask your minister: "Do Christians really need to keep the Ten Commandments as a way of life?"—may be surprised at the answer. For the vast majority of ministers will answer—as they were taught in their seminaries—that the Ten Commandments "may" be good guidelines, but you do not really need to keep them!
Rather, these professing Christian ministers mostly avoid talking about the Ten Commandments at all. Some will teach that the Ten Com-mandments are the "Law of Moses"—not for us today—or that the Ten Commandments were somehow "nailed to the cross of Christ," or "done away" by the Apostle Paul. These ministers have all kinds of miserable excuses as to why the Ten Commandments need not be literally kept today—though Jesus Christ taught His followers to keep them (see Matthew 5:17-19; Matthew 19:16-19; Luke 16:16-18). Jesus' own brother, the inspired Apostle James, wrote: "For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all. For He who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder.' Now if you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty" (James 2:10-12). Certainly, the "law" that describes adultery and murder as sin is the Ten Commandments. James said that you and I will be "judged" by that law! What could be more clear than that?
Jesus' beloved Apostle John wrote: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12). Yet a diabolically clever Satan the Devil has managed to twist the meaning of certain passages in the Bible in a way to contradict the dozens of plain, clear scriptures telling God's people to obey the Ten Commandments as a way of life!
In his final letter at the very end of his ministry, the Apostle Peter warned us about unstable men who "twist to their own destruction" the writings of the Apostle Paul. He instructed those who knew the Truth that had been taught by Jesus Christ: "Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position" (2 Peter 3:17, NIV). Obviously, these "lawless men" were not merely teaching against the traffic laws. Peter was inspired by God to warn us against those false teachers—often themselves deceived by Satan—who would "twist" Paul's writings so as to supposedly "do away" with the Ten Commandments!
In Jesus' name—as His servant—I admonish all of you ministers and priests who are reading this to wake up! You, too, can certainly be forgiven for your past ignorance. You, too, were probably "blinded" by the massive deception of Satan the Devil "who deceives the whole world" (Revelation 12:9).
God tells us in Romans 6:23: "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Sin automatically brings sorrow, suffering and, eventually, the second death in the Lake of Fire, unless it is bitterly repented of (Revelation 21:8). As we read in 1 John 3:4: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (KJV). For God's law—the Ten Commandments—is like the law of gravity. God's spiritual law "works" whether you believe in it or not! The profound sorrow in the voices and faces of those abused in their youth by Roman Catholic priests should tell us something. Such perverted, sinful acts bring about years or even decades of agony and suffering.
How can those bishops and cardinals who "covered up" the foul deeds of the child-molesting perverted priests go to sleep at night? They should consider the inspired warning of the Apostle Paul: "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons… forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth" (1 Timothy 4:1, 3).
The hundreds—perhaps even thousands—of top business executives, lawyers and accountants who as callous sinners thought they could "get away" with billions of dollars through the alleged deceptions practiced by Enron, Arthur Andersen and dozens of other major corporations, will be called to account before long! They will not only answer to the courts of this nation, they will eventually be brought before the judgment of Almighty God!
For many of them have deliberately stolen the money and even the livelihood of their employees and investors in their companies. The Eternal God strongly condemns those who enrich themselves by taking advantage of others: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation" (Matthew 23:14).
Sin automatically brings suffering. Some may even lose their homes, and be unable to feed their families. Many will be unable to provide for their families' future. Even those who are "better off" may find their families having to "do without" for years to come. Their sons and daughters may not be able to go to the schools that they had planned to attend because "Daddy lost his job." Their little children may not be able to go to the summer camp that was planned, or get the new backyard swing set that had been promised. Families may have to do without their annual vacation trip because money is tight.
Employees who lose their jobs because of the actions of corrupt executives may never trust their leaders again. For many families, their entire lives will be changed because of the corruption at the very top of American business. The hurt and disillusionment will last a lifetime. How can corrupt executives sleep at night, knowing the profound suffering their deceit and their actions have caused? God's Word tells us: "Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard" (Proverbs 13:15, KJV).
In this article, we cannot even begin to recount the innumerable areas of sin and suffering in our professing "Christian" world. For we read almost daily of the unremitting sorrow caused by those who sell and those who use illegal drugs. And we read of those whose minds and bodies are weakened and debilitated because they drink too much alcohol, smoke cigarettes or allow their mind and spirit to be perverted by the rotten purveyors of pornography. Pornographers no doubt contribute greatly to heinous sexual crimes, and to causing a whole generation of young men to grow up with a cheap and disgusting view of womanhood!
Many executives of the major tobacco companies are considered "pillars" in their local communities; they sit on the boards of their local churches and surround themselves with the symbols of success and respectability. Yet many of these same men have known for decades that their product often contributes directly to the excruciating suffering and the premature deaths of uncounted millions of human beings!
Do we still wonder why the great God of creation is beginning to "chasten" the American and British-descended peoples?
Although we have printed and produced more Bibles than any people in history, we continually break and smash the laws of God! Our religious, political and business leaders—along with our national sports and entertainment "idols"—have all contributed to a culture of deception and hypocrisy. We have claimed to be a "Christian" nation. But we have soundly rejected the clear teachings Jesus Christ gave in the "Sermon on the Mount."
Jesus said: "Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do the things which I say?" (Luke 6:46).
Near the end of His famous "Sermon on the Mount," (Matthew 5-7) wherein He explains clearly that Christians must obey the letter and the spirit of the Ten Commandments, Jesus stated: "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'" (Matthew 7:21-23).
There is a cause for every effect. The breaking of God's great spiritual law is the basic cause of all human suffering. Once we have that one fact straight, and live by it, the amount of human suffering will become minuscule!
For after the Great Tribulation, which Jesus Christ predicted—after mankind has been truly humbled and made "willing to listen"—the whole world will be taught to obey the Ten Commandments as a way of life. Notice Isaiah's inspired prophecy: "Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:2-4).
The prophet Jeremiah was inspired by God to tell us: "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (Jeremiah 31:33).
Through real conversion, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, God will actually put His spiritual law—the Ten Commandments—into the hearts and minds of all His people. Then, in the coming millennial rule of Jesus Christ, there will be a depth of peace and joy that this world has never experienced.
As He said, God will "forgive their iniquity" (v. 34). The "wages of sin" will be removed. God tells His people what they will experience after they return from the Great Tribulation and learn to obey His law and to truly follow His way: "Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be theirs" (Isaiah 61:7).
May the God of the Bible—the Creator who gives life and breath to us all—help you to seek and to find the true religion. And may He give you the faith and the courage to act on that Truth.