In this sermon, Pastor Neil talks about the consequences of careless words and actions, based on the Book of Numbers Chapter 20:1-13. Here are some excerpts:
…There is forgiveness with God for all who will come to Jesus in true repentance and faith. But, like Moses, we may have to live with the painful consequences of our words and actions in the here and now.
So, hear this as a plea to guard your heart, as it says in Proverbs 4:23. Guard your heart, as David says in Psalm 19, from willful, presumptuous sins, from “deliberate wrongs” (Living Bible) committed in anger or pride or out of a sense of entitlement. Be careful that you don’tdo anything in the heat of the moment – whether fueled by anger or lust or vengeance or greed or pride – that you will regret and that will grieve the heart of God.
The Bible says that you reap what you sow (Galatians 6:7). It is a fact of life. There are lots of ways that people today – including Christians – reap the consequences of words spoken rashly or things done without thinking that hurt other people, that dishonor God, that damage your reputation or the credibility of your witness.
Or it may be through actions that are premeditated, like an affair or some other sexually inappropriate relationship. It is better to have clear, inviolable boundaries in your relationships that some people may think are outdated than to compromise your witness and open the door to sin by being careless, or by thinking you can play with fire without getting burned.
You may think that someone deserves the venom you have stored up in your heart against him or her, but God will not hold you guiltless for words spoken with malice in your heart.
You may think you are justified in bending or breaking the rules in order to get ahead or, in your mind, to even the playing field. Some athletes risk their careers and legacies by using steroids or other prohibited performance-enhancing drugs. You may decide to pad your resume by exaggerating your credentials or qualifications for a particular job. Thinking that the end justifies the means, you may make false claims about yourself. If you are found out, though, even after you get the job, you will lose it. Your reputation will suffer big time. And even though God forgives you, what you did will follow you.
If it could happen to a godly man like Moses, a man with whom God spoke face to face, it can happen to anyone. It can happen to you. It can happen to me.
You don’t need to live in fear that you can lose your salvation by some sin committed in the heat of anger or passion. That will not happen. If you belong to Jesus by faith, you cannot lose your salvation. But, like Moses, you can forfeit some of the blessings you would otherwise receive from God if you fail to trust Him. If you fail to honor Him, fail to treat Him as holy, or fail to hallow His name. If you fail to obey Him in the conduct of our daily lives. Obedience to God is not what saves you. But obedience is the fruit of saving faith. It is evidence that our faith is the real thing.