The Consequences of Our Disobedience

Though God has called us to faith in His Son, and our lives will be fundamentally characterized by obedience and submission to His word, we as God’s people sometimes sin by disobeying Him. As we saw in the previous chapter, Paul revealed his own struggle with sin in Romans 7, and he did so in order that we might understand the struggle against sin that every believer will experience.


When we yield to temptation and disobey God, we will bring His discipline or chastening upon ourselves, as we are admonished in Hebrews 12:4-13. Within this passage, we find this particularly strong admonition: “Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble, and make straight paths for your feet, so that the limb which is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:12-13).


The implication here is that our failure to restore ourselves to

obedience could result in that which is “lame” becoming disabled. In other words, as a result of our disobedience, the point could come where the opportunity for service in a particular capacity, and the eternal reward from that service, could be lost to us in some measure.


The strong admonition to restore ourselves to obedience that we see in Hebrews 12:12-13 is also demonstrated in another passage of Scripture. In Jeremiah 18 we read that the word of the Lord came to the prophet telling him to go down to the potter’s house, where He would give him His message.


When Jeremiah got there, he saw the potter working at the wheel. As he was watching the potter form a vessel, the prophet observed: “But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make.” (Jeremiah 18:4). The Lord then told Jeremiah that His people Israel were like clay in His hands, and that He could do with them as the potter had done, and form a spoiled vessel into another vessel for a different purpose, as He sees fit.


Therefore as believers, let us be diligent to see that our lives as God’s chosen vessels are not “spoiled” or marred by sin. If this does occur, even though our salvation itself is eternally secure and assured, we may be formed by the Potter into another vessel for some other place of service, as a consequence of our own sin. As a result, we may suffer the loss of blessings and rewards that we might have otherwise realized, had we not been disobedient.


When John wrote in Revelation 7:17 that God will wipe away every tear from our eyes, one can imagine that some of those tears could be for lost blessings which came about through our own disobedience to God and His word. The matter of obedience to God should be taken very seriously by all of us as believers. Although our salvation is eternally secure and certain, we may lose both temporal and eternal rewards as a result of our disobedience.

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