You've heard them all: those filthy, provocative words that pepper today's music, movies and TV programs.
Yet there's one word that's never used. It's so dirty, so hated that the baddest rap stars and coolest comedians never utter it. Even politicians refuse to say it because they know it will cost them votes.
That word is consequences.
How do you feel when you hear that word? Does it make you uneasy? Do you plan to deal with it later? Do you think there are no consequences?
A Law That Applies to EverybodyIf you are searching for the truth, you acknowledge that every action has consequences.
Amazingly, millions of people stumble through life ignorant of this law, making the same mistakes over and over. They never get the connection between what they do and what results. Others are aware of it yet think it doesn't apply to them.
This law applies to all of us, whether we like it or not.
It's often called the law of cause and effect. The Bible describes it this way: "A man reaps what he sows." (Galatians 6:7, NIV)
Our actions are like seeds. Consequences are the crop we harvest. Ask any of the millions of people in prison and they'll tell you that sowing seeds of crime results in a harvest of punishment and misery.
Those prisoners, like most of us, believed they could cheat the law of consequences. They thought it didn't include them or that they wouldn't get caught. But what about people who do bad things but still prosper? Have they somehow figured out how to beat this law of consequences?
Two Kinds of ConsequencesTwo kinds of consequences exist: earthly consequences and eternal consequences. You may be able to cheat the first, but no one cheats the second.
The earlier part of that Bible quotation above explains why nobody escapes eternal consequences: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked." That means God sees and knows everything. Nothing gets by him.
Naturally people who don't believe in God also don't believe in eternal consequences. But then, why has consequences become such a dirty word? Why do people want to change the subject when somebody mentions it? Why do they give a nervous laugh and try to act unconcerned?
The truth is that these people cannot disprove that God exists. They may challenge Christians to scientifically prove the existence of God, but unbelievers can't emphatically prove God doesn't exist either, and that's why they're secretly anxious over consequences. If they grudgingly admit there might be a God, then they usually deny the existence of hell, arguing that a loving God would never send anyone to such a terrible place.
He doesn't. God has never sent one person to hell. They sent themselves there. That makes the law of consequences even more scary.
"I'll Worry About That Later"As we're busy ignoring earthly and eternal consequences, we're tempted to take the attitude of, "I'll worry about that later. I'm entitled to my fun."
You may know that your "fun" violates God's laws, but you believe you'll have plenty of time to settle down when you get older. When you're old and decrepit and your time is running out, you plan to repent and get right with God, just in case he and hell do exist.
Oops. Ever heard of traffic accidents, cancer, heart attacks, terrorism, plane crashes, random violence? No doubt many of the fatal victims of those things had planned to straighten out "someday." They never got the chance.
It's not as if God is playing "Gotcha!" He wants everyone to be with him for the rest of eternity, to enjoy the love, peace, and happiness of heaven. He gave us a way to avoid that otherwise inescapable law of consequences, and that way is his Son, Jesus Christ.
From God's Mouth to Your EarJesus told us himself, in words that couldn't be more clear: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6, NIV).
There it is, the only way to get around the law of consequences. It's not by being a good person, doing good deeds, or avoiding the "biggies" like murder, robbery and rape. You see, every person on earth, including Christians, is a sinner and will be until the moment we die.
Christ came to save us from our sins. That's what Christianity is really about. He paid our sin-debt on the cross, satisfying God's perfect justice. All the eternal consequences of our sins are wiped out when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
The law of consequences is truth. Denying the truth doesn't change it or make it go away. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? If not, why don't you face up to the consequences of sin in your life, right now. It's the beginning of an incredible experience, a life that never ends. This is one consequence you will never, ever regret.
Jack Zavada, a career writer and guest contributor for About.com, is host to a Christian website for singles. Never married, Jack feels that the hard-won lessons he has learned may help other Christian singles make sense of their lives. His articles and ebooks offer great hope and encouragement. To contact him or for more information, visit Jack's Bio Page.