It is a universal truth, although not universally acknowledged, that there are no exceptions to the rules of God.
Quite a few men, in their self-centric world-view, imagine that this truth does not apply to them, and that, this time, it will be different when they do it. There is an entire philosophy of thought, held to by almost half the population, called progressivism, which likes to imagine that men are capable of doing things in new, improved ways, obtaining results which will be different from those results obtained in the past.
A wise king, Solomon, sagely observed approximately three thousand years ago, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9; ESV) He went on to note, “Is there a thing of which it is said, ‘See, this is new’? It has been already in the ages before us. There is no remembrance of former things, nor will there be any remembrance of later things yet to be among those who come after.” (Ecclesiastes 1:10-11; ESV)
There is a lot of truth to the sentiment, “those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it.” By studying the actions, and the consequences of those actions, done in the past, we can get a pretty good idea of how our own choices are going to work out for us. Thus the apostle Paul, commenting in the New Testament upon the utility of studying the Old Testament, noted, “Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition.” (1 Corinthians 10:11a; NKJV) There aren’t exceptions to God’s rules, and it is this universal truth which allows us to profit from the study of the Scriptures.
Elsewhere, this same truth is stated in a different way: “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8; ESV)
The harvest you reap will always depend upon the nature of the seeds which are planted.
There are no exceptions to this rule, physically or spiritually. You can’t plant corn and expect tomatoes. You can’t breed sheep and expect to get calves. You can’t plant sin and expect to reap a harvest of joy and happiness.
“The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23a) There are no exceptions to this truth. God promised from the very beginning that sin would bring death (cf. Genesis 2:17) and counseled sinful men to learn to master their temptation to sin (cf. Genesis 4:7).
But men insist that for them it will be different. Our culture, following in the footsteps of so many others, plunges headlong towards sin, celebrating it, throwing parades in its honor, and defending it. Like the pagans of old, they think it odd when some choose not to run with them in the same flood of dissipation. (cf. 1 Peter 4:4) But the vices of Sodom and the excesses of Rome are not anything new, and God guarantees that they will always and forever produce the same results of unhappiness, sorrow and judgment.
Our Lord Jesus observed that sin was the true problem faced by mankind. Observing the suffering experienced in His own day and age, He asked whether those who had experienced great suffering were somehow exceptions. He concluded, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3; cf. vs 1-5)
There are no exceptions. The solution is always the same. And there is only one solution. Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
The path of Jesus, leading to God, is laid out for us in the Gospel of Christ, and it is through obedience to that Gospel that we will find salvation and joy. (cf. Romans 1:16) A major part of the plan Christ teaches is the necessity of dying to sin. (cf. Romans 6:1-4) Therefore, Repent. Give it up. Realize that you aren’t the exception and sin is never going to produce a harvest of hope and happiness.
Thanks be to God that in His love He shows us a better way. Let us pray we have the wisdom to learn to listen to what He is teaching.
If you would like to learn more about the path of Christ, and the life He gives, the church of Christ invites you to study and worship with us at 234 Chapel Drive, Gallipolis, Ohio. Likewise, if you have any questions, please share them with us through our website: chapelhillchurchofchrist.org
Jonathan McAnulty is minister of Chapel Hill Church of Christ.