Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 15, 1969

"Whatsoever A Man Soweth"

Hoyt H. Houchen

The law of retribution is prominent in the scriptures. This lesson was forcefully impressed upon the minds of the Hebrews when the Hebrew writer stated: "For if the word spoken through angels proved stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation?" (Heb. 2:2,3). This same law is simply declared by Paul in Gal. 6:7, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Sin pays wages and as long as sin is served those wages will be paid in full — eternal death. "For the wages of sin is death..." (Rom. 6:23).

A failure to realize the inevitable results of sin is responsible to a great degree for the reckless, careless, indifferent attitude toward sin that is so prevalent in our society. Modern youth has come under the influence of "The New Morality" movement, a philosophy that runs counter-clockwise to self-restraint, self-control, self-discipline. The "do as you please, whatever your 'little heart' desires to do" attitude is the reaping of what has been sown earlier. When we get to "the end of the matter" and "all bath been heard" (Eccl. 12:13), God has not been feared and that fear has not been taught in the home. Children are not being taught to respect authority at home, much less are they taught to respect God. Who is to blame? The answer is obvious. When children are never able see the love and devotion of a mother and father toward each other, but rather turmoil, strife, a broken home (if there was ever a real home at all); when children are allowed to roam the streets while the parents are attending drinking parties; when children are never restrained or disciplined, is it any wonder why they enter adolescence with a confused mind and a will to be violent? The sowing was done by the adults and we are seeing the reaping in the youth.

We can expect to reap exactly what we sow, "For he that soweth unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption." (Gal. 6:8). From the context of the Galatian passage, sowing to the flesh is by two ways: (1) circumcision of the flesh. (vs. 12). Paul refers to those who "desire to make a fair show in the flesh. The very aim of the Judaizers was to have the Gentiles circumcised so as to be proselyted to Judaism. These false teachers were not interested in the welfare of the Gentiles or in the glory of God but they were selfishly seeking their own ambitions. They were sowing to the flesh and they would reap nothing in the moral or spiritual realm. They would reap the flesh — their own glory. (2) Gratifying sensual desires. Making provision for the indulgence of fleshly appetites and passions that are sinful is sowing to the flesh. Paul enumerates the works of the flesh in Gal. 5:19-21.

In consideration of sowing to the flesh, we observe several illustrations. Lasciviousness (Gr. aselgeia) indicates a love of sin so reckless that a man ceases to care what God or man thinks. Thayer defines the word: "Unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence." (Greek-English Lexicon, p.79). Webster defines the word: "1. Wanton; lewd; lustful. 2. Tending to produce lewd emotions." (Collegiate Dictionary). It is wanton and undisciplined action. Pornography is in the category of lasciviousness as is anything else that is lewd and lustful. Parents are sowing to the flesh when they encourage their sons and daughters to dance. The fathers and mothers who desire that their children climb higher on the rungs of the ladder of acceptability in society, are deceiving themselves and they can expect to reap what they sow. A matron of a home for fallen women in Los Angeles said: "Seven-tenths of the girls received here have fallen through dancing and its influence." (Ball-Room To Hell, T. A. Faulkner, p. 46). This is only one of many such statements which testify to the consequences of dancing between opposite sexes of those not married.

Self-restraint is the ability to restrain desire by reason. The person who thinks that he can drink without it ever being harmful to him or leading him to alcoholism does not consider the risks and the dangers involved, not only for himself, but the influence upon others. The person who decides to embark upon an experience of the unlawful intake of narcotics, depressants, stimulants, or hallucinogenic drugs has failed to evaluate the effects that such use may have upon him; he is not fully aware of the dangers, permanent damage or other risks involved to himself as well as the shame, disgrace and problem to his family, and a menace to society at large. When people are guided by their own desires without reason, they are dangerous. This is the key to rape, murder, stealing, lying, and every other sin. Desire without reason, a desire that is independent of scriptural authority is the key to every unscriptural promotion that has been introduced.

We shall reap what we sow. Our nation is in a state of moral decay. Violence, swindling, embezzlement, cheating, lying, are the results of what has been sown in the minds of the young and innocent. Children no more than 12 or 13 years of age are being introduced to dope. Consequences of crime are by-passed and the old devil's doctrine "there is no harm in it" is having a "field day."

Undue emphasis upon the material by the adult is sowing that seed into the mind of the child and both the adult and the child will reap what is sown. There can be no spirituality when the seeds of undue emphasis upon materialism are spread.

The Christian is living in a world where sin is the normal state of things. The gospel of Christ is a system of restraint and by it the Christian lives. "For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly and righteously and godly in this present world." (Tit. 2:11,12). The word of God, its teaching, and the lives of those who conform to it are our only hope to improve conditions in this world and to insure us a better home after death.

Paul encourages his brethren to "be not weary in well doing." (Gal. 6:9). We are in a world of ingratitude, indifference, and opposition to what is upright and holy but it is God who sees us and knows our hearts and he will not forsake us. "In due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Gal. 6:9). This will be in God's appointed time. Man cannot hasten or delay the harvest. The body and the mind are the fields into which the seed is cast. The fruit will be according to the nature and the measure of the seed that is sown. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."