- ‘Pronounced consequences of right and wrong moral action are the enforcement of moral government.
Sanction as a legal term is “that which induces observance of law or custom.” In law it is “the detriment, loss of reward, or other coercive intervention, annexed to a violation of a law as a means of enforcing the law.” Sanctions may be considered as positive and negative, rewards of blessings or penal consequences of suffering. As a simpler term, the word “consequences” has been chosen to represent the sanctions that the righteous God imposes upon moral creatures for their conduct.
The idea of sanctions or consequences, therefore, is unavoidably associated with moral government or a government of moral beings. A moral law is a description of what is right conduct for a moral being in a given relationship. Moral law is always an expression of true intelligence and is to be a help toward maintaining a happy relationship in moral government. But for a moral law to have any force or persuasive energy, consequences must be pronounced to follow conformity or non-conformity. Submission to loving and intelligent rules of action always will be rewarded by blessing and happiness. Rebellion or a refusal to be intelligent in one’s manner of living always will be rewarded with appropriate suffering and unhappiness. The whole strength and effectiveness of moral government rests in the pronouncement of just consequences and in their unwavering fulfillment. Apart from consequences, moral law would merely be advice and would achieve nothing toward happy moral relations, which is the purpose of moral government.
a. There must of necessity be consequences in moral government:
(a) Or, moral government must collapse, for this is the only means of control: 11:26-28; 30:15-20; I Sam 12:13-15, 24-25; Is. 3:10-11; 26:9; Jer. 18:7-10; Jn. 3:36; Ro. 2:6-10; 6:16.
(b) Or, God would be neglectful and cease to be love if He did not enforce His government for the good of His moral creatures: Ge. 18:25; De. 7:9-11.
(c) Or, God would cease to be righteous and impartial if He did not treat moral beings according to their actions: Ps. 7:9; Jer. 9:24; I 4:5; II Tim. 4:8; He. 6:10.
b. These consequences must be according to exact justice:
(a) God declares His strict impartiality, or that He does not favor one above another in personal salvation or consequences: 10:17; II Chr. 19:7; Ps. 62:12; Prov. 24:12; Eze. 18:30; Lk. 20:21 (said of Christ); Acts 10:34-35; Ro. 2:6-11; Ga. 2:6; Ep. 6:9; Col. 3:25; Jas. 2:8-9; I Pe. 1:17; Re. 2:23.
(b) They are based solely upon personal merit or demerit as known only to God: De. 24:16; II Chr. 25:4; Ps. 94:23; Jer. 31:30; 32:19; Eze. 18:20; Ro. 2:6-11; 14:11-12; I Pe. 1:17.
(c) They are and will be in exact accord or in proportion to merit and demerit: Jer, 32:19; Ro. 2:6,12 (guilt in proportion to moral light); Ga. 6:7-8.’
Source: Gordon Olson, The Truth shall make You Free, The Truth About Man’s Creation and Relationships, (2) Man’s Enlightenment upon his relations and obligations is the directive of right moral action and moral government, 4. Pronounced consequences of right and wrong moral action are the enforcement of moral government, 5. There must of necessity be consequences in moral government, 6. These consequences must be according to exact justice.