Written by Ron Hutchison

"But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality"
(Colossians 3:25).

In Colossians 3:25 the apostle Paul teaches that the person who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done.  This repayment will be made by God.  It doesn't make any difference who you are, how powerful you may be, what earthly connections  you may have, or what the motivation or purpose may be in doing wrong. If you do wrong you will be repaid for what you have done. God shows no partiality!

It seems to be a common trait in human beings to rationalize, defend, excuse or explain away the wrong that we do.  But we must insist that wrong is wrong no matter what. 


There are people who believe that unless they get caught doing something wrong, it's not wrong.  For example, a person may steal from his employer.  He may try to rationalize it by saying, "after all, he doesn't pay me what I'm worth anyway, and they will never miss it."  But those things are not the point.  The point is, it is wrong to steal from anyone.  Paul wrote, "Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need" (Ephesians 4:28).

Let me give another example: A student may cheat on a test.  He may not be prepared for the test and he may rationalize his action by saying, "after all, Mr. Smith's tests are too hard anyway. It won't hurt just this one time. After all everyone else is doing it and no one will ever know."  No matter how you may try to rationalize it, it is still wrong to cheat on a test, even if you don't get caught.  It is deception and lying. It is dishonest.   The same thing could be said of a number of things (cheating on taxes; breaking the speed limit; shoplifting etc...).  The fact that you don't get caught has nothing to do with it.  The fact is it's wrong and even if you don't get caught now, you will answer for that wrong before God in judgment if you don't meet God's conditions for forgiveness of sins before then.

Many years ago it was recorded in the Bible: ". . . be sure your sin will find you out" (Numbers 32:23). Many people have found out the hard way that this principle is true.  You can be sure your sin will find  you out.  You may get by with something all of your life.  You may never get caught. But you can be sure, that even if you don't get caught in this life, you will be repaid for the wrong you have done.

Wrong is wrong even if you don't get caught.


When I speak of something being wrong even though it is legal, I'm speaking of it being legal according to civil law but wrong in God's sight. 

Civil government is ordained by God (Romans 13).  Even though this is true, many people who make the decisions in government do so without any consideration of God's will.  Sometimes the laws of the state conflict with the laws of God.  For example, gambling has become something accepted by the majority of the people in the United States.  It is legal to gamble in various forms in almost every state of the United States.  Many states have gone into the gambling business themselves (the lottery).  Yet gambling violates many Bible principles, among them the "golden rule" (Matthew 7:12).  Here is the way gambling violates Matthew 7:12:  Every one who gambles desires to win.  The gambler doesn't want someone to take his money from him.  He  gambles expecting to win.  But if he wins, he takes someone else's money away from them.  He thus does something to them that he would not want done to him.  Thus, he violates Matthew 7:12.   Gambling is wrong in God's sight even though the state says it is right. 

Another example: Legalized murder takes place every day of the week in the United States and around the world.  It is "justified" under the guise of "a woman's right to control her own body."  I'm speaking of abortion.  Abortion is the taking [killing] of innocent human life.  Taking the life of an innocent human being is murder.  Thus, abortion is legalized murder. Even though it is legal in the United States and many other countries, it is sin in God's eyes.  Hands that shed innocent blood are guilty before God (Proverbs 6:16-17).  Even though civil government may sanction abortion, that does not give the Christian an excuse to practice and condone it.  It is wrong even though it is legal. (See also, Hands That Shed Innocent Blood).

There are other things we could mention: Drinking alcohol, divorce for any reason, depending on others for your living when you are capable of working and providing for yourself.  All of these things may be legal according to civil government, but wrong in God's sight. Let us remember that wrong is still wrong no matter what the government may say.  We must realize our responsibility to God.  The apostle Paul said, ". . . We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29). When there is a conflict between civil law and God's law, we must follow God's law. 

Wrong is wrong even if it is legal.


This is a common temptation that Satan places before us.  A civic or religious organization conducts a raffle and asks people to buy a chance on a prize.  That's gambling, and people justify it because "after all, it's for a good cause."  This justification especially seems valid when young people or friends are selling chances.  It's hard to say "no" to them. 

Sometimes dances are held to raise money for a child who needs an operation, or a so-called "gospel singing" is held to do the same where instruments of music are used and entertaining using religious songs takes place. People will attend these functions because, "after all, it's for a good cause."  We must realize that wrong is wrong even if it is for a good cause.  If a child needs an operation and you want to help by giving money, you can do it directly rather than doing that which is unscriptural or morally wrong. 

Wrong is wrong even if it is for a good cause.


When Adam and Eve were confronted with their sin in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3), Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.  But in spite of the fact that they blamed someone else, they were still held responsible for their own sin.

Sometimes we cave in to pressure or are provoked into doing something wrong, and we think that excuses us.  But it does not excuse us. We are still responsible.  We can't put all the blame on someone else.

I recall when I preached in Southern Illinois we had a coach from a Christian University visit our services.  I happened to be preaching about the New International Version that night. The New International Version has Calvinistic renderings (i.e. sinful nature for flesh) among other things which I must reject.  After the services, this man said that he had asked a preacher he knew about the NIV and that the preacher thought it was alright, so he was going to use it.  He would not even consider the objections I had voiced to it in my sermon.  If that man teaches Calvinistic doctrine from the NIV and leads others away from the truth, he is not going to be able to stand before Jesus on judgment day and blame his use of that version on the preacher.  He has a responsibility, if he is going to use it and teach from it, to investigate it for himself.  Wrong is wrong even if someone else recommends it.

A false teacher is going to be condemned by God and lose his soul for teaching false doctrine.  But if you accept what he teaches, you are not going to be able to use the fact that the false teacher taught false doctrine as an excuse on judgment day. He will be held responsible for deceiving you and all those who follow him, but you will be held responsible for allowing him to deceive you.  False teaching is wrong no matter who may be teaching it. 

Wrong is wrong even if someone else causes you to do it.


There is no doubt that some sin is hard to give up.  When a person is addicted to alcohol, drugs, tobacco, pornography and such like, it is hard to give those things up.  In some people's lives there is a continual battle with these things.  But it does not make it right because it is hard to give up! Addiction does not make things right.

Our hearts go out to people in this condition.  We want to comfort, encourage and support them.  But we should never leave the impression that just because something is hard to give up or difficult to overcome, that it is not wrong. 

When we teach the truth about marriage, divorce, and remarriage (Matthew 5:32; 19:9), and we teach that a person in an unscriptural relationship (i.e. a relationship that is not acceptable to God) must leave that relationship, must repent of it or be lost, it grieves us.  It does so especially if children are involved.  But the fact that circumstances may be heart-wrenching and that children may be involved, and that it seems almost impossible to right the wrong, does not make an unscriptural relationship right. 

Wrong is wrong and even though the situation may be almost impossible to make right. 


Satan likes to make us think that if we are not as bad as someone else, then we can be excused.  People look at their own life, and then compare that with someone else's life, and think that since they are not as bad as "old so-and-so" then they will be excused.  My friends, it doesn't work like that.

We are not to be in the business of comparing ourselves with other people but we must compare our lives with the word of God.  We are not to try to live up to the standards of other human beings, but to the standard of the New Testament.  Paul wrote, "For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise" (2 Corinthians 10:12).

Sometimes our children will approach us about going somewhere. It might be a movie [one that is not suitable for them to see] or to the prom or somewhere else they should not be going, and parents often hear them say, "everyone else is going." Well, Christian parents ought to try to get their children to see that they are not "everyone else."  They are Christians, or children of Christians and Christians can't do every thing that "everyone else" is doing.

Let us remember that wrong is wrong even if someone else has done something as bad or worse and even if everyone else is doing it.


There has been a changing attitude among Christians in recent years.  It was not too many years ago that when a preacher preached the truth about marriage, divorce and remarriage, he was highly commended.  You would hear such things as, "we need more sermons like that."  "Keep preaching it like it is."  But now days we often hear resentment and opposition to such "harsh, unloving" preaching.  The reason? Many of those people have had a son or daughter divorced and unscripturally remarried. But we must remember that wrong is wrong even if a member of our family is doing it.

We see this in the church too often.  A preacher who was once known for his soundness begins teaching false doctrine, or begins to espouse modernist views.  Those who knew him in the past and who like him continue to support and defend him and begin to espouse his views themselves.  But my friends, wrong is wrong even if our favorite preacher is doing it.

Wrong is wrong regardless of who is doing it.


Many people when confronted about an unscriptural practice or sin will say, "I don't see anything wrong with it."  This is where people get into trouble in religion.  They don't ask, "is it authorized?"  They don't ask, "will God be pleased with what I am teaching and practicing?" They believe if the Bible doesn't specifically condemn it, then it is alright and if they are pleased with it then God must be pleased. 

Paul wrote, "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17). To do something "in the name of the Lord Jesus" is to do it by His authority.  The question that we should all ask when we consider doing or teaching something is not "where is it condemned?" but, "where is it authorized?"  Just because something doesn't bother you doesn't mean it is right. 

Wrong is wrong even if it doesn't bother you.


It might appear to be expedient to a salesman to lie in order to make a big sale. He may need the money. His family may be suffering because of a lack of money. But wrong is wrong even if it seems like its the only way we can gain something we think we need.

Sometimes Christians will enter into fields of endeavor rationalizing that they can be involved in such things because it will bring gain to them that they can use for the Lord's cause.  They might envision how they could help build church buildings and support gospel preachers.  Yet, wrong is wrong no matter how expedient it may appear. 

This is a philosophy Satan has used very effectively in leading people away from God.  It is the old "end justifies the means" philosophy. If you believe this view, you ought to ask King Saul and the people of Israel if it works (1 Samuel 15:22-23).   My friends, the end doesn't always justify the means.  If something is without Bible authority, no matter what end may be accomplished, we must not do it.  This is the philosophy that some of our brethren have been following in using women translators in the public worship services.  The argument they use is the old "end justifies the means" argument.  God just will not accept such an argument and practice.

Wrong is wrong even if we think the end justifies the means.


The alcoholic will not admit that drinking is wrong. The abortionist will not admit that abortion is wrong. The adulterer will not admit that adultery is wrong. The denominationalist will not admit that denominationalism is wrong. The modernist will not admit that modernism is wrong. The tobacco user will not admit that tobacco is wrong. The gambler will not admit that gambling is wrong. The gossiper will not admit that gossiping is wrong. But the fact that they will not admit that these things are wrong does not change the fact that all of these things are wrong.

The prophet Malachi condemned the people of his day for a number of wrongs.  But rather than admitting their wrong and turning from it they said, "wherein have we" done these different things (Malachi 1:6, 7; 2:17; 3:8)? The fact that they denied wrong doing did not mean that they were innocent.  We may deny doing anything wrong, but wrong is still wrong even if we deny it.

Wrong is wrong even if you will not admit it.


Wrong is wrong even if you don't get caught; even though it may be legal; even if it is for a good cause; even if someone causes you to do it; even if it is difficult to make right; even if someone else has done something as bad or worse; regardless of who does it; even if it doesn't bother you; even if you believe the end justifies the means, and even if you will not admit it.

We must be willing to face our wrongs, repent of them and meet God's conditions of forgiveness.  We must remember, "But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality" (Colossians 3:25). 

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