From the book, ‘Whole Bible Christianity’
Then there is the idea that we don’t have to do the Law because we don’t get punished right away. This is a typical attitude from Christians, which many don’t say aloud. Usually this objection comes up when speaking of the (perceived) small commands such as avoiding pork and shellfish. Because God does not seem to stand around and whack us upside the head with a stick when we don’t obey, some think that implies permission to sin.
11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil. (Ecclesiastes 8:11 NASB95)
But we really should make sure of our idea of punishment. Connection to actions is not always seen. We may not be immediately punished with a lightning bolt or by the ground opening up and swallowing us (Numbers 16:30). But that doesn’t mean we won’t suffer when we ignore His command. Many times suffering is slow in coming because God wants us to repent.
We have no idea of the effects of eating flesh that is not food. For instance, we don’t know for sure whether some of our diseases come from ingesting pork or shellfish on a regular basis. Science doesn’t know enough to figure it all out because it’s too complex.
Many effects of sin take a while to manifest, such as a pregnancy or disease from illicit sex. God is gracious in protecting us from some consequences of sin on some occasions. But should we continue to presume on, or cheapen, His grace this way?
1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2 NASB95)
In addition, how does this idea of avoiding immediate punishment fit in with love? Is it part of love to say I can do what I want because I’m not being hit with a stick? Not really. Love means God gives us commands that are good for us. A loving response is to do whatever He asks, simply because He asks. He is the source of light and life and love, so when we do what He says we share in His goodness at the same time.