Fools Scorn Exhortations

January 31, 2013

Friends,
If it weren’t for the great comfort found in God’s Word, I would be distressed beyond endurance concerning the plight of so many who are in distress. Is it not beyond depressing to think of the pain (of all kinds) which other people are having to go through? Are we not often tempted to despair of hope concerning them and their seemingly helpless or agonizing circumstances?

Just one which weighs heavy on my heart is the situation of Saeed Abedini and the anguish his wife and family must be experiencing. As most of us found out several days ago, Saeed, in spite of being an American citizen, was convicted and sentenced to eight years in one of Iran’s most brutal prisons –merely because he is a Christian. May God’s people get on their knees and pray for this brother in Christ the way we would want others to pray for us if we were the ones in such a horrible plight. And may everyone sign the petition by clicking here: http://aclj.org/ –to get the UN to demand his release.

But, as awful as such a situation is, what is actually the worst situation a person can be in? It is, of course, to be headed for an eternity in Hell (or even worse to already be in Hell), and to be carelessly continuing on toward it. To have deaf ears to the exhortations of Love… to have a heart of filth that can only mock Love’s efforts… to have a mind that is so corrupted that it does not know how to be grateful for the mountains being moved, as attempts go on to expose the great danger… to instead gnash one’s teeth in hostility against those God sends to warn… is a condition more frightening and wretched than any imaginable. But does the “cancer patient” see it that way? No. He blocks his ears in anger and rushes on to commit all the sin he can.

This week, at my brother’s Bible study which he leads for international students, he brought up Luke 12:4,5, a passage we memorized as kids. It is an exhortation by our Lord where He tells us not to be afraid of those who kill the body, for afterwards they can do nothing more. Instead, Jesus says, we need to fear God, “who after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into Hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him.” In other words, to fear men should be of zero concern to us compared to the huge necessity to fear God.

But do people fear God? Most don’t. And when they are exhorted by God’s servants concerning their pride and other sins, and their potential eternal fate, they either laugh it off or resort to justifying themselves, which they can, because of years of practice, do with cleverness and finesse. As Prov. 9:6-9 says, wise men appreciate godly reproof, learn from it, and become wiser still; but anyone who tries to correct or reprove a wicked man incurs only insult, scorn, and disdain, for the path of wisdom the mocker has habitually sneered at and rejected. Caring nothing about the warnings in God’s Word, such people continue to rebel against God and His holy laws. And when someone tries to rescue them from staggering toward foolishness and slaughter (24:11), they, unchanging, know only how to pour out from their mouths the venom of vipers. (Rom. 3:13-18)

But, as Ps. 68:21 says, “Surely God will crush the heads of His enemies, the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.”  We’ve repeatedly warned them:  To go on in sin is to make oneself God’s enemy.  Doesn’t it seem that even sin-lovers would have enough wisdom to realize that this position should cause terror?

We do wish they’d listen to the warnings. We do plead with God that He grant mercy, intervene into their recklessness, and save them before it’s too late. For how awful will be their situation –worse than any temporary plight this fallen world can bring. It will be a plight that lasts, without God and anything good, for all eternity. And it will be theirs because they refused to heed wisdom. It will be theirs because they, in their arrogance, chose Folly and Wickedness instead.

Because of God’s love in us, we hate the thought. Therefore, we continue to agonize, by Christ’s Spirit, on their behalf.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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