By Bruce Reeves
The Bible contains several interesting phrases which describe the spiritual condition of both those who accepted and rejected the invitation of salvation. In this article, I want to consider some of the sad words in the Scriptures be-cause they indicate to us how God views the state of those who disobey his truth.
“Some Mocked” (Acts 17:32)
The attitude of the Athenians to whom Paul preached on Mars Hill was not far removed from the attitude of many in our society today. Some of the finest educational institutions were to be found in Athens, Greece. Athens was elevated and advanced economically and financially. Due to their geographical location, there was a diversity of various people from different places with different ideas and beliefs. Their view of themselves was that they were a little bit smarter, stronger, and faster than everyone else.
But the Athenians were an idolatrous people. They even had an inscription to an unknown god. They had a god for everything you could imagine, so Paul preached to them about the Creator of all, Jehovah God Almighty! He also stressed to them that Jesus Christ will judge the world on an appointed day.
But when Paul told his listeners about the resurrection, the Scriptures contain this sad remark, “And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked” (Acts 17:32). We too live in what might be called somewhat of an atheistic society and there are those who mock the existence of God and the message of the gospel. But it is important that we continue to proclaim it from the lowest valley and highest mountain.
“We Will Not Walk Therein” (Jer. 6:16)
This is one of the saddest passages I know of concerning the children of Israel and their attitude toward the God that had loved them so much. The Lord pleaded with them to go back to the old paths where there was rest and blessings for their souls but they obstinately and stubbornly rebelled and said, “We will not walk therein.” look into the face of an Almighty, all-knowing, and omnipresent being and say, “No, I will not do what you want me to.” It is only to his own destruction that he disobeys.
This passage emphasizes to us that in order to find the blessings and favor of God we must go back to the plain and simple message of the gospel and it alone. We need less pop-psychology and worldly reasoning and more forceful and powerful preaching from the word of God.
“Who Concerning the Truth Have Erred”
(2 Tim. 2:18)
Certainly we can know if we are saved or not; we are not to walk around in a state of fear. But because we should not walk around in a state of fear does not mean we are to walk without caution. If it is not possible for a Christian to err from the truth and be eternally lost, why does the Scripture spend so much time dealing with something that is impossible?
The apostle Paul said that there were some who had erred from the truth. How do you err from something you never had to begin with? Some will say, “once you have it you cannot lose it and if you lose it you never had it.” If that was true then someone should have told Paul not to worry because Hymanaeus and Philetus never were saved in the first place. I believe you can see that the Scriptures do not teach that kind of thing.
“And the Door Was Shut” (Matt. 25:10)
You remember the story of the ten virgins, five were wise and five were foolish. The wise virgins made preparation so that when the bridegroom came they would be ready. The foolish virgins did not make enough preparation. Therefore, they ran out of oil and had to get some more; by the time they got back he had come and gone. The Scripture says, “And the door was shut,” all opportunity was gone. What a sad thing that some folks will wait till it’s too late before preparing to meet the Lord. If we procrastinate to prepare till the bridegroom comes again, to prepare it will be too late.
Have you ever thought about how foolish it is for man to The door is open now and Jesus invites all to come and partake of the water of life freely but the day is coming when King Jesus is going to shut that door and all opportunity will be gone. So since we don’t know when Christ will come back and we don’t know when we will die, we need to obey the Lord now!
“Almost” (Acts 26:28)
As Paul preached the gospel to Agrippa, his message was powerful and clear. Thus Agrippa said, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” Paul remarked that his wish was that, with the exception of his bonds, all that heard him would be not just almost, but altogether as he was. What was he? A Christian and that alone!
It is sorrowful thing to see folks who are at this point of almost, rather than altogether, persuaded to obey the gospel of Christ. The difference between those two points is the difference between heaven and hell. How fitting are the words of a song that we sing: “Almost persuaded is but to fail; Sad, sad the bitter wail, Almost, but lost.” Please don’t make Agrippa’s mistake!
Guardian of Truth XLI: 6 p. 19-20
March 20, 1997