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“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” 1st Samuel 15:23
The Lord laid this article on my heart first in the fall of 2021, when I started providing weekly janitorial services at an income based housing facility for mostly seniors and some disabled people. As I write this in January of 2022, on my final visit this article that never had been typed, had been once again laid on my heart to write it.
Growing up with a father who was much older than my mother, I had the opportunity to get to know a lot of senior citizens. My father would have turned 100 this past year, if he were still alive, myself only being 43 years old. With him there was a generational gap that gave me an insight into the way of life for those who were much older than myself.
When I was a child I would remember being bored out of my mind as we would visit my aunt’s and uncle’s homes, those of my father’s siblings. There were no toys, their kids were already grown. Sitting in there homes, you could only listen to the conversations and the ticking of the clock in the room. However, as I grew older, with the exception of joining my father going to some sort of senior event or being over at his house when one of his friends arrived, eventually I fell out of the loop.
Nonetheless, both of my aunts and uncles, to the best of my knowledge, were Saved. There was always a Bible easily seen at hand and one at least one occasion I had a conversation with my uncle speaking of the things of God. They were not awaiting death, they were awaiting being Home with the Lord.
“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” 2nd Corinthians 5:8
Now being much older, I once again found myself at an age where I am in the middle of being young and being old, but also on a weekly basis working around mostly senior citizens in an apartment building, complete with common areas where they would convene and we would interact.
As I dusted, vacuumed and mopped, there were always conversations going on. I pondered the ways of man, I pondered the things of God and wondered about these things.
Here are all of these people who have had the majority of their lives to seek God with all of their heart, to repent towards God and by faith in Jesus Christ accept the free gift of Salvation…their whole lives.
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”… Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:8-10
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Yet the stubbornness remains, they have forgotten the way, the have turned aside, they don’t do what is right. The testimony they give as the converse amongst themselves is a mature version of the same testimony often given working in a restaurant amongst those who are also unsaved.
“Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts.” Jeremiah 2:19
They have not been corrected, their ears are closed to instruction, their eyes are blind, they have refused to see. They await death, fear overtakes some and they ponder when they might be next.
“He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.” Proverbs 15:32
“And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” Isaiah 6:9-10
I watched a few times as a woman who would read off the recent obituaries in the newspaper aloud, seemingly in her heart pondering how long she might have.
O’ wretched woman, full of evil, when will you realize, when will you call out to God to save you and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior?!
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2nd Peter 3:9
How long will one ponder, how long will one wait? Can you wait until the grave? What can man do when his time to meet his Maker comes? What can man do when those with sorrow stand over their grave? Is not now the time, was not the past decades the time to get right with God?
“(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)” 2nd Corinthians 6:2
Yet the fear of death overtakes some, they worry, they ponder, they know that not all leave the apartment complex. For I know and I have seen. I have cleaned out the apartments of those who went to their eternal reward, whether good or bad. I have seen the body of one, on my last visit, being loaded into the ambulance and my ears have heard their nervous conversations.
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:14-15
For they speak of one named ‘RNR’ and blame the death on the incompetence of man. If only she had ‘done this or that’ then she would still be alive. Comforting one another so that their inner thoughts are that they would be wiser than that, they would avert the problem that she supposedly could have, they would avert the early death, so they seem to speak.
“Hear this, all ye people; give ear, all ye inhabitants of the world: Both low and high, rich and poor, together. My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart shall be of understanding. I will incline mine ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying upon the harp. Wherefore should I fear in the days of evil, when the iniquity of my heels shall compass me about? They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption. For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names. Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish. This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah. Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” Psalms 49
Rather should not a man consider their ways, should not one ponder what will happen to them in the afterlife?
Certainly these people have had some instruction, certainly most Sunday Schools (with the exception of the pagan RCC) would have had some of God’s Truth spoken to them when they were children. Yet there are those who still pass by, crutched over in the walker, blaspheming God’s glorious names, using it in vain. This I have heard myself.
Will a man remain stubborn before God all of their lives? Will they refuse to hear His Word? Will they refuse to repent? Will they refuse to believe into Jesus Christ as their Savior? Will they remain this way until their decision is sealed for all of eternity?
Why be so, why be like this? Of what value is the heart that is merry decorating cookies, but stubborn towards their Creator? Of what value is the seemingly kindness and silly signs hanging from the door, speaking of kindness towards those outside when the door of the heart is shut towards Jesus Christ, who stands their knocking?
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:20-21
The United States is a hard place to preach the Gospel, for there are far too many who believe they are saved, but are not. They are far too many who think because they believe that there is a God, that they will be alright.
“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” James 2:19
What is this life but a blink of the eye? Do they, do you, not realize that this life is but for a moment. Certainly distraction after distraction is setup around all of us and the cares of this world can be exceedingly burdensome, yet without Christ each individual is not only lost, but without hope.
“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” James 4:14
“Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.” Psalms 144:4
“Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah. Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.” Psalms 39:5-6
“And he began again to teach by the sea side: and there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entered into a ship, and sat in the sea; and the whole multitude was by the sea on the land. And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his doctrine, Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow: And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth: But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. And he said unto them, Know ye not this parable? and how then will ye know all parables? The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:1-23
Of what value will their or your stubbornness be as you stand before the Almighty God, before Him who Created you at the Great White Throne Judgment? Of who then can one appeal to?
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:11-15