The Christian life is lived in the pages of the epistles. Many believers never read them or understand their impact on daily life. As we move from the early stages of “being saved” we see wide diversions in Christian living and practice. Eventually we learn that many believers are weak, disinterested, lazy and untaught, all at varying levels, and people join groups, change churches, leave churches, change jobs. Some of these changes come out of rebellion, depression and loss. Others clearly are following the call of God.
I’ve seen them lounge in the theological backwaters, repeating their pastors, misquoting the scriptures, mishandling even basic stuff. Not to mention a few charged with a crime, lying and even getting caught in an immoral trap. So I stood back and asked myself what is going on.
Refusal to change
Recently I saw a distinguished author/scholar on a TV program where he repeated a totally false accusation against a public figure. Since he was a Russian scholar and since the incident involved Russian history I sent him a flyer from a reliable newspaper, there are not that many left, because I believed that he would appreciate having an element of Russian history corrected. He did not.
Disagreeing with Truth is not an opinion
He wrote back that he did not agree with me. Agreement had nothing to do with it. The facts are out there; the truth is out there. Some of the persons involved have been indicted for their crimes. More indictments are expected. All of that is in the public record. He just did not like that he had made a mistake, or to be required to change. He was willfully ignorant.
Just where does this come from
Peter 3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant …
What is the source of deliberate rebellion against the knowledge of God, because the rejection of truth is just that. It may come up in atheism, or many other rejections of truth.
This is not the same thing as Eve being deceived. God winks at that time in your life when you really don’t know anything. We do this with our children. Little Micky steals a cookie and is reprimanded. There is no beating or big to-do about it. It is the first offense. Then when more cookies mysteriously disappear parents become less tolerant and finally the hammer comes down. God does this too.
Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
God winks at error in the untaught for a while. The idea is to lead you to repentance. Today, across the globe, millions, in fact billions of people do not have a clue about the real God. God is winking at their sin. But it will not last forever.
I think of India which has 30 million gods. It is hard to focus on any god or even take any god seriously with this kind of competition out there. Some worship the badly polluted Ganges River. God will not wink at India forever.
Large Numbers of Muslims now Saved
The wars in the Middle East and the opening up of television and the internet for isolated peoples has demonstrated to them that large numbers of human beings do not live as badly as they do, in violence and dictatorial religious slavery. Now that they have better information, God’s winking is stopping and the truth is being embraced by more and more people. God may want them all saved, but we know that will not happen.
Some will re-harden their hearts towards God and be lost. Having once had enlightenment their hearts go dark.
Ephesians 4:18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
This past month I and a group of committed citizens investigated a complex slander against a political candidate. In a few days the entire scam was exposed. Some people were alarmed and took it all in. The originators of the folly stuck to their guns; they would not confess their crimes and continued to put out the libel, secure that the overloaded courts would ignore any case against them. Other voters refused to believe this was happening. Everyone took sides. My friends and I did all we could.
I asked God what was his view of this and he said, simply to leave the ignorant alone and move on.
1 Corinthians 14:38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.
All failure in man is a refusal to change. Whether you die at 25 or 95, your life will be judged by your ability to change for the better under the hand of the Lord. If not, you wallow in the swamp in the edge of the River of Life.
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