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Blind eyes; deaf ears; callused hearts. Why the unsaved refuse to listen

As we inch closer and closer to the time when Jesus will call us home, it is not only our anticipation which grows, but also the urgency we feel in warning others of the wrath to fall upon this earth in the form of the Tribulation Period.  There are many wonderful remnant ministries throughout the world who are labouring fervently, expending time, money and effort to comfort the saints and warn the sinners.  But are the unsaved listening?

 

Mention Isaiah 6 to serious Bible students and you will receive a knowing nod.  It is the familiar scene when Isaiah appears before the throne of God.  Although Isaiah was overtaken by the majesty of God’s holiness, he wasn’t afforded much encouragement about the task he was about to take on.  Verse 9 says:  And He said, “Go, and tell this people:  ‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.”  


The hope in our ministry is that we will be an instrument God can use in order to open the eyes of the spiritually blind and bring hearing to those who are spiritually deaf.  Yet God tells Isaiah that his ministry will make some people’s eyes more blind, their ears more deaf and their heart more callused.  Hardly a good advertisement for a ministry position, is it?  Warren Wiersbe said: “God does not deliberately make sinners blind, deaf, and hard-hearted; but the more that people resist God’s truth, the less able they are to receive God’s truth. But the servant is to proclaim the Word no matter how people respond, for the test of ministry is not outward success but faithfulness to the Lord.”  So, let’s examine some reasons as to why the average unsaved person is not heeding the warning.


One of the major reasons the unsaved are not listening is because they do not believe they are inherently bad and worthy of eternal punishment.  But herein lies the problem.  It all comes down to the fact that most people mistakenly think they are “good people”.  What that term really means, nobody can sufficiently explain.  It is, for the most part, highly subjective.  We have courts, we have politicians and police and gossip magazines and even ordinary people who say it is their right to tell you who is good and bad, but ultimately God is the Judge.  The point is, many people consider themselves good, but they are measuring themselves against others who are worse.  The true indicator is to measure yourself against those who are better.  And we know there is none better than the God-Man, Jesus Christ.  And when we measure ourselves against Him, there is none good – not even one.


Another reason the unsaved are not listening is due to the fact that they want moral independence from God.  They refuse to bend the knee to God and accept His authority over their lives.  At the heart of this belief is pride.  Psalm 10:4 says:  The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.  Anyone who is active in our community can see that this age seems to be the age in which people boast about their sins.  On the internet, in the news, even on the footpath people are openly parading their sins in front of others and boasting of them – all in the name of pride and moral independence. 


But herein lies a warning.  Proverbs 16:5 says:  Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; though they join forces, none will go unpunished.  In this age, the proud, the wicked and the arrogant have joined forces against the Most High God.  They thumb their nose at God and arrogantly proclaim that He either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care about the wicked fruit they produce throughout the Earth.  But don’t make the mistake of believing that pride exists only in the world – sadly it is rife in the church also, despite how harmful it is to our Christian walk.  A Scottish preacher by the name of James Denney once said, No man can bear witness to Christ and to himself at the same time.  No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is mighty to save.  True and wise words indeed.  So true that they should be plastered across the door of every counterfeit church that seeks to glorify its own preachers and musicians and confuse the people as to who exactly they are worshipping when they walk through their doors. 


The final reason that the unsaved aren’t listening is because they don’t believe God is watching.  Psalm 10:8-11 says: He sits in the lurking places of the villages; in the secret places he murders the innocent; his eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless.  He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; he lies in wait to catch the poor; he catches the poor when he draws him into his net.  So he crouches, he lies low, that the helpless may fall by his strength.  He has said in his heart, “God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see.”  Yes, it is a sad fact of this age that the wicked do not believe God records their sin and will judge them for it. 


Mark Twain once said:  Some people are troubled by the things in the Bible they can’t understand.  The things that trouble me are the things I can understand.  And dear reader, what is very plain from the Bible is that there are two choices.  You can accept Christ as your Saviour or you can reject Christ as your Saviour.  God has given everybody free will and you are well within your rights to freely choose either path.  As C S Lewis famously said, “There are two kinds of people in the end.  Those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says, ‘thy will be done’”.   

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