When Is Enough, Enough? (2017)
“A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.” Proverbs 29:1
“Yet Pharaoh’s heart was hardened, and he did not listen to them, as the Lord had said.” Exodus 7:13
“But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,” Romans 2:5
As a minister of God when, (at the appointed time, Eccl. 3:1) He placed a calling on my heart to be a pastor these three verses became some of the toughest Bible passages for me to deal with. God made it very clear that it wasn’t easy for Him either expressing His desire that none would perish; “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. It is clearly not His desire for any to fall into the lake of fire. Yet many will fall and few will be spared. We are called to proclaim the Gospel, spread the good news in what we say and do, Matt. 28:19-20. As pastor’s we have an even hire calling as to shepherd our flock by equipping them with the word of God, Ephs. 4:11-12 and building them up.
So here is the difficult part for our calling as leaders. When we are attempting to disciple, mentor, and walk along side a man feeding him the word of God knowing full well he has at least heard the truth. Only to see no evidence that he has received it and may even have rejected it. What are we to do? There is only one answer to that. Do what Jesus would do according to His word when Matt. 18:15 fails. We pursue, we pray, we confront, until its time to depart. In other words, keep at it until we have exhausted every effort as the Holy Spirit directs and then; “A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.” It isn’t our job to change or convince any body of anything nor do we have the power to do that. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus walked away from those who knew the truth and rejected it!
Jesus speaks to us about stiff-necked people and the hardening of ones heart for a reason. It is the free will of every man to choose between good and evil. There are men that I have discipled through Gods word that have invited Jesus in who then transformed their hearts of stone into hearts of flesh allowing God to mold and shape their lives just as He does for all of us who believe. Then there are men that have heard the same truths but have rejected those truths maintaining their same lifestyle. Some blatantly rejected Gods word, and some posing as they have accepted it, but in secret are thinking and acting like the natural man; “but a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” 1 Cor. 2:14
Gods word tells us plainly that they; “Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.” He says beyond remedy, no cure, no hope. Men it doesn’t get any worse than that. If we ever get to that point we have only one destination, “The lake of fire!” Should these passages give us great alarm? Yes! But I would prefer the word urgency. These passages should put the importance of our calling and create in us a desire, an urgency to do what we are called to do, “Proclaim the Gospel!” Opportunity Knocking!
Another point that is clear to me is that if a person continually rejects the truth, there is a time to walk away and leave him / her for God to deal with. Then invest your time with another who is willing to hear the truth and apply it in his / her life, beginning and being that work in progress as we all are. Very tough call, but who are we to argue with the word of God? If God says its so I’m good with that. “So it is written, so it is done!”
Seek the Adventure, Strength and Honor, Papa Joe!