By John Henderson
Proverbs 1:22-31 – “How long will you simpletons love naiveté? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge? If only you will respond to my rebuke, then I will pour out my thoughts to you and I will make my words known to you. However, because I called but you refused to listen, because I stretched out my hand but no one paid attention, because you neglected all my advice, and did not comply with my rebuke, so I myself will laugh when disaster strikes you, I will mock when what you dread comes, when what you dread comes like a whirlwind, and disaster strikes you like a devastating storm, when distressing trouble comes on you. Then they will call to me, but I will not answer; they will diligently seek me, but they will not find me. Because they hated moral knowledge, and did not choose to fear the Lord, they did not comply with my advice, they spurned all my rebuke. Therefore they will eat from the fruit of their way, and they will be stuffed full of their own counsel. For the waywardness of the simpletons will kill them, and the careless ease of fools will destroy them. But the one who listens to me will live in security, and will be at ease from the dread of harm.” (NET Bible)
Where to begin! Where to begin! These eleven verses summarize the conditions of our religious and secular culture in ways that I find disturbing because of their clarity and precision. The frustrations of trying to get just regular people to stop and listen then turn seriously to the Lord in prayer and supplication feels like one is standing in a dense forest shouting to the trees that a massive fire is approaching with gale force. They will just stand there and be consumed in the fire.
The world is plunging deeper and deeper into its sin and lostness mainly because the church is largely lulled into apathy by the same delusions that grip the lost souls. When the modern emergent movement stepped up and declared that the church was no longer viable in reaching beyond its borders, it was right in one sense but they offered wrong and fatal solutions. We bought into postmodern thinking and became victims ourselves rather than emissaries of God’s truth. We believed our methods were not working when we weren’t even using them in the first place. We had already laid aside the gospel tools that always won souls for the more flimsy but shinier ideas of carnal advancements; and what would still work, if only they were used, was left to rust.
We forgot that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and went after the allurements of the world’s wisdom, somehow thinking God needed something different than the “old fashioned” gospel message. We became simpletons and fools in our own “wisdom” and thought that somehow God would come over to our way of thinking. The Bible became irrelevant, even unneeded [it had a lot of “errors in it, you know, because Professor I-know-best said so and who were we to question such prestige and knowledge]. Our message shifted from “thus saith the Lord” to “thus saith the sages of New Age Postmodernism.”
We can easily find just about anything going on in church buildings and environments except intercessory praying and learning the Word of God. No longer can we really say with the Psalmist, “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee.” We ask for prayers for our lost loved ones but we are nearer to joining them in Hell soon enough than they are of becoming born again. How many of our lost loved ones, if they were honest and frank, would tell us that they are convicted of their sins from watching how we live?
You can turn on just about any news program and see astounding foolishness that challenges sanity itself. The examples are abundant. You may sit there half-asleep and with your brain in neutral and hear such outlandish pronouncements from government and religious “leaders”, supplemented by equally bizarre statements of commentators, that you shake your head to throw off the bombardment of “stuff” that makes no sense at all. I often remark aloud that the inmates have the keys to the insane asylums and the sane are locked behind the bars.
In the United States and the entire world, we have picked up speed towards divine judgment, if for only two reasons (but actually more): wanton abortion and the embracing of homosexuality in every way possible. God will not be mocked by this travesty much longer. Sodom and Gomorra will look like a wiener cook-out by comparison when sudden destruction hits. Pompous officials and arrogant clergy may smirk, strut, and gloat for now, reveling in their self-indulgence, but it will end much sooner than they expect. Their kind learned that the hard way in times gone by and, today, they have learned nothing at all from history.
I have received messages many times from people who say they feel so isolated in the church that they just do not know where to turn. What they once knew and could always expect has suddenly been booted from their congregations and they have often been obliged to also go away. Once-vibrant churches where filled pews and balconies at least three times a week heard the clear message of life are struggling to just hold itself together. For them, there is more space than needed for the people now and the finances are draining away. Their messages are so watered down and compromised that a spiritual soul can hardly hear truth at all that lifts and encourages the heart in Christian service.
This is happening to entire denominations in some instances with no promise of rebounding if things remain as they are. That which once sent forth clear messages of life filled with Biblical truth now exudes empty substitutes of sham gospel messages. The Word has been replaced by any “ole” word. The authority of the Scriptures is set aside for the vain philosophies and useless opinions of godless men and women.
Where does the faithful child of God go from here? Our answer is only in the Scriptures. God has made promises that He will not break and no man can nullify. One of those promises is that He will never leave us or forsake us. He asks that we faint not but keep looking for His return. He is coming again just as surely as He has said He would. It is more certain than the rising and setting of the sun or the rising and falling of the tide. Jesus will come again right on schedule—God’s schedule.
Psalm 56:11 – “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.”
Psalm 118:6 – “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?”
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