God’s deadline beckons – Part 1
God wants everyone, who lives and labours, as if life will continue forever on earth, to know that the end will surely come. While some end their lives on earth triumphantly, others end up tragically. Saul, the first king of Israel, ended in a miserable way. He knew that death was imminent, but did nothing to prepare himself for a glorious eternity. He continued to wage war against his physical enemies (when he should have stopped and wage war against sin, self and Satan), until he crossed God’s deadline.
Having lost the kingdom, he could have prevented the loss of his soul. Contrary to divine expectation, he held to the crown at the expense of his soul. It is dangerous and damning to cleave to job, prestige, royalty, promotion and other earthly possessions at all cost without thinking about eternity. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Professing believers or backsliders, who receive clear warnings from the Lord and his ministers about impending judgment, but who still carry on with their lives; position and activities in the church without repentance will end up like Saul. Since the work of God can still progress without anyone of us, wisdom demands that we pause and reflect on the eternal destiny of our souls. If Saul had humbled himself before the Lord like Ahab, he would have been restored spiritually (1 Kings 21:20-29). His continual negligence and rejection of God’s counsel, correction, instruction and warning resulted in his eventual doom. Saul’s tragic end is a lesson to contemporary believers on the need to avoid similar fate. “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” To escape God’s judgment, genuine salvation, transformation and restoration are required.
Backsliders or careless believers, who fail to take correction or abide by God’s word, will eventually become impenitent, hardened souls. We need to stop whatever service we render to God, when there is compromise or sin in our lives and the Holy Spirit brings conviction in our hearts. Labouring for the Lord without assurance of salvation is foolishness and a waste of time. Thus, we must take care of our souls and destiny, and watch against hardening our hearts to the influence of God’s word.
He sent His prophets, seers, servants and preachers to the children of Israel, but “they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God.” Lack of proper response to God’s word on repentance, salvation, restitution, holiness or purity of heart and other doctrines of the Bible constitutes hardness of heart. Bishops, evangelists, pastors, preachers and believers should know that restoration and righteousness are paramount in God’s sight, not activities or administration.
Further Reading (King James Version): 1 Samuel 31:3,6a; Mark 8:36,37; 1 Chronicles 10:13,14; Hebrews 9:27; Proverbs 29:1; Proverbs 29:1a; 1 Samuel 6:6; 2 Kings 17:13-15; Jeremiah 7:23-26; Proverbs 29:1b; 6:14,15; 24:22; Ecclesiastes 9:12; Psalm 78:30,31; Zechariah 7:11-13; 1 Thessalonians 5:3; Proverbs 1:22-33; Proverbs 29:1c; 6:15; 2 Chronicles 36:15,16; Proverbs 15:10; Daniel 5:20-28,30; Isaiah 48:2-4,18.