Friday, May 10, 2013

The Dangers of Disobedience

I'd like to talk to you about the dangers of disobedience.  Sometimes we need to be reminded of the very serious dangers of disobedience, in order to wake us up and get us to turn away from sin.  I'm not just talking about sins you consider serious.  Even the small sins are just as bad.  They are all serious.

So let's look at five examples in Scripture of those who disobeyed and what happened to them.

Naïve ones and Fools

Let's start with the naive ones and fools.

"How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing And fools hate knowledge? "Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. "Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently but they will not find me, Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD. "They would not accept my counsel, They spurned all my reproof. "So they shall eat of the fruit of their own way And be satiated with their own devices. "For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil." (Pro 1:22-33)

Their sin:
  • I called and you refused
  • I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention
  • You neglected all my counsel
  • You did not want my reproof
The consequences:
  • God says, "I will also laugh at your calamity."
  • "I will mock when your dread comes"
  • "They will call on me, but I will not answer"
  • "They will seek me diligently but they will not find me"
  • "They shall eat of the fruit of their own way"
  • "They shall be satiated with their own devices"
  • "The waywardness of the naive will kill them"
  • "The complacency of fools will destroy them"
The Israelites
Now let's look at the nation of Israel.

"Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me! "Let there be no strange god among you; Nor shall you worship any foreign god. "I, the LORD, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. "But My people did not listen to My voice, And Israel did not obey Me. "So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices. (Psa 81:8-12)

"Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him, but repudiated him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, SAYING TO AARON, 'MAKE FOR US GODS WHO WILL GO BEFORE US; FOR THIS MOSES WHO LED US OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT--WE DO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM.' "At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. "But God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, 'IT WAS NOT TO ME THAT YOU OFFERED VICTIMS AND SACRIFICES FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS, WAS IT, O HOUSE OF ISRAEL? 'YOU ALSO TOOK ALONG THE TABERNACLE OF MOLOCH AND THE STAR OF THE GOD ROMPHA, THE IMAGES WHICH YOU MADE TO WORSHIP. I ALSO WILL REMOVE YOU BEYOND BABYLON.'  (Act 7:39-43)

Their sin:
  • My people did not listen to My voice
  • Israel did not obey Me
  • Unwilling to be obedient to the Lord
  • Demanded that Aaron make idols for them
  • They made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol
  • They worshipped a foreign god
  • They were rejoicing in the works of their hands
  • They offered human victims and sacrifices for forty years
  • They took along the shrine of Molech and the star of the god of Rompha
The consequences:
  • The Lord said, "I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices."
  • The Hebrew word for "gave over" is "shalach," which means "to send away, for, or out, appoint, bring (on the way), cast (away, out), conduct, forsake, give (up), grow long, lay, leave, let depart (down, go, loose), push away, put (away, forth, in, out), reach forth, send (away, forth, out), set, shoot (forth, out), sow, spread, stretch forth (out)."
  • God turned away and delivered them up to serve the host of heaven
  • The Greek word for "delivered them up" is "paradidomi," meaning "to surrender, that is, yield up, intrust, transmit: - betray, bring forth, cast, commit, deliver (up), give (over, up), hazard, put in prison, recommend."
Atheists, Idolaters, and Immoral People
Next let's look at the atheists, idolaters and immoral people throughout the ages.

"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them." (Rom 1:20-32)

Their sin:
  • For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks,
  • They became futile in their speculations
  • They professed to be wise
  • They exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures
  • They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.
The consequences:
  • Their foolish heart was darkened.
  • They became fools
  • God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
  • God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
  • God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, evil, etc.
Adulterous Christian Man & Corinthian Church
Next let's look at the Corinthian Church and the immoral man in their midst.

"It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."  (1Co 5:1-5)

Their sin:
  • He had his father's wife (immorality)
  • The Church became arrogant and did not mourn over this sin
  • They did not remove this adulterer from their midst
The consequences:
  • Paul said, "I have decided to deliver (give over) such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
Hymenaeus and Alexander
Lastly, let's look at Hymenaeus and Alexander.

"This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme." (1Ti 1:18-20)

Their sin:
  • They did not fight the good fight against evil
  • They did not keep the faith
  • They rejected a good conscience 
  • They blasphemed
The consequences:
  • They suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith
  • Paul said, "Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme."
Putting it All Together
In each of these biblical examples, you can see the same pattern.  Each time people neglected God's counsel and rejected His reproof, they ate the fruit of their own ways, and became satiated with their own devices. They called on the Lord for help, but He would not answer. They sought Him diligently but they did not find Him. Their own waywardness killed them, and their own complacency destroyed them.

The Israelites did not listen to the Lord's voice.  They did not obey Him.  In fact, they were unwilling to be obedient to the Lord. They demanded that Aaron make idols for them. They worshiped a foreign god, and rejoiced in the works of their hands. They offered up human sacrifices to idols.   So God gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, to walk in their own devices. God turned away and delivered them up to serve the sun, moon, and stars.

All mankind has been given the opportunity to know God.  His fingerprints are all over everything in creation.  But even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks. They became futile in their speculations. They professed to be wise. They exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.  Their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts.

Whenever people do this, their foolish heart are darkened, and they become fools. God gives them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.  God gives them over to degrading passions; and they receive in their own persons the due penalty of their error.  God gives them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, evil, etc.

Do you see how the Lord gives people over to their own sin?  He gives them over to evil, since they prefer that over Him.  This is what Paul did with the immoral brother in the Corinthian Church, who had his father's wife.  Since the Church became arrogant and did not mourn over this sin, and did not remove this adulterer from their midst, Paul took action.  He administered discipline, by delivering the immoral man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Paul did the same thing with Hymenaeus and Alexander, who had professed faith in Christ at one time.  They did not fight the good fight against evil, and did not keep the faith.  Instead they rejected a good conscience, and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.  So Paul handed them over to Satan, so that they would be taught not to blaspheme. 

The pattern in the same throughout all of Scripture, both Old and New Testaments.  If you refuse to listen to the Lord's voice, look out!  He uses many means to speak, including the general revelation of Himself in His creation, as well as the specific revelation of His will in His Word -- the Holy Bible. He has revealed his love for you through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross for you.  He will use His people to speak to you, too.  He will speak to your conscience, and let you know that what you're doing is wrong.  It will bother you.

But if you refuse His voice when He speaks, and reject His counsel, He will eventually give you over to the thing you really want most.  He'll let you have it, and your mind will become darkened.  It's a type of judgment.  He'll let satan and the demons have their way with you, since you preferred their presence to the presence of the Lord. Your conscience will no longer work properly.  And you will end up shipwrecking your faith.  Eventually, if you do not turn from your sin, it will destroy you.  Those who die in this state end up in hell for eternity.

My friend, I don't want this to happen to you.  If that's what you've been doing, turn from your sin today!  The Lord does not want you to perish.  He loves you, and wants you to be with Him in heaven for eternity.  But if you continue on your way, then you forfeit that gift.  Turn back to Him today, before it's too late, and cry out with tears of repentance.  You will find Him, if you search for Him with all your heart.  He will forgive you, if you sincerely repent; and sincere repentance will be evidenced by the fruits of repentance.

I hope this lesson has helped you to understand the ways of the Lord better, and especially the dangers of disobedience.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. The "Your Move" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's Note: You may also want to see my other blogs, Sin and Consequence,  Is Obedience Optional?,Avoid Becoming a Corrupted ChristianDemonology 101, Demonology 201 and Demonology 301. I invite you to visit the Home page for this blog, and you can also find my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

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