An open Warning to All!
General speaking, people do not like warnings. People much prefer to do as they wish, without impunity, and without regard to a nagging conscience.
With that said, written and verbal warnings are among the most beneficial aspects of human society—to be sure. Whether the warnings relate to physical dangers, potential health issues, economic warning signs, or many others that could be mentioned, warnings are for the benefit of people and save many lives and many heartaches.
The Scriptures also issue warnings. Those warnings should be considered as important as the invitations. The apostle Paul considered warning people to be an intricate part of his ministry. He writes, “Him [Christ] we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28 ESV italics added). But it was not only the apostles who warned others, Jesus Christ himself issued numerous warnings that are recorded in the New Testament. One of those warnings is recorded in Luke 12:4-5.
I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:4-5 ESV emphasis added).
Biblical warnings are beneficial to those who will listen. Regardless of the number of people who take heed, the warnings are directed to everyone—the same as the invitation is directed at everyone regardless of who answers the invitation. If the Bible publishes warnings, what do those warnings entail?
For this particular discussion, there are four warnings we will discuss.
4 warnings to heed
Here are four warnings that we should all consider.
Warning #1. Be warned when people say there is no future accountability and judgment.
Some people chose to live their life as though they will never give an account. To hold to this view is to stand directly opposed to biblical declarations that everyone will give an account. Nevertheless, some people consider it their life’s anthem to live in such a manner as to never be concerned with the future and what happens after this life is expired.
Diana Krall sings a song titled “Devil May Care,” written by songwriters Bob Dorough and Terrell P. Kirk Jr. The song’s message is a strong expression of living life without concern for the past and the future. The lyrics of the song are as follows.
No cares for me I'm happy as I can be I learn to love and to live Devil may care No cares and woes Whatever comes later goes That's how I'll take and I'll give Devil may care When the day is through, I suffer no regrets I know that he who frets, loses the night For only a fool, thinks he can hold back the dawn He was wise to never tries to revise what's past and gone Live love today, love come tomorrow or May Don't even stop for a sigh, it doesn't help if you cry That's how I live and I'll die Devil may care
Collins Dictionary explains the phrase “devil-may-care” and says, “If you say that someone has a devil-may-care attitude, you mean that they seem relaxed and do not seem worried about the consequences of their actions.”
The message of the song portrays the following attitudes:
1. The belief that we should do whatever we please. 2. That belief that we should have no regrets for our actions. 3. The belief that we answer only to ourselves. 4. The belief that, in the end, we will have no regret, no remorse, and no consequences for how we lived our life.
Mathew Henry was more wise in his approach to living and gives us the following quote to warn us: “It is the business of everyday to prepare for our last day.” In the end, we will all give an account.
Warning #2. Be warned not to believe the suppressors of truth.
Unfortunately, we live in a world and society where many people work tirelessly to persuade others that God does not exist. Such people claim the earth, universe, and all things has no creator—that true religion is pernicious and among the most repressive pursuits of mankind—that all religion is pure folly and the imaginings of people who cannot face the unknown and the immanency of death. The Scriptures repeatedly warn people to beware of them.
I invite you to read further into this matter in the Suppressors of Truth section.
Warning #3. Be warned that eternal punishment is solitary.
Some people maintain that if there are eternal consequences to rejecting Jesus Christ, the consequences will be more bearable because others will be in the same boat. You may have heard someone say, “I won’t be the only person in hell!” This is a flaw in thinking that some people hold whether they verbalize it or not. But this perspective is terribly inaccurate. The number of persons present will have no impact on another person’s situation.
Analogy of the vise
Here is an analogy to dispel this view.
Imagine a large room with 100 people. Everyone there shares similarities and numerous commonalities. As they speak to one another they find their similarities to be endearing and their interaction is a pleasant experience. Now, let’s say that there is a table for each participant and each person is instructed to stand behind his or her table. On each table is a vise. Each person is then asked to place his hand in the vise and the vise slowly begins to tighten. The automatic tightening continues and a few comments are made by the participants—some jokes and a few concerns. At some point, the pain becomes sufficiently intense enough that each person’s attention is drawn away from the group and onto himself. In fact, as the pain increases each person will reach a point where he or she no longer has thoughts of other participants. At some point each person will abandon all concern for others because all of their attention will be focus on themselves—their personal pain. At a certain threshold of intense pain, each participant will become oblivious to the presence of anyone else. The belief that pain for eternal consequences for rejecting the invitation of God for forgiveness of sins will be mitigated because other people are in the same predicament is a terribly flawed perspective.
Warning #4. Be warned not to believe when you are older you will turn to God.
Many people believe they will turn their attention to God during their latter years. In fact, this view may be more prevalent than we realize. This view is also flawed. Let me tell you why I believe this.
About eight years ago I became involved in ministry in senior living communities. I provided church services through congregational singing and brief sermon delivery. The length of the services was dependent upon the abilities of the participants and ranged from 30 minutes to an hour. I have conducted these services in about a dozen communities and held hundreds of services.
I naturally believed, as I think is the general view of most, that as a person ages and death becomes more immanent, the thoughts and concern of the aged would turn to God and the condition of their standing before him. What I found, to my surprise, is this is not the case. What I found is that if an individual showed no or little interest in God in their earlier age, then there is a high probability that at an old age the same will be true. You would think that people in their twilight years would be compelled to get serious about their spiritual condition. Yet, that is not necessarily true. That is not to say that small numbers of older people do not respond to the gospel. What it does appear to indicate, is that if a person waits until old age to get right with God, the likelihood this will happen is significantly, even gravely reduced. Everyone should be warned not to wait until old age to get right with God.
Far better advise is found in Isaiah 55:6 which states, “Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.”
Further reading on warnings
For anyone interested, here is a link to additional reading on biblical warnings.Homepage