Jump Start # 2180
1 Corinthians 10:12 “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.”
As I write this a massive hurricane is moving toward the Carolina coast. Warnings have been issued. People have been told to evacuate. The forecasters are predicting massive flooding and damage. I’ve never been near hurricanes. I have friends and family in both Florida and Texas, but here in Indiana that has never been a concern. We have tornados. Modern science can tell you when and where they will hit and within a few short minutes they are gone. Hurricanes are different. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in harms way.
Even though there has been warnings and this hurricane has been in the news for days, there will be some who ignore the warnings. They will stay in their homes when it is not safe. There will be some who try to go down to the beaches and will remain until the police have to threaten them with arrest before they leave. The warnings are posted, but many will ignore them. And, we see the same spiritually.
All throughout the Bible there are warnings.
Proverbs tells us not to associate with an angry person, lest we learn his ways. Not only is this ignored, but there are those who will marry an angry person and spend the majority of their life living with an angry person.
Matthew and Peter warns about being prepared for the return of Jesus. Jesus is coming. The world will end. What sort of people ought we to be, Peter asks. This will be ignored.
The Bible tells us not to look upon the wine when it sparkles in a cup. That’s ignored.
Paul warned Timothy about foolish controversies. That’s ignored.
Titus was warned about factious people who cause trouble.
Our verse today, the false security of thinking that I will never fall, is ignored. People dangerously flirt with those they are not married to. They play around with Satan thinking it’s cute and nothing bad will happen.
Throughout the Bible there are warnings that if we pay attention to them, will keep us safe, alive and spiritual. Life would be so much easier if people paid attention to the warnings. We would not find ourselves in so much trouble if we only listened to the warnings. I remember the tragic story of several people who were killed years ago in a tornado. The sirens were blowing, the tornado was spotted. But rather than seek shelter, several stood in a store front window watching the coming tornado. The window shattered and they were killed, mostly by the glass. It didn’t have to happen, but they ignored the warnings.
Power equipment has warning labels on them. There are all kinds of warnings lights and sounds in our cars. Even simple things like hair dyers have warning labels on them. Some seem ridiculous, but probably something happened in the past and to avoid lawsuits, the label tries to cover all bases. “Do not attempt to sharpen the chain saw while it is running.” Really? A warning label on a wheel barrel, “Not intended for highway use.” A warning label on a dishwasher, “Do not allow children to play in dishwasher.”
Here is the thing about warnings.
First, some do not want to be inconvenienced. It takes time to turn things off, to store things properly, to evacuate your home. And, for some, it’s just too much trouble. So, they look for shortcuts. They ignore the warnings.
Second, there is a false sense of arrogance that assumes that nothing bad will happen. I can do this, usually proceeds a mad dash to the hospital because you couldn’t do that. This arrogance thinks that they know better than the manufactures and when we talk about spiritual issues, we know more than the Bible. Others need to pay attention, but I don’t have to. It won’t happen to me. I know what I’m doing. I know my limits. Those are usually the words before a spiritual crash. You don’t know more than God and you don’t know the power of temptation.
Third, there is an assumption that I am different than you. You need the warnings, I don’t. The truth be, we are both just about the same. Solomon said that there is nothing new under the sun. The Corinthians were told that there is no temptation that is not common to man. We are all wired pretty much the same.
Fourth, there is the idea that the warnings are unnecessary because nothing is going to happen. I see this in my area. The storm clouds build up, weather men see rotation on the radar and a tornado warning is issued. Often, it’s issued for an entire county. We had a tornado hit a community just a few miles from my home. There was some damage there, but nothing where I live. When that happens enough times people do not get too excited about the warnings. And, we start thinking that way spiritually. Jesus is coming. There will be a final judgment. The world will end. And, some think, probably won’t happen.
Biblical warnings are different than product warnings. Biblical warnings are based upon God’s word and God’s promises and they are always true. There is no getting around them. Ignore them if you want, but they won’t go away. Act like nothing will happen, and yet, it will happen. This is why we find Biblical expressions such as be on the alert or beware or watch. God knows. God knows what will trip you. God knows what will keep you safe. Pay attention to His warnings and you’ll be fine. Ignore them and you’ll be caught in a storm.
Remember the wise man and the foolish man who built their houses? The foolish man never anticipated a storm. Remember the prodigal? He never anticipated a famine and being broke. Warnings ignored, eyes closed to consequences, disaster struck. This happens every time when warnings are ignored.
There has been enough talk about this hurricane that not a single person ought to be killed. But, sadly, some probably will be. This happens when warnings are ignored. Likewise, there are enough warnings in the Bible, that not a single person ought to be lost. But we know, many will. They will be because they ignored warnings.
Storms are developing…are you paying attention.