Listening, Accepting, Becoming

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“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.” -Psalm 1:1


There is a natural progression to becoming a scoffer of Jesus, a scorner of the Gospel. It will happen if you allow it. It begins with listening to those who scoff, proceeds to accepting what they say, and ends with becoming one yourself. This is what Psalm 1 teaches and is repeated many times over in Proverbs. These are good warnings against proceeding down such a path, but it appears many are choosing such a course today as scoffers of God proliferate.

This progression is promised, especially as a mark of the “last times,” which are essentially the times closest to the return of Jesus. But the warnings concerning the “last times” are written in books authored in the first century, such as Peter and Jude. There have been scoffers of Jesus ever since He appeared on the earth and made Himself known, and they have existed in every generation since. A scoffer such as Voltaire (1694-1778) declared the Bible would disappear in 100 years, and 100 years later the Geneva Bible Society was headquartered in his former Geneva home. (God’s humor! He told us He would laugh in Psalm 2.)

Yes, there are scoffers in every generation; however, their population seems to have reached their greatest number in the present day. A scoffer of God and His Son is one who not only denies His existence (“The fool says in his heart there is no God”), but tries vociferously to convince others of this as well. He rips at the very description of Jesus’ righteous character as set forth in the Bible, denigrating it in the evilest way he can concoct. He doesn’t merely renounce His existence and then simply ignore Him; he deprecates Him over and over ad infinitum, even using His name as an incessant swear word. Such behavior is very peculiar if this Jesus is merely a nonentity.

The scoffer brings incredulity upon his claims by not ever removing his teeth from the bone. He can’t give it up! Jesus is a continual thorn in his being. His scorn defines a continuous behavior. This in itself is further proof that Jesus really is who He says He is. Even in his scoffing, the scoffer proves Jesus to be genuine and himself to be what he actually is: a fool!

The very truth that we are told in the Bible of the existence and increase of scorners and scoffers attests to the Bible’s veracity. Yet unbelievers ignore the overwhelming evidence of the Bible’s genuine character and truthfulness. The blinders brought on by the depravity of sin render the eyes of the heart and mind completely and utterly sightless! Yet the Bible still declares, “Whosoever will may come!”

It is a conundrum to our eyes in seeing the total depravity of sin and the utter blindness it creates with the “whosoever will” of Revelation 22:17. The will has to be made willing by the Spirit of God, yet to those who become eager to come to Jesus, “may come” holds true. Even the most scornful scoffer can open his heart to see that Jesus is who He says He is: the only way to God, the only path of salvation. It is no stumbling block of exclusivity, it is simply that the fact is Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life; it is futile to look elsewhere when there is no other means to salvation in any other quarter.

The scoffer need not remain a scoffer.


“If I ask Him to receive me, will He say me nay? ‘Not till earth and not till heaven pass away.’”

(6th verse of John Mason Neale’s hymn, “Are You Weary, Are You Languid,” 1862)

 

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Stephen Leonard

Paul Anderson Youth Home