A few days ago a co-worker remarked during a conversation on the economic downturn that â€œItâ€™s a sign of the end, the end of days.â€ Well, maybe so and maybe not. The end is certainly nearer today that it was yesterday. But, maybe in his case itâ€™s just a sign of bad exegesis.
Start with Cain. He murdered his brother. He was envious and contrary and wasn’t going to follow the plain instructions. It was all about him. I’m sure Adam and Eve had trouble getting him to do some of the simplest things.
How about Jacob’s twin Esau? Was there a more course person mentioned in the OT? He just knew he was starving to death and in a split second sold his birthright and his father’s blessing for a bowl of soup. He didn’t care to listen to his family and the Word of God and he stayed that way right up to the end, even though his father was the son of Abraham, Israel, and father of that nation. Esau would have nothing to do with it. Would you want to have him or somebody like him as a neighbor? How do you suppose that would go?
What of Ahab and Jezebel? Are they your kind of folks? Either one would have killed Elijah if they could have caught him. How do you suppose they might get along with you or me? Ahab killed the fellow next door simply because he wanted his property. He offered to buy it and Naboth said no. Once he talked it over with his wife, he concluded murder befit the occasion. After all he was the king. How do you suppose he would get along with everybody else, especially if we had something he wanted? The word fear comes to mind.
Let’s go visit Herod in the NT. He murdered his wife, both sons, and pretty much anyone else that posed a threat or was even perceived to. He killed infants in the hope that one of them might be the Messiah. Do you think you could get along with him for long; and would you want to introduce him to your family and friends?
How about Judas? He was a thief from the start; so said John. We might have to watch him if he was in the building. He betrayed God and never repented. He’ll be waiting.
Let’s move into history with some other well-known names. Do you know anything about Mau Zedong? Would you want to meet him down at the restaurant and pass some time? Would you exchange pleasantries?
How about Joseph Stalin? Stalin is the Russian word for steel; it was an assumed name. “Joe Steel” sent countless millions of his countrymen to the Gulags or simply had them silenced forever by tossing them into shallow graves, alive or dead. What about Adolf Hitler? There have been few who have reached his level of evil. Remember Pol Pot? He and his cadre also sent millions to their deaths in what was called “the killing fields,” many simply because they were educated. They’ll all be there.
How about the Green River killer; remember him? Want to meet the Boston Strangler or Ted Bundy for lunch? Let’s not leave off those not so well known. Countless men and women throughout the ages have murdered families or friends and strangers simply because they let evil overtake them. It would be wrong not to list millions of rapists, thieves, and scoundrels of every stripe and color, those who we may have read of and those that remain unknown or forgotten in time. The list goes on and on.
If you fail to listen to God’s Word, ignore his will, and do not listen to him and honor his Son as the Savior – then you will have the displeasure of spending eternity with all of these and with every other sort of evil that you might be able to imagine, recall or look up in an encyclopedia or online – from the least to the most infamous.
How does that sound? We’ll have plenty of company, but sad to say, none of those folks will ever go home – because they’ll already be there. They’ll hang around forever alongside you and me and all the rest who have ignored or turned away, or have fallen away from the truth.
Just imagine. Spending eternity with all the evil the world has ever produced. The party will never stop.
“…and there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”