20.4 Revelation – I would if…

I would if…

There is a guy I work with who smokes.  He knows it is bad for him and horrible for his family, particularly his young son.  He knows it is expensive.  He talks about wanting to quit.  He’s switched to alternatives, but he keeps falling back on the addiction.

One day I was listening to him and made an offer.  I said I would give him $100 if he quit smoking for 6 weeks.  If he started smoking within that time period, he would have to give me $50 which I would donate to charity.  He declined.  I increased the offer to $200 vs. $50.  Again, no.  $300? No.  $500? At this point one of our co-workers offered to take up smoking to get in on the offer.  But the smoker still declined (although he asked us not to tell his wife).  $500 doesn’t come easy to me, it is a lot of money, but I thought it worthwhile if it would be what helped this co-worker, both for him and our company.

The fact is, while he got enjoyment out of complaining about smoking and wanting others to think of him as someone who wants to quit, he didn’t.  I’m sure there is some amount of money that would have gotten him to quit for 6 weeks, but I’m equally convinced that the next day he would have picked up the habit again.

The same is true for those who deny God.  Sure, there are some who will see the light (we were all once one of those people, right?).  But for others, there is simply nothing that will change their hard hearts.  When you look at the bowl judgments of Revelation, or the plagues on Egypt, you see the fact that there are those who continue to refuse to repent.  When you look at the price Jesus paid, as a free gift; yet they refuse to repent.  When you look at the promise of eternity in full communion with our creator; yet they refuse to repent.

Sometimes we get discouraged for friends and family that we pray will turn to God.  We sometimes take it personally that maybe we are insufficient in our explanation or in our words, maybe we aren’t trying hard enough.  But, when we see the response of some even when faced with the 7 bowls of judgment – well, it clearly isn’t us stumbling over words that is standing in the way.

 

My Answers:

9.
a.
1st: on land – festering sores on those with MoB.
plague of boils over Egypt

2nd: On sea, turned to blood, every living sea creature died
Plague of blood – Nile turned to blood, fish died, stunk

3rd: On rivers and springs – became blood – they shed blood, blood to drink
second trumpet – star called wormwood, 1/3 bitter, many died

4th: on sun, scorch people with fire, intense heat
judgement against sinners in deut (wasting plague, fever, blight, scorching heat), fire reserved for final judgmet

5th: on throne of the beast – darkness, gnawed tongues in agony pain sores
Darkness over Egypt at plagues before Exodus

6th: on river Euphrates – dried up, 3 impure frog spirits
Nile teeming with frogs in plagues before exodus

b.
These are all events classified as “acts of God”, they are far outside mans’ power – only the creator could manifest such wrath

10.
a.
They refuse to repent

b.
A failure to change = a failure to truly repent.  words and heart confess but my sinful actions continue – fasting helps reset

11.
A failure to change = a failure to truly repent.  words and heart confess but my sinful actions continue – fasting helps reset

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