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Stubborn Facts About Stubbornness

  • There is no excuse for unbelief. “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard” (Psa. 19:1). Paul said, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).

  • There is no excuse for sinful living. The Gentiles in Romans 1 turned away from the Creator and His law and decided to create their own gods and their own rules. When they turned against the Creator, they rebelled against His creation. That is why homosexuality is always wrong. It is “against nature” (Rom. 1:26-27). Gentiles didn’t have the prophets and the Scriptures like the Jews did, but they had natural revelation from God. They could have avoided sins like idolatry and homosexuality because nature showed these things to be wrong (Rom. 2:14-15).

  • Not even the miracles in the Bible could turn all stubborn people from their sins. Many Jews saw the miracles of Jesus and refused to believe. “But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him” (John 12:37). The rich man in hades in Luke 16 had an idea to save his brothers on earth. He thought if Lazarus rose from the dead and warned them that they would turn to God. But he was wrong. “Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead’" (Luke 16:29-31).

  • The Word of God is powerful, but people have the power to accept or reject it. The power of the gospel is amazing. It is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). On the other hand, we are baffled by the ability of people to resist its power. No matter how plain or strong the message is, if they don’t want to accept it, then that is their choice. God said this about Israel: “I have written for him the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing” (Hos. 8:12). Should we be shocked when this happens today?

  • Pain does not always soften a hard heart. Pharaoh was stubborn to the end. So were many of the Israelites in the days of the prophet Amos. God said, “Also I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities and lack of bread in all your places; Yet you have not returned to Me” (Amos 4:6). The prodigal son humbled himself when he was hungry enough to eat hog food, but some just dig in their heels and rebel more.

  • Stubbornness will lead a man to do things he never imagined he would do. Who can forget one of the most stubborn men in the Bible—King Saul? He was rash and unjust, headstrong and self-willed. In I Samuel 15 the prophet confronted him because he disobeyed God. Incredibly, Saul argued, “But I have obeyed the voice of the Lord” (v. 20)! Pride really blinds us doesn’t it? Then Samuel said something that might shock some readers: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (v. 23). But the prophet was not exaggerating about how far this attitude will take a person. Saul continued to be a stubborn man. Eventually he visited a witch because God would no longer answer him. He died the next day (I Sam. 28; 31).

  • No wonder God warns, “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 3:7-8)!

Kerry

West End church of Christ bulletin for November 19, 2023

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