Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”
~Revelation 16:1, CSB
The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion–our prideful self-will.
I’m not much on explaining the Revelation of Jesus Christ but somethings are rather obvious. When the angels began pouring out the bowls of wrath, the fourth bowl is scorching heat but the people on earth don’t repent. Instead of repenting and turning to God, they blaspheme and refuse to give Him glory. Many of the plagues in these bowls are similar to the plagues God used in Egypt: the fifth bowl is darkness, horrible terrifying darkness but again the people harden their hearts and refuse to repent and again, they blaspheme God. The seventh bowl was catastrophic disasters with earthquakes and hail stones that weighed one hundred pounds but the people refuse to repent. They pray for death and for the rocks to fall on them but they will not repent and turn to Christ.
I know we are all born with a self-centered tendency rooted deep in our flesh. It is natural to be selfish and to demand our way but there should come a time in our life when we realize that our ways are self-destructive and the only means of salvation is repentance toward God and faith in the LORD Jesus. June and I were talking on the way back from Pensacola; we have people in our lives who we love and care about but we cannot reach them. They are not horrible people but their are hell bent on doing things their way and they refuse to acknowledge God’s authority over their lives. You just want to grab them and shake them and say, “You are not going to win this battle. God is going to have His way. He is going to get glory and He will avenge the death of His Son so why not repent and save yourself from His coming wrath?” Why would any person in their right mind spurn God’s grace by setting their puny will against His: it is insane. If some higher power gave me a choice between living and getting in the ring with Evander Holyfield; how long do you think I would deliberate before making a decision. I can tell you in a heartbeat: I’m not going up against Holyfield. You could promise me a few seconds of glory on national TV before he turns out my lights but I’m not buying it. He can have the glory, I want to live.
Let me give you another illustration. On the way back from Israel in 1990, June pulled this little checker board set out of her purse and wanted me to play. I hate checkers and I should have known better: she beat me like a red-headed-step-child. After seven straight loses, I sat my foot down: “I’m not playing anymore checkers.” Some poor fool sitting across the isle heard me. The dumb red-neck had a mullet and one of those bill-folds with a chain on it and a Rhine-stone studded vest–not kidding, he was a sight for poor eyes. He said, “Could I play?” I jumped up, gave him my seat and said, “Be my guess.” She beat the dumb idiot some 20 times before she finally got tired and told him she didn’t want to play another game. How many games do you have to lose to know that you are a loser? You are not going to beat the woman in checkers. Judge Roy Moore stayed at our house all evening trying to beat her in checkers. Kenneth couldn’t even beat her and if he couldn’t, no one can. [I do think they played to a draw once] I’m no Einstein but how much intelligence does it take to give up when you can’t win? These folks, and not all of them are red, who think they are going to win this chess match with God are FOOLS.
- Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home. I am glad to be back on my own computer and to get in my own bed. Last week was Block Party week and it is always busy; this week is going to be just as busy. One of my old class mates from Johnson Jr. High passed away last Saturday and we will be doing his service Wednesday. Joe David and I will be doing John’s daughter’s service on Friday. There were four deaths in our circle of influence last week and three of the four were tragic. The service we attended Monday was for Billy Boyd Cox, 39 years old, three children and a beautiful wife. He had a heart attack while his wife and children were here in North Alabama visiting their grand parents. There is a lot of sadness in each of these situations. Pray for Joe David and myself and pray for John and Cyndi.
- I thought the BLOCK PARTY went great and we had twice as many and maybe more than last year. It was a sight for sore eyes. I did less than I’ve ever done and enjoyed it more. I love seeing our folks work together is such a jubilant and harmonious fashion.