There are some people who aren’t believers in Jesus Christ but for some reason they enjoy hearing about him and the gospel. I’ve never quite been able to figure this kind of thing out. When I was living without Christ I didn’t really want to hear about him did you? I think I knew deep down he would require a change in me.
In Mark 6 the story of how John the Baptist met his fate is told. John apparently didn’t pull any punches when he talked even if it was to the King. King Herod had taken his brother’s wife as his own, and John told him “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” Now Herodias, the now wife of Herod, wasn’t real fond of John and wanted him dead. In fact that is exactly what happened, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
King Herod was afraid of John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. And when he heard him, he was very perplexed; but he used to enjoy listening to him. So, Herod was perplexed by John, and John told Herod he was behaving badly and yet he still enjoyed listening to him. I’ve met a few people like that in my time but never could understand. It’s as if they enjoy hearing the truth but for some reason conviction either never comes or they ignore it. In my case I think I always knew that if I started going to church something would have to change; I couldn’t just go and keep living the same way. To me this is what being a hypocrite is all about–professing one thing and living another.
Eventually, like I said, Herod had a big birthday bash and the daughter of Herodias danced. She so intrigued Herod that he promised her anything she wanted even up to half his kingdom. She went out and said to Herodias “What shall I ask for?” Of course Herodias said, “The head of John the Baptist.” That’s exactly what happened, and Herod didn’t want to go back on his word so he had John beheaded.
There comes a time in life when you have to make a move. I have heard many times about how people have sat in church, feeling convicted by the Spirit, only to leave without doing business with God. Some have fought week after week until, in order to not feel it, they simply don’t return. In Herod’s case, all I can say is, without John the Baptist to tell him the truth he probably never felt the conviction again.
The story of the rich man and Lazarus has a similar point. In short the rich man goes to hell and Lazarus goes to heaven (Abraham’s bosom). The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to his house to warn his five brothers not to come where he’s at. Abraham responds saying, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them. But he said, ‘No father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent! But he said to him, if they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.”
I think the point Abraham’s making is they have heard the truth over and over again. If they don’t believe now it has become a willful disbelief and even the resurrection won’t convince them. When someone presents the truth of the Gospel I hope you will not just enjoy hearing it or neglect to believe but rather I pray you will receive Jesus Christ as your’ Lord even now while there is still time.
Written by Louie