The tragic story of a 2 year old child being killed by an alligator last week in Florida reminded me of a similar event that took place several years ago in the Sunshine State. It seems that an alligator living near a popular swimming area had been especially aggressive towards humans and signs were posted warning people to stay away. One woman ignored the signs and brought her children to the area to swim anyway. When authorities spotted her and her kids in the water, they removed them and had the woman arrested for child endangerment. The case received national attention and the woman was quite vocal about the “heavy handiness” of law enforcement. Her pride and arrogance wouldn’t allow her to recognize and admit her own stupidity.
That story reminds me that God has also “posted” warning signs regarding the dangers of sin. The Bible has 1,189 chapters and 23,145 verses and each and every one is a “thus sayeth the Lord” because, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16,17, NKJV). Every single word found in the Scriptures is truly God’s Word. The Bible gives us direction and guidance. It illuminates our way. In fact, the psalmist described Scripture as “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Contained within the covers of your Bible are countless admonitions to us about the dangers of sin and the consequences if we fail to heed the warnings. Yet, God won’t send the police to stop people from ignoring His warnings. If they choose to turn a blind eye towards the Lord’s teaching, then He will allow them to exercise their own free will straight to eternal damnation. That isn’t what God wants, but He won’t stop people from being disobedient to Him.
Often people have the same attitude towards Scripture that the mother in Florida had regarding the posted warning to avoid the swimming area. They will argue that they don’t want or need anyone telling them how to live their lives and they will do whatever they please. Solomon warned of such a foolish attitude in Proverbs 14:12 when he wrote, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” It is a terrible tragedy when the pride of men keep them from their Savior, but the truth is that all of us know people who ignore God’s warnings and refuse to submit their lives to the Lord. There is nothing sadder than watching someone perish who didn’t have to.
The Bible is God speaking to us and all men must ask themselves, “When God has spoken, then what?” Essentially there are 2 possible answers to that question. The first is supplied in James 1:22, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” In other words, when God has spoken we must not merely listen, but we must also obey the Lord’s commands. The other answer, of course, is disaster. By inspiration, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:9,10, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” To ignore what God has spoken is nothing more than foolishly deceiving ourselves into thinking that we are smart enough, strong enough and tough enough to handle life without obeying God. Such an attitude guarantees that we will not inherit eternal life for eternal hell will be full of people who ignored the warnings God has spoken to us in His Word.