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What Awaits Those Who Refuse the Voice of the Lord?

By Archdeacon Habib Guirgus

The Lord calls; "Everyone who thirsts, to come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat. Yes, come; buy wine and milk without money... Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance... Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near" (Isaiah 55:1, 2, 6).


"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold; now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2).

"Today, if you will hear His voice: do not harden your hearts" (Psalm 95:7, 8).

That is what the Lord and His apostles call for, so the inhabitants of the earth hear His voice.  Some of these people have ears but do not hear, and have hearts but do not understand.  They have covered their eyes and ears with a curtain so they may not hear or be guided: misery is awaiting them.  They will lament and wail when their time comes were they will cry and scream and no one will hear them, they will appeal but there will be no mercy, for they have rejected the Lord and did not obey Him, so He also will reject them and refuse them.

"Wisdom calls aloud outside; she raises her voice in the open squares. She cries out in the chief concourses, at the openings of the gates in the city she speaks her words: How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. Turn at my reproof; surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you" (Proverbs 1:20-23). By this, Jesus preaches them with His compassionate voice, and calls on them at all times.

What does He call on them for? For comfort and happiness, tranquility and peace: but they deafen their ears and get distracted by eating the pods (cf. Luke 15:16) of the world, imagining that they are pleased.  While in their fantasy, they hear a frightening voice of justice, saying; "Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out My hands and no one regarded, because you disdained all My counsel, and would have none of My reproof, I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, When your terror comes like a storm, and your destruction comes like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on Me, but I will not answer; they will seek Me diligently, but they will not find Me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord, they would have none of My counsel and despised all My reproof, therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies. For the turning away of the simple will slay them; but whoever listens to Me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil" (Proverbs 1:24-33).

Jeremiah the prophet also said; "To whom shall I speak and give warning that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it...were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not ashamed; nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down, says the Lord" (Jeremiah 6:10-15).

The Lord is blameless from these and says; "I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, 'Here I am, here I am,' to a nation that was not called by My name. I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is no good, according to their own thoughts; a people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face; who sacrifice in gardens, and burn incense on altars of brick; who sit among the graves, and spend the night in tombs; who eat swine's flesh, and the broth of abominable things is in their vessels; who say, 'Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am holier than you!' These are the smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all the day.

Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will repay-even repay into their bosom...But you are those who forsake the Lord... therefore I will number you for the sword, and you shall all bow down to the slaughter; because when I called, you did not answer; when I spoke, you did not hear, but did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight. Therefore thus says the Lord God: behold, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed; behold, My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and wail for grief of spirit" (Isaiah 65:1-14).

"Just as they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delights in their abominations, so will I choose their delusions, and bring their fears on them; because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not hear" (Isaiah 66:3,4).

"Those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons-because they rebelled against the words of God, and despised the counsel of the Most High, therefore He brought down their heart with labor; they fell down, and there was none to help" (Psalm 107: 10-12).

"For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he may gain much, if God takes away his life? Will God hear his cry when trouble comes upon him?" (Job 27:8, 9).

Woe to the one who does not listen, and obstruct the path of grace. Miserable and wretched is the one who opposes the truth, and shuts the door of his heart to prevent the light from entering, he will remain in darkness forever, and will be destined for the wrath of God.  He will feel the tribulation and hardship in himself, and will be like the tumultuous sea, which never calms and will not know peace.


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