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Biblical Warnings (Who are they for?)

by Al Meservy @ 1996

This is the question I asked God many years ago!

I was tormented by fear of being lost and every warning seemed meant for me. I am a perfectionist type personality; and consequently every warning loomed bigger than life to me. I read many books on assurance but I always found bad theology, or flagrant twisting of the obvious meaning of a passage.

Here is what God showed me as I asked for his help to understand this perplexing problem.

First lets put a little common sense in play here.

If you came to the edge of a cliff and looked down and saw several dead bodies, would you holler down to them to watch out? Obviously not! You donít waste breath on those who already fell off the cliff.

Now you see someone walking away from the edge. Would you warn them? Again obviously not! They arenít in any danger. You donít warn someone who is not in danger.

But now you see a blind man walking towards the cliff. Would you warn him? Again the answer is obvious. You warn the person who is about to fall off. Anything less is criminally negligent!

It is very important to understand that every verse in the Bible is not meant for every person. God was talking to humanity as a group, but different things were said to different groups. Note: like the 7 churches in revelations. God has to show you personally where you belong.

Problem verse

Heb 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

God showed me that these people will say something like, " Look I tried Jesus and it didnít work. Youíll never fool me again". It is impossible to change their minds again!

That is one scary verse to me.

A fool has a better chance of salvation than this person does.

Solution

Immediately following this warning is the answer. Verse 8 is whom the warning is for. It is for what I call thorny ground.

Heb 6: 7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God;

This good ground that is producing fruit obviously doesnít need a warning. God blesses it

Heb 6:8 but if it bears thorns and briars, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.

Here are the people being warned. Note that they are "near to being cursed". These folks are close to the edge of the cliff! The thorny ground is being warned! Who are they? As I studied Thorns in the Bible I came to the Parable of the Sower in Mark and I found my answer.

Parable of the sower

(Mark 4:3-8 NKJV) "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."

(Mark 4:9 NKJV) And He said to them, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

(Mark 4:10 NKJV) But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that 'Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.'"

(Mark 4:13 NKJV) And He said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?

Notice verse 13, a red flag should go up. This is a key parable. A key to understanding all the rest that Jesus taught and what the writer of Hebrews was referring too.

The explanation

(Mark 4:14 NKJV) "The sower sows the word.

Those with the gift of evangelism spread the word about salvation

Evangelist preaches

Hard Ground

(Mark 4:15 NKJV) "And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.

The wayside is the side of the path that is trodden down.

This is hard ground. The seed (word of God) just bounces off these people. It has no effect. Satan hardens them to the truth and steals the message away. These people never come to god at all!

Shallow Ground

(Mark 4:16 NKJV) "These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; "and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word's sake, immediately they stumble.

This is what I call shallow ground. It is dirt sitting on top of a rock, like dirt on a sidewalk. You get an immediate reaction and joyful acceptance of salvation. However these folks are very shallow. As soon as they find out their friends and way of life is threatened by their new belief, they give up and quit. Their old way of life is too important for them. These people never return.

Thorny Ground

(Mark 4:18 NKJV) "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

This is Thorny Ground. These folks stick around and form part of our church today. However they never bear fruit.

Getting rich and famous motivates these people. They want the goodies of this world NOW, more than a reward in heaven later. The result is no active faith except where it benefits them. They give to get!

Good Ground

(Mark 4:20 NKJV) "But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred."

(GAL 5:22, 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.)

This is good soil tilled and ready. When the seed is sown they accept it and live their lives accordingly. They always bear fruit and the end is assured from the start. All the promises of the Bible belong to this group.

1 Peter 1:3-4 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Summation

The hard and shallow ground folks are gone, and lost. They fell off the cliff and are not discussed much in the Bible because nothing can change it. Warnings are useless on these folks. They will not come to salvation until they are made fertile through burning, plowing etc first.

Pray and hope God plows them. (This hurts them but donít stop praying because their lives go downhill fast. It is part of the farming process.) These people need hard days to prepare them for seed planting!

Good ground is blessed and will never be lost because they depend on his promise. They are completely secure in His promise.

(Romans 4:16 NKJV) Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all

All the warnings are for the thorny ground who "want their cake and eat it too!" Unfortunately they are quite active in the world today! Even preachers tell folks God wants them rich in this world appealing to the thorns in our lives. They teach giving to get more, not giving out of love for others. Thorns grow everywhere in America today! Is it any wonder the church is weak and under constant attack?

(2 Tim 4:3-4 NKJV) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

Here is a simple test

If you were forced to choose between going to jail because you confess Jesus, and your life style, which would you really choose? Do you trust him enough to give up everything? Jesus used this in Luke 18 on a rich ruler.

(Luke 18:18-30 NKJV) Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. "You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother.'" And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth." So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, "How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! "For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." And those who heard it said, "Who then can be saved?" But He said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God." Then Peter said, "See, we have left all and followed You." So He said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, "who shall not receive many times more in this present time, and in the age to come eternal life."

Note: Jesus said the people willing to give it all up would receive more. Therefore it is not bad to have things. Itís only bad if you canít give them up. If you canít they have become Idols.

We need to become Fruit inspectors.

(Mat 7:15-20 NKJV) "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

(GAL 5:22, 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.)

I went to a Christian Bookstore and only found a few books on Fruit of the Spirit, but I found Hundreds of books on the gifts of the Spirit. Why are we so gift oriented and such lousy fruit inspectors?

(2 Chr 7:14 NKJV) "if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land

The responsibility to warn people is ours!

(Ezek 33:7-9 NKJV) "So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. "When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you shall surely die!' and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. "Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

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