Why do we not listen? Some say they’ve heard it before. Yeah, you heard it another time, but do you know where the oxygen mask is on THIS plane? Do you really know, if you are sitting on an exit row, how to open that door all by yourself, or are you just sitting there for the extra legroom? Are you sure you know how to strap on that mask and would you really be able to quickly do it while gasping for air? And how about that exit row? Have you “looked around for the nearest one” on THIS plane? I’m really not sure we all know this stuff just because we’ve heard it all before.
I’m thinking, as I’m sitting on this plane typing, that the real reason I didn’t listen so well is because I don’t think we’re crashing today. I don’t think it’s a happening thing. I did pray that we would have a safe flight. I want the Lord to be with me. But really, I have to admit I’m among the many who think the chances of safety are good. That’s why I didn’t listen. And really, thanks to modern technology and safety laws, they are.
But are we nonchalant about more certain catastrophic events? Why are our lives so messed up with sin, and yet we really don’t listen when the preacher tells us what to do about sin in view of impending judgment? Why is that man on pew three still getting drunk every Friday night when the Bible clearly says those who do such things can’t have eternal life (Galatians 5: 19-21)? Why is that teenager clinching the pew through every invitation song, when she knows there would be no hope for her unsaved soul if Jesus came today? Why is that young man whispering and laughing with his girlfriend all through the sermon that’s filled with the “emergency” readiness information about the catastrophic end of the world? Why do the couples who understand that they are living in adultery keep choosing to ignore the clear warnings of Scripture? In short, why are we not listening?
I think it’s likely the same reason. We just don’t really think it’s a happening thing. Sure, we’ve heard it all of our lives and, on some level, we believe it. I mean, we do believe in God and, at some point, probably before most of us can recall, we learned about what happens at the end. We learned that the final and eternal destination of our “flight” is determined by how well we listen to and heed the instructions in the good book. But some of us put that information out of our minds each time we hear it. It’s uncomfortable to think about the “safety information.” We’ve heard it before and to listen again is redundantly difficult. So we turn a deaf ear to the information that will be sorely needed in case of an emergency. Only this upcoming event—the end of time and the destruction of the earth—is not truly an emergency at all. It is a promised event; something that will factually occur just as described in scripture. It will be horrendous for so many. It will be astonishing to all…beyond anything we’ve ever imagined. But it will not be a surprise to those who have been in the Book. This cataclysmic event is not described as “in the unlikely event.” It’s not an off chance or a marginal possibility. It is a happening thing. It’s also more than just a possibility that we could be saved if we apply the “safety information.” It’s guaranteed. So why do we not listen?