Friday, April 8, 2011

Reasons People Refuse Salvation

Why People Don't Get Saved?
By Kevin Probst

There is an urban legend that has been floating about since the 1990’s. A group of scientists were drilling through the earth in Siberia. They drilled nine miles deep and dropped a microphone deep into the hole to listen for plate movements or vibrations in the earth. What they heard instead was the horror of people screaming in a fiery hell. When I found this on Youtube and listened to hell for the first time I asked myself… “If the microphone was close enough to hear the screams of hell why were the wires not melted?” It actually sounded more like the mall during Black Friday. (See Sounds of Hell at web address below.)
This is surely an urban legend and it likely has no truth in it. But here is real truth. There is a horrible, unspeakable, indescribable utterance that comes from the deepest pit of hell and I think if God would let people hear it their perceptions of God and hell might change. That horrible wailing belongs to Agrippa and he cries out… “Paul, you almost persuaded me to be a Christian. Almost! Almost! Almost!” That scream is repeated millions of times by millions of souls and it is the worm that never dies in the deepest realms of a real hell.
Why didn’t King Agrippa get saved when he had the chance?
1. Arrogance and Pride. I think Agrippa was condescending toward Paul. “Paul, do you not know who you talk to? I’m a king. I’m very powerful and extremely intelligent and sophisticated. Do you think that you can persuade me to be a Christian in such a short moment?”
Agrippa weighed the cost of becoming a Christian. “What will the people back in Rome think if I become a follower of this lowly Jesus? I would have to give up my sinful lifestyle. I would have to bow to another king and kings don’t bow.”
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
Pride was the first sin to disrupt the calm of God’s creation. It was pride that caused Adam and Eve to be expelled from the paradise of Eden. Pride lifts the heart of man and attempts to degrade God.
It was pride that caused Lucifer, the beautiful angel of light, to be expelled from heaven. “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount…I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” (Isa. 14:12-14)
People fail to become Christians because they are proud. Many are too proud to confess sin. Too proud to humble themselves and kneel before God. Perdition is populated by people who were pompously proud of their perversions.
2. Love of Sin. Agrippa contemplated becoming a Christian but he was unwilling to give up his sinful lifestyle. Agrippa was a pervert. He was having an incestuous relationship with his sister. Were he alive today he would likely be addicted to the perversions of sexual sin so prevalent on the internet. Unlike Agrippa, Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. (Hebrews 11:24)
Sin certainly brings pleasure. But only a fool would exchange a short season of pleasure for an eternity of torment.
If we could drop a microphone into hell we would hear Agrippa saying, “Why, why did I play the fool? I traded those few, fleeting moments of pleasure in exchange for an eternity of suffering. I have played the fool. I have played the fool.” Those who make no preparation for eternity play the fool.
3. Deception. “Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4) Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘In never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
Many believe if they keep the law they are saved. The law doesn’t save us, the law condemns us. It is the spotlight that shines on our dark, sinful souls.
Many believe they will get to heaven because their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. Hell is full of good people. The idea that God is ‘okay’ with just a little sin is a great deception. God is holy. God is sinless. God hates one thing…God hates sin. Heaven will be a sinless place inhabited by a sinless God who will be worshipped by a sinless people. Don’t be deceived, God doesn’t smile or wink at any small amount of sin.
Many believe they are going to heaven because they grew up in a Christian home. They look at Christianity as something that can be inherited. Still others think they are going to heaven because they attend church on Sunday morning. Can you imagine one day standing before a holy and just God and trying to argue that one hour on Sunday morning must surely make you worthy of an eternity in heaven?
Agrippa, like most other people who fail to become followers of Christ, missed his opportunity because he was proud, he loved his sin and he was deceived.
Jesus was clear in his teaching. He is the only way to heaven. His words to Nicodemus were meant for all mankind, “You must be born again.” If we confess our sins with a sincere heart and turn from our wicked ways his justice guarantees salvation for us.

1. Sounds of Hell
Kevin Probst - Is a teacher of Apologetics and History at Calvary Christian School and Associate Pastor of Crosspointe Nazarene Church church in Columbus, Georgia.

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