The rest of the people, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands to stop worshiping demons and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which are not able to see, hear, or walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders, their sorceries, their sexual immorality, or their thefts.
The same sun that melts the ice, hardens the clay. (pg. 7)
The same Son that melts one heart, hardens another.
There is one, true Gospel. It either sets one free or strengthens one’s resolve in rejecting its Author.
This is Biblical fiber.
The very fibers of our faith.
But very difficult to digest.
It is likely that we assume that those in a state of disbelief need only to see God at work in their lives to accept His rule over them. However, Romans 1:18-32 makes clear that these same people already see and understand God’s work in and around their lives and reject Him nevertheless.
One of the more transparent depictions of this dilemma is observed in these verses in Revelation. These people are observing the active, visible wrath of God in tangible, documentable ways. Unlike the passive wrath of God being displayed in Romans 1 in allowing the hard heart to harden itself the more in rebellion, Revelation reveals an active, tangible wrath that is demonstrable in measurable weight.
However, even in this place of devastation, the reaction is not to repent before the God capable of producing that which their eyes are observing, but rather to curse Him and continue in waywardness and defiance.
It is not a disbelief in His capacity, it is a rejection of His authority.
The sinner's most tangible dilemma is not that they fail to follow God’s rules, but rather that they despise the Ruler.
It is not simply a rejection of jurisdiction, but a rejection of the Judge.
These people in Revelation were spared the first waves of God’s visible wrath. They were saved from it. But their response is NOT to repent and worship. It is to reject in hatred the God who spared them. They are not the first to react in this manner.
Sinners do not need to see God move to believe that He is there.
Sinners know He is there and hate Him for not leaving them alone.
It is by His grace that He intercedes in unstopping our ears to hear and unblinding our eyes to see this blessed state of having been spared: spared from that which we have seen destroy others. His grace is observed in granting us faith to respond in love and obedience.