By: Steve Shirley
**Note: When I first wrote this, I had a friend who was rebelling against God in spite of repeated warnings. I wrote this in an attempt to warn him and others who are rebelling to turn away before it goes too far. It gets a bit rough at times, but I believe there are some important things for us all to keep in mind.
The word "rebel," or a form of it, is used in the Bible 98 times.
What does rebellion mean?
Refusal to come under the authority of someone who is above you. In Biblical terms, it almost always refers to man rebelling against God.
God HATES rebellion, and says in (1 Sam 15:23) it is as the sin of witchcraft.
The Bible also says these things about rebellion:
(Isa 63:10) Rebellion grieves the Holy Spirit and causes Him your enemy and fight against you.
(Ps 107:10-11) If you rebel against the words of God, and spurn His counsel:
you may sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
(1 Sam 12:14-15) If you rebel against the commandment of the Lord:
the hand of the Lord will be against you.
(Isa 1:19-20) If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat of the good of the land: (20) But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword; For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
(Ps 68:6) The rebellious dwell in a dry land.
(Isa 30:1) Woe to the rebellious children, saith the Lord, That take counsel, but not of me;
(Neh 9:26) Those who commit rebellion will be delivered into the hands of your enemies.
In addition, many people rebelled in the Bible, and paid a great price for doing so.
(Num 20:12-14)(Num 27:14) Moses rebelled and was: not allowed to enter into the Promised Land. This also applied to Aaron (Num 20:12-14, 24).
David was not allowed to build God's Temple because he had spilled much blood (1 Chr 22:8)(1 Chr 28:3)(1 Kin 5:3).
Saul was removed from being king and the Holy Spirit withdrew from him (1 Sam 13-16).
Lucifer was cast out of Heaven (Isa 14:12-21)(Ezek 28:11-19).
Jonah was swallowed by a great fish (Jonah 1).
Shemaiah's descendants were removed (Jer 29:32).
The lives of (Acts 5:1-7) Ananias and Sapphira, and (Jer 28:16) Hananiah were taken.
Some who have taken communion (the Lord's Supper) have become weak, sick, or even died for taking it unworthily (1 Cor 11:29-32).
If you read about the Israelites, they also were punished time after time for their rebellion...
One of my favorite Bible teachers, David Jeremiah, once said something a long time ago that I have never forgotten. I do not remember the "exact" words, but it was something along the lines of "I could take my 35 years of building this ministry, and destroy it all in one act of rebellion." Those were powerful words to me, but so true...
We have seen this very thing happen over and over today. Well known pastors, and their ministries totally ruined and discredited because of rebellion (most seem to be sex related). Do you realize that you have a ministry as well, albeit maybe on a smaller scale, and your rebellion can destroy YOUR ministry too? Do you realize that if you are rebelling against God, you are putting a person or thing above God and making it an idol? You are practicing idolatry!
In addition, as we attempt to obey and follow God in all that we do, our ability to further God's kingdom and have an impact on this world increases. This is sometimes called our "anointing." Show me a person who is practicing sin unrepentantly, and rebelling against God, and I will show you a person who has little or no "anointing" or power from God to change lives. Is this important to you? Do you want a powerful anointing from God? PLEASE, turn before it is too late!
The Bible makes it quite clear that there does come a time when God will turn away from His people and leave them to follow the wrong course. Let's look at some of these verses.
(2 Chr 15:1-2)
(2 Chr 24:20)
In fact, the Bible tells US that there comes a time, when if a person remains in
unrepentant sin, we should (1 Cor 5:5) deliver such a one to Satan for the
destruction of the flesh that (his) spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
(Also see: 1 Tim 1:18-20).
What a scary, and horrible place to find yourself in. If you have truly given your life to Christ, the most miserable position you can find yourself in is letting sin that you refuse to confess and repent from, separate you from walking closely with God. This is EXACTLY what will happen though if you refuse to do so (Isa 59:2) (Ps 66:6)(Jn 9:31)(1 Pet 3:12)(Prov 15:29).
If you doubt how bad this can be, let's turn to Psalm 32, where David speaks about how miserable he was (for approximately 1 year) when he refused to confess his sin and repent of it.
You can hear the joy in his words, when he finally did confess and repent of these sins in Psalm 51.
As Christians, we will never have rest or peace as long as we refuse to turn from
The Holy Spirit lives in each Christian, and one of His jobs is to (Jn 16:8): convict us of sin.
Do you believe that God will forgive you anyway if you sin, so you should just go ahead and do it? Paul says in (Rom 6:2) "God forbid." God's grace is not: a license to sin. It shows our lack of love for the Lord. We obey God because we want to please Him, and to show our gratitude to Jesus for giving His life for us.
OK, so will God forgive someone if they rebel? Sure, He will, but we should keep a few things in mind.
First, what does the Bible say are the components of forgiveness? We confess our sins and REPENT. Repentance is the key. Repent means that you are heartbroken that you have sinned against what God wants, and you truly want to turn from it and forsake it, and go in a new direction. We are sorry for what we have done, and wish we had never sinned in this way against God. Are they TRULY repentant? Are they sorry for what they have done? Do they wish it hadn't happened? If they aren't, are they REALLY sorry for their sin?
Secondly, there is one more aspect of your rebellion to consider: the consequences.
Even if they do confess their sin, their rebellion is going to have consequences,
and some may be lifelong. Can you think of some examples of this?
If you were a respected leader, you will have permanently destroyed your witness with some.
If you physically, mentally, or verbally abused someone, you will never be able to have a fully loving and trusting relationship with that person again. Your sin will always be in the background.
This may be a point of disagreement with some, but I believe there is one last thing we should consider about rebellion. What happens if a person turns from their rebellion and puts God first again? If they do, I believe Jesus' "Parable of the Lost Son" (Lk 15:11-32) shows us that the Father is waiting with open arms. However, I also believe that because of that rebellion, it is also quite possible the person will never have the total fulfillment of all that God laid aside for them.
Let me share what I see as the perfect picture of this: Moses and the Promised Land. As we discussed earlier, because of Moses rebellion, God did not allow Him to enter the Promised Land. The Promised Land was the total fulfillment of all that God had planned for Moses (as well as the Israelites who didn't get to enter in either because of their rebellion). It was a land flowing with milk and honey (Ex 3:8) (Deut 6:3), which is a picture of an abundance of good things. Moses one act of rebellion at Meribah kept him from ever getting into the Promised Land. He got to see it from a distance, but never entered into it. How sad... Yes, God did use Moses to do some mighty things, but if he had just not rebelled, he could have had SO much more.
I would like to end with some final thoughts to share with someone who is headed down the wrong road.
Think about it, how much more could YOU do if you avoid rebelling. How powerful could your anointing be? How many more souls could you win? How many more people will listen to your message? There are blessings awaiting if you will just stand strong and obey. Don't miss your chance to get ALL that God has for you. Don't miss your chance to enter your "Promised Land."
Keep an eternal perspective. The things we do today will affect our eternity. If you are a Christian, yes, you will get to Heaven if you are born again, but what will you have when you get there? Will you have treasures laid up in Heaven (Mt 6:19-21)(Mt 19:21)(Mk 10:21)(Lk 12:33-34)(Lk 18:22) from your works on this planet, or will you simply get there as one escaping through the flames (1 Cor 3:15)?
We are told in (1 Cor 9:24-27)(Heb 12:1) to: run the race here on Earth so you may obtain the prize.
God has sooo much awaiting each of us, if we will (Mt 7:13-14)
stay on the narrow way that leads to life.
and not (Josh 23:6) turn to the right or the left.
(Gal 5:24)(Col 3:5)(Eph 4:22) tell us to: die to our wants and desires.
Live completely for the Lord!
(1 Pet 5:8) tells us Satan is: looking to devour you.
Do NOT let him win!
God is: (Rom 15:5) patient.
(2 Pet 3:9-15)(1 Tim 1:6)(Ex 34:6) longsuffering.
(Neh 9:17)(Ps 103:8)(Joel 2:13) slow to anger.
He loves you so much and is waiting for you. Turn back to Him TODAY!