Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord; but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:32-36)
The saddest words man will ever hear is when the Lord says to him, “Depart from Me.” This is tragic because of the consequence of what these words mean. There will be no hope, no salvation and no promise of eternal life. It will be the final words man will hear before the pit of dark torment closes around him. C. S. Lewis observed the door of hell is locked from the inside. Man puts himself there. The Lord is not responsible for why man is in eternal fire; rather the heart of man was fully intent to compel him to suffer eternal death. Time and again warnings have been posted about rebellion against the will of God but man continues on his downward spiral of destruction. The wisdom literature explains that man loves death and they that rebel against the Lord are enemies to their own life.
When man shuts his mind from the evidence of God and the invitation of salvation by Jesus Christ, he becomes his own worst enemy. He (man) is responsible for his actions. John wrote that God so loved the world He gave – and that is where the decision begins. There is nothing more God can do to save man. His Son died a horrible death so that man could live in hope but most chose death. Man robs himself of his only happiness preferring death to life. The feast of divine comfort, glory, majesty and immortality are rejected so that man can dine upon the dung of putrid, rotten, filthy garbage diseased with sin.
Disobedience to the word of God is simple self-destruction. Instead of listening to the wisdom of the Creator and being wise, man chooses to wrong his own soul. It is contrary to the purpose of man. All men are created for the glory of God. Living in sin goes against every fiber of man’s existence. The most tragic reality of man’s existence is to know that he prefers death to life when everything he needs to live eternal is within his grasp. How sad. The wisdom literature exhorts the reader to find life in the favor of the Lord. True wisdom is fearing God and keeping His commandments. Men who seek life with the Creator will find life without end. Those who do not – prefer death.
What greater rebellion, impiety, or insult to God, can there be, than not to believe His promises? (Martin Luther, On Christian Liberty, 1520)