And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. — Luke 13:2-3
The people were shocked to hear the answer the Lord Jesus gave on that day.
Jesus had been told of some Galileans that Pilate killed, and mixed their blood with that of their sacrifice. This seems like general information, but when it comes to the souls of mankind, God never deals with things in a general or common way.
The fight between God and the devil for the souls of men is something that Jesus never took his eyes from. Our eternal destiny is so important that Jesus came and died to pay the price for our salvation. Let us look at three serious mistakes these people made.
First, they tried to change the subject. In the previous verses, Jesus called them hypocrites because they knew how to discern the weather by watching the sky, but they did not understand the time! The promised Messiah was among them, and they cared more about the weather than the salvation of the nation. The promises of God were being fulfilled before their eyes, and they were so blind spiritually that they had no idea it was time to repent and get right with God.
This teaching cuts deep! How many spend hours on trivial things that have no bearing on eternity? People know who starred in what movie or the stats of sports figures, yet seldom if ever bow in humility before their Maker. How many will read this brief message — and God will deal with you about some sin — but will not stop to pray? What a fatal mistake to change the subject!
Their second mistake was thinking they could escape conviction by pointing out that others were deemed more wicked than they. They believed violent death was a reward for a very wicked life, but Jesus replied, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” The Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” and “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.”
All need to repent. Look at the condition of the nation! It is not time to celebrate. We should be on our faces begging God for mercy.
Yes, some may be more wicked than others, but Ephesians 2 tells us the spirit of Satan works in all the children of disobedience.
When we disobey God, we open the door for Satan to work in our lives. That is for the preacher, church member or drug dealer; sin is sin!
The third and biggest mistake was that they did not repent. They heard the message. It was directed to them and for them, yet there was no cry for mercy, no, “I’m sorry God for my sin.” No one asked for a new heart and spirit. What a tragedy. Shown beyond all doubt their need of repentance, yet none took it seriously! So they all perished.
Let us not make the same mistakes they did; respond quickly to the conviction of God’s Spirit. Understand the times, it is time to repent.
Bradeen is pastor of House of Prayer Christian Church and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.