On the Verge of Ruin
So many Christians feel rather good about their spiritual lives because they attend worship on a regular basis. They partake of the Lord’s Supper almost every Sunday and even come at other times depending on what else is happening in their lives. What we often overlook is that one can worship regularly, yet at the same time can unknowingly be on the brink of leaving the Lord. Solomon said it this way, “I was on the verge of total ruin in the midst of the assembly and congregation” (Prov. 5:14).
How does this happen? What is happening in the lives, and more especially in the hearts, of those who are about to fall into the depths of sin and are unaware of it? Look at Proverbs chapter five to see the four attitudes which bring this about.
One is on the verge of ruin who hates instruction. These very words, “hate instruction,” are words of wisdom from the renowned wise king. Yet, look at what was happening even before he built the temple. “Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of his father David, except he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places” (1 Kings 3:3). He had been “raised in the church” to observe Jewish holy days. Yet, at the same time, he was worshiping idols! How could such happen? Proverbs 5:12 says he hated instruction.
One is on the verge of ruin who despises correction. Solomon sat in the assembly of the congregation of Israel, yet he was on the precipice of total destruction. It is not just young people who despise the correction of parents, for many Christians are resentful of preaching that seeks to correct their own lives. Oh the folly of those who hate preaching which calls on them to turn from sin! Oh the wisdom of those who rejoice to let God correct their lives!
One is on the verge of ruin who does not obey his teachers. The third attribute of those who “go to church” but are unknowingly on the verge of destruction is a failure to obey teachers. If we sit in worship and the Word of God is proclaimed, we are sitting at the feet of our supreme Teacher. We must not only hear correction, we must become obedient.
One is on the verge of ruin who does not incline his ear to those who instruct him. When worshiping God, our ears must be inclined to hear. The word incline pictures one who “leans forward to be sure every word is heard.” When assembled, we need to incline our ears when God speaks to us in the sermons preached.
Solomon shows four attitudes we must have when we assemble. Think about these things. Wisdom demands that we learn these vital truths. Check your heart. Are you unknowingly on the verge of destruction in the assembly of the saints?