Contempt of God and its Consequences
"If you are a scorner — you alone will suffer." Proverbs 9:12
To scorn, is to treat with contempt; thus they laughed Jesus to scorn, they treated Him contemptuously. This, unbelief always does; and every unconverted sinner is treating God with contempt. If God asks his heart, and speaks in the kindest terms and most winning accents, saying, "My son, give me your heart," — He is treated with contempt! Many never give the request any serious consideration at all, but pass it by, as though not addressed to them, or as beneath their notice. While others admit its propriety, but never practically attend to it.
If He offers a free and full pardon of all sin, to every one who, laying down the weapons of rebellion, will seek it in the name of Jesus — it is treated with contempt! The sinner knows he must be pardoned — or he is lost forever; he hears the gracious message of a kind, forgiving God — but it has no effect upon him; he passes it by as though it were unworthy of his regard!
If He sends the good news of a complete salvation, without money and without price; if He says, "Whoever will, let him come, and take freely" — the sinner puts it from him, and judges himself unworthy of everlasting life. Without the least show of reason, he neglects the great salvation, and despises the riches of the goodness and grace of God.
In a word, every unconverted sinner scorns the authority of God in the law, and the grace of God in the gospel; he will not bow to a command, nor accept of a free salvation. He is wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; but he is also proud, obstinate, perverse, scornful, and foolish!
Reader, is this your case? If so, God says, "You alone will suffer." Suffer what? Your scorning. What of the scorning? The blame and the punishment. The whole blame of your damnation will lie upon yourself. You have procured it unto yourself. It is the fruit of your scorning, the consequence of your thus treating God with contempt. The blame is entirely your own; it cannot be charged upon God. He warned you, He expostulated with you, He invited you. He presented a full salvation unto you. He offered you pardon on the easiest terms; but you treated the whole with contempt! Neither can it be charged upon the ministers of the gospel; if faithful, they told you, from the mouth of God — your state, your danger, and urged you to flee for refuge to Jesus. They were earnest, affectionate, importunate — but you treated them with contempt!
Nor can you lay the blame on Satan. True, he tempted — but he could not force you; he allured, but he could not compel. You preferred his counsel to that of your best friends, yes, to the counsel of the Lord and Savior Himself; you yielded to him, while you rejected your God. The blame will lie upon yourself exclusively and eternally; and so the punishment, "You alone shall suffer." You shall suffer the horrors of a guilty conscience, and the wrath of God, "where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched!" In a word, you shall suffer all the consequences of treating God with contempt. You shall suffer it alone, without help, without sympathy, without mitigation, and without the most distant prospect of deliverance.
Let me beseech you now to examine yourself. Are you wise? Or are you a scorner? One or the other you must be, for the whole world is divided into these two classes; and soon, very soon you wall find, that "If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a scorner, you alone will suffer." If you are not decided, may I ask you, with the Psalmist, "When will you be wise?" Or, with Solomon, "How long will you love simplicity, and delight in your scorning, and hate knowledge?" Or with Paul, "How will you escape, if you neglect so great salvation?" Or with Jesus, "What will it profit you, if you should gain the whole world, and lose your own soul? What will you give in exchange for the soul?"