Some react to a gospel preacher by saying, “Is he serious?” They may say this to themselves or others. It may be in response to a sermon on alcohol or adultery, lying or lewdness. Such a reaction reveals a worldly heart. And, the fact is, it matters not if the preacher is serious. What matters is if the truth is taught (1 Pet. 4:11).
When a person thinks or says, “Is he serious,” in reply to the truth, he is really asking if God is serious. Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, king Uzziah, and Jeroboam attest to the fact that God is serious (Lev. 10:1-2; 2 Sam. 6:67; 2 Chron. 26:16-21; 1 Kgs. 13:1-6). Consider also the deluged world and Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 6, 19). Was God serious then? Did He expect men to follow His commandments, even those that seemed “minor”? What was the harm in Nadab and Abihu taking fire from another source than that commanded by God? What was the harm in Uzzah touching the Ark to steady it? The harm was in the fact that they transgressed God’s law.
Some think it is different today. They might ask, “Is God serious that all liars will go to hell?” Yes (Rev. 21:8). Anywho doubt it should seriously consider the case of Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11). Though under the covenant of grace and sanctified by the blood of the Lamb, they were punished for lying. God let it be known, “I will not tolerate it now any more than I did in the past.”
God is serious. Preachers should be serious. All men should be serious. Being righteous and honoring God is not an academic exercise. It is not a hobby. It is a way of life — a serious, sober way of life (1 Thess. 5:6-8). “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 1:13). “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).
Steven F. Deaton