Sad Surprises

“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” — Charles H. Duell, U.S. Patent Office commissioner, 1899.
“I cannot imagine any condition which could cause this ship to flounder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to the vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that.” — E. J. Smith, captain of the Titanic, 1912.
“The atomic bomb will not go off. And I speak as an expert in explosives.” — Admiral W. Leahy to President Truman, 1945.
“I think there is a market for about five computers.” — Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM, 1958.
Strong convictions do not ensure that what one believes is really true. Being an expert on some subject does not ensure that one is right. Just because one cannot imagine a thing happening doesn’t mean it cannot happen. Just as one can be fooled about technology, so one can be fooled religiously. Many people will be very surprised at judgment.
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS'” (Matthew 7:21-23).
Some apparently will be surprised that their miraculous gifts and service will not substitute for repentance. You can’t treat the laws of God as if they did not matter and still go to heaven. Sacrifice did not replace obedience for King Saul (1 Samuel 15:22,23), and doing things one’s own way is still rebellion.
The humanly-designed worship of instrumental music will not replace the obedience of merely singing, even if some so-called experts disagree. Calling the sprinkling of infants baptism, even with the greatest of conviction, does not change God’s law. It is better to listen than to be surprised.

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Phil Sanders

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