You Cannot Just Ignore What Should Not Be Ignored!

As a former college instructor at Baguio Colleges Foundation and high school teacher at Trinity Christian, I had thought how terrible it would be to stand up in front of a classroom of students and lecture on the intricacies of structural grammar and have no one pay attention to me, to talk about dangling participles and have no one think it’s important, to give instructions in the exams and have students ignore them.

None of us likes to be ignored.

But over the years I have acquired too some traits and some strengths. And since I have developed this capacity to endure what I dislike and to bear with what I cannot in my human frailties and limitations change, your ignoring me does not hurt me at all. You do your thing, I do mine. And this works to my advantage, since I am the teacher and they are are, uh, my students. In the final analysis, it was they who suffered—-failing grades, and the like. By the end of the semester, a number of them were making a bee-line for BCF’s Education Dept office, seeking an audience with me. It was my turn “to exact revenge.” Sometimes I would vanish to the lunch counter, or exile myself to Burnham Park, and would appear a week later. It did them good. It shook them to their senses.

I met one of them in Cavite years ago, and he profusely thanked me for giving him a “failing grade,” but “passing” him after he had fulfilled my requirements.

I was not the terror of the Philippine Bible College dormitory, where I was then the dorm surpervisor. I think I just did my job trying to put some teeth to our college regulations, especially one that prohibits drinking alcohol. It was pure discipline that brother Felix Bravo, college president, wanted to impose, and that may include the threat to suspend recalcitrant students. But two of those we had disciplined are now well-known preachers in the brotherhood. Discipline did them good.

No, you cannot just ignore the college’s regulations. Neither can you ignore the laws of the land. I had paid the penalty for driving without bringing my license with me, without putting my helmet on, or driving when my vehicle’s registration had expired. It was a costly lesson to learn.

Laws of the land? That includes the law about paying the right taxes. You cannot keep on cheating the government in the taxes you ought to pay. Misdeclaring the price of the land in a deed of sale is a way of cheating the government too. Maybe you don’t realize that now, but you will. A missionary, for instance, had continually ignored the advice of brethren to secure a permit before putting up a church building, until I came. What their pleadings could not do, my threatenings could. He paid a high price for ignoring the building construction laws of this country for so long.

You cannot ignore God’s moral laws. If you mistreat your brother, slander or libel him, threaten to hail him to court for exposing you, there is a price you ought to pay. God exacts vengeance on us too for being unfair to our fellowmen, for being cruel and unkind, for being hateful, for being unforgiving, for extorting money from individuals and churches, for being selfish, for hoarding wealth, for being inhospitable, for being unloving to parents, to the church, to the aged and to the young.

You cannot ignore God’s teaching on living in holiness. You thought it is all right to shack up with another partner because your wife is abroad; it is not.

You cannot belittle God’s stipulations on the kind of men who would lead His church. You thought it is all right for a church to reward you with a position of leadership when your “deaconship” or “eldership” qualities leave much to be desired; it is not.

There is a price to pay too for being unrepentant of our sins.

Maybe you have ignored the church for so long, not fellowshipping with the Christians, because a few people in the church have hurt you. I sympathize with you in your pain. But God still loves you and wants to perform an amazing thing in your life, including that of changing you, giving worth to your worthlessness. Take it from me. I had suffered too. And I still remain.

We better listen. We cannot ignore Him forever. Someday we shall stand before Him and a judgment shall be rendered to each one of us based on what we did and how we responded to His pleadings in the Word. Neither a thousand crucifixes, nor a truckload of candles could be of help. The many who, in spite of the evidences to the contrary, thought you did good or that you were a morally upright person wouldn’t be there to sit with Jesus and to plead your case; for they too would be judged. Cries of mercy would be heard throughout the universe. You could not plead your case either; may be your option would be to cry out to the mountains to cover you so you wouldn’t see the terror in His eyes, His looks that would pierce through your whole being. Nothing is hidden from Him who knows all secrets. And you would be powerless to command the mountains; He owns the mountains too.

We ought to listen. We better listen now.

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