(The above title is from R. Alan Cole, Tyndale New Testament Commentary on Mark)
Imagine a man living on the 10th floor of an apartment building.
After a long day at work he wants to just chill. There is a nice breeze that day, so he opens the window slightly.
A few minutes go by while sitting in his favorite chair. He hears the siren of a fire truck outside the building. Annoyed with the noise, he closes the window.
A few minutes later, he looks out the window and see the lights of a police car pulling in front of the building, along with flashing lights on an ambulance. He doesn’t like the flashing lights; he wanted to enjoy the sunset instead, but he closes the blinds.
Next, he hears people shouting on the floor above him. To drown out the noise he puts on a pair of large Bluetooth headphones and hits play on his smartphone.
Within the next 30 seconds, the fire alarm in the building goes off. “Well, that has happened before,” he tells himself, “it’s probably a false alarm again.”
He starts to smell smoke from the hallway. His neighbor down the hall smokes a pipe, and the smell sometimes drifts over to his room. He gets out the small fan he has stored in the closet and sets it near the door, so it can blow the smoke back into the hallway.
Each time this man chooses to “turn up the volume” if you will, on his own understanding, he becomes less willing and less able to hear and see the true state of what is going on around him.
At each step- this man has selectively ignored the warnings given to him in order to save him from death. This is the accelerating cycle of Spiritual decay—once a person begins down that road, it becomes harder and harder to turn back!
Jesus taught a message that is a warning, “Repent & Believe!” but it is a good news warning, “The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news!” The culture around us may think we are fools for Christ, and they even may think we are like the boy who cried, “Wolf!” But let us be clear about the cost of Spiritual Decay—it ends in death! But the opposite is also true- the exponential law of Spiritual Growth tells us that even now, God’s people are bearing fruit for eternal life! We are called to sow the seed and participate in the harvest!