Don’t Harden Your Heart to God’s Message!
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- Size: 3.5 inches x 5.5 inches
- Pages: 6
- Version: NKJV
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A Lesson From John Lennon
The Bible is filled with warnings regarding the URGENCY of responding to His call. Hebrews 3:15 urges us: “Today, if you will hear His voice [meaning God’s voice], do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
And one such tragic example of this “heart-hardening” is very much on our minds, here in fall of 2020. You see, October 2020 would have been former Beatle John Lennon’s 80th birthday—50 years since his first real solo album. In December it will be 40 years since his tragic assassination. Beatles fans by the thousands will mark these milestones. I (to a certain extent) am one of those, but as a Christian I am interested in John primarily for the LESSON his life and death provide, not the music he made.
This lesson, from where I sit, is: “Don’t Harden Your Heart to God’s Message.”
When John left the Beatles in 1970, he wrote several songs on his first two solo albums which mocked God and Jesus. Anti-Biblical concepts dominated his lyrics until he went into a five year Sabbatical from music in 1975. During that time, perhaps motivated by his good friend Bob Dylan’s then-profession of Christianity, Lennon investigated the ministries of Oral Roberts and Billy Graham. But his wife, Yoko, dissuaded him from that. Lennon then began to refer to himself as a “Born Again
PAGAN” and began to openly mock Dylan. He recorded a song “Serve Yourself,” a parody of Dylan’s famous song which said “You gotta serve somebody, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord.” And I personally saw a photo of John in the news around that time wearing a T-shirt that read “FREE BOB DYLAN.”
In summer of 1980, Dylan put out his album “Saved,” doubling down on his profession of Christianity. The last song was called “Are You Ready?” and as you will see from the lyrics, if John saw THOSE (and he probably did … he scrupulously read and responded to McCARTNEY’S lyrics when the Beatles first broke up and they were at odds), then Bob’s words were an eerie warning. Here are some …
“Are You Ready?”
(Written and recorded by Bob Dylan)
1.) Are you ready to meet Jesus?
Are you where you ought to be?
Will He know you when He sees you
Or will He say, “Depart from Me”?
3.) When destruction cometh swiftly
and there’s no time to say fare-thee-well
have you decided whether you want to be
in heaven or in hell?
Are you ready, are you ready?
5.) Are you ready for the judgment?
Are you ready for that terrible swift sword?
Are you ready for Armageddon?
Are you ready for the day of the Lord?
Are you ready, I hope you’re ready
Copyright © 1980 by Special Rider Music
A few months later, Lennon was ambushed outside of his New York apartment building by a crazed gunman who shot him 5 times without any warning. He died almost instantly. We hope that, in his heart, maybe he called out to Jesus to forgive him. If John did this sincerely before he died, yes He COULD be saved just like the thief on the cross (the one who ceased mocking Jesus and who prayed “Remember me”). The problem is that the penitent thief had time to see death approaching—John did not.
I make no final pronouncement about where Lennon’s soul is today. It does SEEM as if he was lost, but we cannot say for sure. Don’t get bogged down in all of that—and don’t miss the Bible’s main lesson from Lennon’s life in Hebrews 3:15:
“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Don’t harden your heart to God’s voice! Turn to Christ, confess and forsake your sins, and put your trust in the One who died for you and rose again—He WILL welcome you! -Chet Jelinski