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    In the summer of 1986 two ships collided in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of passengers died as they were forced into the icy water. After an investigation was done a very disturbing fact came to light. It wasn’t technology or lack thereof that caused this accident. It wasn’t a radar malfunction. The problem wasn’t caused by thick fog or a storm. The cause of the devastating accident was human stubbornness. Each captain knew the other ship was there and either one could have steered clear and avoided the accident, yet they were both too proud to give way to the other. By the time they were willing realized what was happening it was too late.

    There are times like this where our stubbornness can cause great destruction. It is often difficult to admit when we were wrong, yet that stubbornness is exactly the thing that will keep our sins from being forgiven. 1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” Forgiveness through Christ is available to Christians, but only when we are willing to confess or admit that we were wrong. If we fail to admit when we are wrong our own stubbornness will keep us from forgiveness and keep us from heaven.

    Other times, stubbornness can lead to issues between ourselves and other Christians. When another Christian has mistreated us, the easy thing to do is to just avoid them and not bring it up again. That way we can stay mad at them and at odds with them and the whole while feel like it is their fault. Yet the Bible teaches us that if someone wrongs us, it is our responsibility to go to them and talk to them about it. Matthew 18:15-17 says, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Christ lists other steps to take if this doesn’t work, but most of the time this will settle any differences we might have with other Christians.

    Other times our stubbornness simply shows itself in the form of refusal to submit to the will of God. God’s plan of salvation has been clearly laid out in the Bible. Christ has died on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins and to receive forgiveness of our sins we must turn from our sins and be baptized for remission of sins. Acts 2:38 says, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” We cannot be right with God as long as we have unforgiven sins in our lives. Yet many continue their lives refusing to submit to God’s will and obey His command to turn from sins and be baptized.

    Stubbornness many times in this life leads to the loss of life as was the case with the ships off the coast of Russia. Yet in eternity, stubbornness will cause us to be lost. Instead we must approach God with a humble attitude willing to submit to His will. God knows what is best. God knows us. If we obey His commands, it will always lead to what is best for us.

  • "Only the penitent man shall pass."