20 The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. 21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
The “rest of mankind” mentioned in these two verses have just witnessed locusts trained to torture humans and angels sent to destroy a third of mankind yet they still do not repent “of the work of their hands.” I often wonder why some people turn from evil while others remain in their radical rebellion against a good God.
I think we have all harbored fantasies of the evil people of the world coming to a change of heart by facing the atrocities that are no doubt due them. We think, if these people will just get what’s coming to them then they will change their mind. This passage presents no happy ending for these people.
So, as believers, what should our response be? The easiest thing to do is to dismiss the debased people and not give it a second thought. Walk through most churches in America and you will hear this kind of dismissal and then see the approving nods of those around. But Jesus didn’t dismiss those turned against him, instead he sought them out. He says, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32)
We need to pray that Jesus will find these sinners and bring them to repentance. We also need to be the ones who take the message of the Gospel to sinners before it is too late.