Anyone who is willing can learn the Truth and be saved. Jesus said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine” (John 7:17). John wrote, “Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely’ (Rev. 22:17). Anyone with a truly good and honest heart will accept and obey the Truth.
That same honest person will learn from his mistakes. He will sincerely and earnestly strive to correct them. Like the prodigal son, he will learn from experience (Luke 15:11-32). Like Moses, he will listen to good advice (Exod. 18:13-26). Solomon said, “…rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Prov. 9:8-9).
The attitude of the wicked is much different. They fail to learn from experience because they are too stubborn to change their ways. If they receive good in life, they will not show appreciation by turning to God. Isaiah said, “Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness” (Isa. 26:10). If they receive evil in life, they do not humble themselves before God. The Israelites saw Korah and his company destroyed for their rebellion, but the next day they rebelled themselves (Num. 16). Psalm 78 is a tragic record of a nation that refused to learn from the past.
The wicked refuse to listen to words of correction. Solomon spoke often about such an attitude. He Wrote, “He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot” (Prov. 9:7). Some are so foolish, Solomon taught, that repeated, severe correction will not awaken them: “Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him” (Prov. 27:22).
A wicked man, of course, can change his ways, but only if he changes his attitude. As long as he has a rebellious heart, he will not turn to God, even in spite of Words and experiences that should change him.