Monday, 28 January 2019
Must We Tell Sinners to Repent and Serve Christ?
Even a casual reading of the New Testament shows that our Master wants total devotion, not mere ascent. Luke 14:26 (KJV) says, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple."
The word "hate" is comparative, not a commandment. Our devotion to Christ must be so strong that familial affection is comparatively hatred. We love people but we absolutely adore our Lord.
Neither must we let money and other worldly attractions interfere with our service to the King of kings. Matthew 6:24 (KJV) quotes him as saying, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
So it is that one of our Master's commandments is to warn people against ending up in hell. Look at the extreme language he used in Mark 9:47 and 48 (BBE). "And if your eye is a cause of trouble to you, take it out: it is better for you to go into the kingdom of God with one eye than, having two eyes, to go into hell, Where their worm is ever living and the fire is not put out."
This warning must also be given to pseudo-believers. The Pharisees were outwardly holy but Christ exposed their hidden sins. In Matthew 23:14 (KJV) our Master tore a huge strip out of those pretenders. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."
Jesus was insistent about Judgement Day as well. Matthew 3:12 (KJV) shows how God will judge the disobedient, "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
We mustn't fear telling sinners about God's wrath. As Christ said to his disciples in Matthew 10:28 (KJV) "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
And since hell is so horrific, the Bible uses various metaphors. Darkness is one of those which describe the utter misery of the damned. Jude 1:13 (KJV) describes the fate of the wicked this way. "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."
Hell is no joke. That's why I want to warn those churchgoers that they too could be imprisoned there forever if they don't repent and follow Christ. I'll explain all that in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven?On Thursday, I'll post about how to recognize the real believers from the pretenders.