Tell Sinners the Bad News First
by Patricia Backora
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Tell Sinners the Bad News First
Sinners need to hear the bad news before they hear My Good News. The bad news is this: Outside of Christ, you’re a hopelessly lost sinner on your way to hell, no matter how good you think you are, no matter how many good deeds you’ve racked up in your lifetime. Sinners have transgressed against their Maker. They have fallen grievously short of My perfect standards of righteousness and holiness. They have spat in the face of divine love so many times in their lifetime, that is is a miracle I even loved them enough to send My Holy Son to die a sinner’s death to save them.
Once My Spirit has had the time and opportunity to thoroughly convict these people of their status as ENEMIES OF GOD, it gives them the chance to be pierced in their heart with godly sorrow which leads to repentance toward Me (Acts 2:37;2 Cor.7:10). Thus men are moved to TRUE REPENTANCE by such uncomfortable revelation from My Spirit, to the extent you don’t have to plead and beg with them to surrender to Me, but they willingly cry out to me for mercy and salvation through My precious blood.
Jonathan Edwards was willing to buck the fashionable trend of his day, which would have been to preach what wealthy parishioners wanted to hear. He was willing to risk the displeasure of his wealthier congregants, rather than risk offending Me through disobedience. He refused to water down the message I gave Him and preached it faithfully. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God was one of the most powerful sermons of the entire Church Age. Edwards did not need to play twenty stanzas of Amazing Grace, begging and pleading for just one sinner to come forward and shake his hand. No, before he’d even finished his sermon, a wave of Holy Ghost conviction spread throughout his congregation, inducing many to cry out in godly fear of My judgment. Some wept, others shrieked in terror, clinging to the posts of their pews, having been spiritually awakened to the terrors of hell beneath their feet. Those whose godly fear spurred them on to cry out for mercy through Christ Jesus are in heaven today.
If Jonathan Edwards could look down from heaven today and see the big DIFFERENCE between his own approach to preaching against sin, and the way the the vast majority of church congregations handle this business of preaching the Good News, he would be amazed, even a bit outraged, at how leniently and flippantly sin is viewed today. Instead of warning men and women that I am furious with them for committing adultery, fornication, perversions, thefts, lies and all other abominations, preachers hasten to reassure guilty sinners that I have a wonderful plan for their lives and all I want is to make them feel happy.
Well, I DO have a plan for sinners’ lives, if they are so hardened in unbelief and rebellion they refuse to repent. That plan is for them to reach the pinnacle of their hardness of heart, to enlarge their capacity to serve as VESSELS OF WRATH FITTED TO DESTRUCTION (Rom.9:22). Unless people are willing to bring Me glory in how I show them mercy, they will ultimately be used to show the entire universe that I am perfectly just in how I deal with them as unrepentant, rebellious sinners.
When the fullness of the sins of the Amorites was completed, then I destroyed them. My Holy Name was glorified in executing My perfect justice upon them (Gen.15:16; Ex.23:23; Deut.18:12). In Ezekiel 38:16 I clearly state that I shall be sanctified (seen as holy) by all nations in the terrible judgment I pour out upon Gog, enemy of the Land of Israel.
Jesus warned the wicked scribes and Pharisees that they were filling their sins up to the measure of their fathers and would go to hell for it (Matt.23:32-33). Christ didn’t rush to reassure them of My unconditional love and acceptance, or entice them to walk the aisle by promising them I had a wonderful plan for their lives. These wicked persecutors of Christ are languishing in a devil’s hell to this very day.
Once sinners are thoroughly convicted by My Spirit and desperate to hear of The Way to escape My Wrath, you find it much easier to present the Good News that I am able to banish the Bad News of their lost condition out of their lives through purging them of their sins in My own blood. Unfortunately, the vast majority of today’s evangelists neglect the necessary Bad News of a sinner’s utter sinfulness and RUSH him through a canned routine of “saying the sinner’s prayer” before he is fully aware that he/she IS a sinner, or even grasps the fact that unconverted people are, by nature, My ENEMIES (Eph.2:3, and verse 16). Well-intentioned Christians like to RUSH to reassure unbelievers that I already love them just the way they are, despite such scriptures as these:
Psalms 5:5: The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: THOU HATEST ALL WORKERS OF INIQUITY.
Verse 6: Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing (falsehood): the LORD will abhor (strongly detest) the bloody and deceitful man.
Nahum 1:2: God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.
Deut.32: 22 For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
23 I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
Luke 19:27: But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
2 Thes.1: 7:And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
Rev.19: 15: And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
Rev. 21:8:But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Rev. 19: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Christ Himself repeated something He considered very urgent:
Luke 13: I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Two verses later He said:
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Jesus did not RUSH to reassure lost men and women that He already loved and accepted them, even if they never intended to repent of their sins against Me. Instead of sticking to Feel Good Messages, Jesus warned men of hell:
Mark 9:42: And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt (lame) into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:
46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:
48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
Three times in the same context Jesus repeated specific warnings of specific torments in hell. Worms that never die and unquenchable fire. How often do you hear preachers mention these uncomfortable truths today? Where in the earth can I find a faithful man or woman who is willing to tell sinners ALL the truth, not just the parts they like to hear?
Time is very, very short, My people. I’m not in the circus business to entertain people and tickle their ears. They need to know there is a hell to be shunned and a heaven to gain. But all too often, preachers try to teach people to build their heaven in the here and now and just ignore “negative” warnings of My Wrath to Come (Matt.3:7; Luke 3:7; I Thes.1:10).
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