Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Good news/Bad news; or, the good news isn't good without the bad news.
We in Christendom throw around phrases like: "Love everybody", or "Forgive everybody even if they aren't sorry". The Bible tells us to : "put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth". We like this verse (Colossians 3:8) as it applies to everyone else, but for us? Not so much.
Here's the rub. If everyone was always lovable, never did you wrong, never hurt your feelings or let you down, you could love them - right? Well Yeah!! The test is to love and forgive when people hurt/ wrong you (Matt. 5:46). A faith that can't be tested, can't be trusted.
Jesus asked it in this way. "Here is the test; I am going to surround you with sorry dysfunctional folks that will test you in every way" (paraphrase). "How can you say you love the Father whom you have never seen, when you can't love your brother whom you have?" This is the test, and it's all around us all the time, and I fear that by in large, we are failing.
There is another extreme that folks jump to w/regard to love. I regularly hear folks say: "You must be worshiping another God than the one I know. My God is all about love, and therefore, would never send anyone to a burning tormenting hell for eternity. He is all about forgiveness". Short answer is, -- you are correct. I do worship a different God than you do. Yours is not the God revealed in Scripture. Fasten your pew belt. The Bible doesn't say we should witness so folks can go to Heaven; so they can have an easy, pain free worry free life here, and receive a "get out of jail free card" every time they do wrong, and so (and this is their favorite) no one can judge them about anything. Rather, we are admonished in 2nd Cor. 5:11 - "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men;" Hell is hot, and does last for eternity. "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." John 5:28-29 (We'll discuss what "doing good" is next week).
Hell is eternal, and is a place of wailing and gnashing of teeth; A place of torment. Just cause we don't like it, doesn't make it not so. God doesn't send folks there cause He is cruel. It is because He is holy. He cannot occupy the same place as sin. "What hath light to do with darkness?" He went to extreme lengths to provide a way (The Way) to have our sins put on His account, and His righteousness on ours in the person and redemptive work of Jesus Christ - 2nd Cor. 5:21. And when we/you reject that, God calls it "trampling the blood of Jesus under foot" Heb. 10:29, and says "there remains no sacrifice" 10:26.
Let's turn the Spiritual Switch: If I went to a school function, and took the American flag down and began to dance on it, I'm satisfied there would be more than a few men who would join me on stage and physically discourage my behavior. How much more Almighty God when we trample the precious blood of His Son? God's Word calls the gospel, the Good News and when we deny the bad, we diminish the good.
I have a personal friend who's daughter went to Virginia Tech. when the shooting took place. He knew nothing about it when his daughter called and said: "Dad, I'm OK!!!" This wouldn't mean much unless you contrast it with what could have been. Is the Gospel Good News to you? What have you done with His Precious Blood? God Bless.