“Jesus loves you…”
“You need to have a relationship with Jesus…”
“Just trust God and everything will be fine…”
“Jesus friend of sinners…”
We’ve all heard these types of sayings and many more; maybe we’ve even said them. They are all over Christian radio stations, especially from stations like K-Love. It’s all about the love of Jesus and His “need” and His “desire” for them to seek a relationship with Him. I want to plainly say I’m all about the love of Jesus, for He “IS” love (1 John 4:8), and we would not know love without Him (1 John 3:16).
I don’t want there to be any misunderstandings about my statements. The greatest act of love ever committed was by Jesus Christ and any other is underwhelming by comparison. He is the only place a repentant sinner can turn for grace and mercy. But those that don’t understand that act and just how remarkable it was will never embrace what it fully means.
When evangelism techniques only discuss Jesus as standing at the door waiting for someone to decide to love Him it falls miserably short of what the Scripture teaches us. There is methodology behind drawing a sinner to the Lord, but it begins with God’s Holiness and man’s sinfulness if the gospel is to be proclaimed accurately.
Let’s see what the Bible says about the sinner in the eyes of a “Holy God”.
Psalm 7:11-12 God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day. If he does not turn back, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready.
This is an incredibly clear understanding of the status of man in the eyes of God. Let’s dig into God’s warning for the unsaved and see how very different this is from some of those common statements from above.
God is just – Only God is capable of judging with perfect righteousness. He knows all that is in man’s heart and despite His patience with all of man-kind there is coming a day when we all must give account of our lives (Hebrews 4:13) and justice will be served according to our deeds (Romans 2:6).
God is angry with the wicked – If any of your thoughts, words or deeds have ever fallen short of God’s perfect standard and Christ is not your Lord and Savior you are wicked and God is angry with you. He does not “love” you in the way He loves those that turn to Him in faith. God is patient and provides good things even to those at enmity with Him, for He provides all that we have.
The word angry – zâ‛am – to foam at the mouth, that is, to be enraged: – abhor, abominable, (be) angry, defy, (have) indignation.
Not exactly the message of most modern day evangelists, and preachers.
When we open the Bible and we read God’s Word we see a very common theme. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:17. This is how Jesus began His public ministry after He came out of the wilderness; He never sought to coddle the sinner in his sin, but to first draw him into seeing that he is in jeopardy because of his sin.
Repent – metanoeō – From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): – repent.
Repentance means to have a change of heart, which leads to a change of mind and a change of direction. Paul calls this a “new creation”. Jesus says you must be “born again” and Ezekiel says your “heart of stone will be replaced by a heart of flesh”. These are Biblical truths that cannot be left out in our efforts to reach the lost.
Understanding that there is a newness of life and rejection of the life that once was enjoyed is now detestable.
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Those that first repent will see their sin as a violation of God’s Holiness leading to a radically different life, broken over their rebellion against the One True God that gave them life.
When you share this Good News it’s important to represent God in all His Glory, including and especially His hatred of the ungodly, otherwise you bring a message of cheap grace. Without repentance there will not be life change and that is the point at which we can share what true love is really all about.
Preach the Word today brothers and sisters…