Are you familiar with the phrase, “You’ve gotta take the bad with the good.”?
I think that’s just the way life is, isn’t it? There is always good news and bad news. I find the Bible to be much the same way. Consider this selection of verses:
1 John 5: 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.
John 3: 18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
2 Chronicles 15: 2b The LORD will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.
1 Chronicles 28: 9b If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.
Notice that each of these has the “good news” and the “bad news”. Each passage contains 2 promises, one for the righteous and the other for the wicked. Moses sang the same tune:
Deuteronomy 30: 15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.
It’s no wonder the Bible has lost its popularity.
In a day and age where the stories are sugar coated and most people are over-entertained, it doesn’t take long when reading the Word of God before it pierces your heart.
Paul has a great way of putting it, I’ll let him speak for himself:
Romans 11: 22 Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting, you also will be cut off.
In addition, Paul adds:
2 Corinthians 2: 15 Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. 16 To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume.
As believers and ambassadors for God, we know we have a message to deliver. In a nutshell, it is this:
2 Corinthians 5: 20b We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 21 For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
There is also a time to warn others.
Read these verses carefully:
Ezekiel 3: 20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”
I’m not necessarily saying that we need to be going around warning everybody, but when the time comes and the conversation moves toward death, “end of the world” scenarios, and future events, I’d like to think I’d have the courage to say something like “Get right with God, because judgment day is coming.”
And if they say “That’s just a ‘made up’ fable, the Bible has said it many years ago, it won’t happen” You can tell them:
2 Peter 3: 8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.
Great explanation, isn’t it?
My point is that people need to hear the whole truth, which is not all “good news”. Let’s learn from the master Himself, this is what He had to say about the future:
Luke 17: 26 “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. 27 In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.
28 “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building—29 until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
Here’s another warning Message from the Messiah:
Matthew 7: 21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. 22 On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ 23 But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Don’t you think it’s time to tell the truth?
“Dear God in heaven, may I say the words you give me to say. My friends need to know about the coming judgment and I don’t know how make it clear, will you help me warn them somehow? I never know what to say or when to say it, but I know that if you live in me that my words will be your words and I can rest in that. Thank you for saving me from the coming judgment. I pray that I can continue trusting in you so that you can use me to share this news with others. In Christ’s name, amen”