In my previous series, "The Anatomy of the Gospel", I broke down the Gospel message into five basic components (as an attempt at constructing a helpful witnessing framework) and called them the "Five Pillars of the Gospel". This is the third part of a series of posts in which I will biblically defend each of the "five pillars" I laid out as the fundamental elements necessary to faithfully proclaim the Gospel (a good friend just contacted me to inform me that Islam has five pillars and I am sorry if this has caused any confusion. I could change the name but then I would have to go back and correct all my previous posts. So I will persevere with this name and hope it inadvertently ministers to some Muslims).
DEFENDING PILLAR 3 – THE NECESSITY OF JUDGMENT
Why did Christ die for our sins according to the Scriptures?
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life (Romans 5:10).
That we might be saved. Saved from what?
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9).
The truth of pillars 1 and 2 create the situation of pillar 3. If God is Holy and man is sinful then God must pass judgment because of Who He is and because of who we are and what we do as a result of that.
And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
The concepts of grace, mercy, and salvation are robbed of meaning without explaining God's wrath for their very definition depends on this truth.
The necessity of God's judgment must be preached in order to proclaim why Christ died for our sins because salvation is from God's judgment, wrath, and hell. Many people avoid the subjects of judgment, God's wrath, and eternal damnation under the guise of love. But is it really loving never to warn damned men i=of their impending fate?
But, in hell, there is no hope. They don't even have the hope of dying or the hope of being annihilated. They are forever--forever--forever--lost! On every link of the chains in hell are written the word "forever." In the fires, the flames spell out the word "forever." Up above their heads, they read the words "forever." Their eyes are irritated, and their hearts are in anguish with the thought that it is "forever." Oh! if I could tell you tonight that hell would one day be burned out, and that those who were lost might be saved, there would be a jubilee in hell at the very thought of it. But it cannot be--it is "forever." They are "thrown outside, into the darkness."
Now shut your Bible. Who wants to say any more about it? I have warned you solemnly. I have told you of the wrath to come. The evening darkens and the sun is setting. Ah! and the evening of life darkens for some of you. I can see gray-headed men here. Are your gray hairs a crown of glory, or a fool's cap to you? Are you on the very verge of heaven, or are you staggering on the edge of your grave, and sinking down to hell?
Let me warn you, gray-headed men; your evening is coming. O, poor, staggering gray-head, will you take the last step into the pit? Let a young child step in front of you and beg you to reconsider. Think tonight of your past seventy years worth of sin. Let your past life march before your eyes. What will you do with seventy wasted years to answer for--with seventy years of criminality to bring before God? God give you grace this night to repent and to put your trust in Jesus.
And you, middle-aged men, are not safe either; the evening lowers on you too; you may die soon. A few mornings ago, I was awakened early from my bed, and asked that I would hurry and go to see a dying man. I hurried as fast as I could to see this poor dying creature; but, when I reached the house, he was dead--a corpse. As I stood in the room, I thought, "That man gave little thought that he would die so soon." There were his wife and children, and friends--they also gave little thought that he would die, for he was robust, strong, and healthy just a few days earlier. None of you have a signed guarantee on the length of the days of your lives. Go and see if you have such a contract anywhere in your house. No! you may die tomorrow. Therefore, let me warn you by the mercy of God; let me speak to you as a brother; for I love you, you know I do, and would press the matter home to your hearts. Oh, to be among the many who shall be accepted in Christ--how blessed that will be! And God has said that whoever will call on His name will be saved: He throws none out that come to Him through Christ.
And now, you young men and women, one word with you. Perhaps you think that religion is not for you. "Let us be happy," you say: "let us be cheerful and content." How long, young man, how long? "Till I am twenty-one." Are you sure that you will live till then? Let me tell you one thing. If you do live till that time, if you have no heart for God now, you will have none then. Men do not get better if left alone. They are just like a garden: if you leave it alone, and allow weeds to grow, you will not expect to find it better in six months--but worse. Men talk as if they could repent whenever they like. It is the work of God to give us repentance. Some even say, "I will turn to God someday." But if you truly had the right heart, you would say, "I must run to God, and ask Him to given me repentance now, lest I should die before I have found Jesus Christ, my Savior." (this is a part of an open air sermon Charles Spurgeon delivered to a crowd of 12000 people on September the 4th, 1855)
On Wednesday I will continue with a biblical defence of PILLAR 4 – THE WORK OF CHRIST.
Go On To Part 4
Go Back To Part 2
Go Back To Part 1
Go To "The Anatomy Of The Gospel" Series
A La Carte (December 11)
24 minutes ago