Lamentations 1:1, “How lonely sits the city That was full of people! She has become like a widow Who was once great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces Has become a forced laborer!”
Ephesians 2:1-3, “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
A Real Threat
A.B. Earle, a nineteenth-century evangelist, insisted on preaching the judgment of God against sinners. He did so, he said, because people have to see themselves as lost before they seek salvation. They won’t escape from the wrath to come until they believe it exists.
Two hurdles must be overcome in convincing people that God is angry with unrepentant sinners. One, the very idea that God has communicated with humanity is unacceptable in “sophisticated” company. They feel that we are nobodies who came from nothing; the little whimper left from the Big Bang. How could nobodies need to repent? Two, human pride resents being called sinful. In this regard, the apostles had an easier task, as C.S. Lewis said. They preached to a people aware of their sins, while we preach to a people adamant in their self-righteousness.
Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
You may juggle human laws, you may fool with human courts, but there is a judgment to come, and from it there is no appeal. – Gifford
Truly at the Day of Judgment we shall not be examined on what we have read, but what we have done; not how well we have spoken, but how religiously we have lived. – Kempis
Justice renders to every one his due. – Cicero
There is no repentance in the grave. – Watts