We Persuade Men
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
II Corinthians 5:10-11
It is impossible to understand God's love without understanding his judgment. The cross plainly declares both. It is here that we see God's righteous judgment for sins and we also see his love for us in taking this judgment upon himself. You see, God is absolutely holy - therefore he hates sin and he will judge it. God also loves you beyond words - therefore he willingly took your judgment upon himself.
If you are lost, I hope that God will use me today to persuade you of both the eternal danger that you face and of the way of escape that God has made for you. For those of us who know Christ as our Savior, may we be persuaded anew of the need to share God's salvation with others.
And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
There is fiery torment in hell:
And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
This torment never ends:
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
There is no escape apart from God's great salvation:
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
It is not God's will that any should suffer this eternal punishment:
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
II Peter 3:9
God has provided a simple way of escape:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David,
To day, after so long a time; as it is said,
To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.