Thursday, June 5, 2014

Not a Popular Subject

The word Judgment is not a word that we like to think about. The reality of divine retribution is not something we like to talk about. As a pastor there are many topics that I personally love to teach on. I love to teach on Gods Grace. I am so overwhelmed by it because it has changed my life. I delight in sharing about the love of God. The love that God is and the love that He has demonstrated by sending His son to die in my place is simply amazing. Yet as a pastor when you teach through the whole Bible you will undoubtedly come to passages of scripture that are more difficult to teach on. You will have to address subjects that are not popular with people. The subject of Gods coming Judgment on a Christ rejecting world would fit in that category. 
Teaching the congregation through the book of Isaiah can be challenging. Isaiah had been called by God to proclaim a message that was not received. He was hated and despised. What Isaiah saw coming in the future broke his heart. He could see Babylon coming before they were ever a world dominating power. He knew what was going to happen and he was overwhelmed. However he still proclaimed the message without apology. 
Last night we reached Isaiah 24, the prophet looked beyond Israel, Assyria and Babylon, to a coming judgment upon the entire world. He described the world being shaken. He saw the earth staggering like a drunken man, and men being scorched by he heat of the sun. In the midst of the judgment when God was calling for repentance, the people were calling for celebration. They were unwilling to repent. The went on with life in unbelief and willful ignorance. 
What Isaiah saw and prophesied will one day come to pass. God will one day judge the earth, that is what the Bible teaches. The great tribulation described in Revelation is staggering to read. I realize as difficult as it is to proclaim that part of the truth of Gods Word it must be proclaimed lest we be found guilty of not giving people the whole council of Gods Word. When you consider the coming judgment upon a Christ rejecting world it awakens you in a way that we need to be awakened. Many of us today are content with our own salvation without thinking about those without it. I confess at times I am grieved by my own coldness of heart to lost people. The church needs to be broken for the lost, pray for the lost, weep over the lost, and preach Jesus to the lost. There is a way of escape. There is a rescue from wrath. It is found in JESUS. He took the wrath that we deserve. He died so we would never have to experience the judgment of God. His mercy has triumphed over judgement. Yet if a person chooses to reject the provision for salvation what else can God do? God is loving and He is also just. He cannot be one without the other. May God break our hearts for those who need Jesus.