Message for February 22, 2015 from Pastor Jerry

“ The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7(NKJV)   “Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good tidings, who proclaims peace.” Nahum 1:15(NKJV)

        These statements are awesome reminders of God’s love and grace.  Paul even quotes one of them in Romans 10:15 in the midst of his expose` on faith and salvation.  As always it pays to put the verses within the context of Scripture where they are used.  It is interesting to me that they are in the prophecies of Nahum directed at rebellion against God and a declaration of destruction on the city of Nineveh.  If you read the contents of Nahum, it will chill your blood at what God declares will happen to His enemies.

        Yet, it is clear that God does not take pleasure in the destruction of His enemies as He says in Ezekiel 18:23.  In the middle of divine wrath God holds out hope for those who are willing to turn to Him.  In the midst of declared destruction He offers the people peace. God’s desire to save and protect far outweighs His desire to judge and destroy.

        Hellfire and brimstone are real, but they are not the main message of the Gospel.  But so many preachers only have that kind of message.  John 3:16 is often referred to as “the Gospel in a nut shell.”  If so, then what does it say?  Is it hellfire and brimstone or is it the love of God for His creation.

        The Bible says it is not God’s will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  Repentance is turning away from sin and toward God.  Some preachers seem to take pleasure in preaching sinners into hell, they would even hold the door open for them if they could.  Can you imagine Jesus ever saying of a sinner, “Hell is too good for him.” The nature of God is not to destroy but to save.  I was once told by a well know preacher, If you tell someone that they are going to hell, do it with tears in your eyes.  It seems that too many people do it with pleasure and enjoy it. The love of God constrains me.  How about you?

 

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