A Biblical Warning
A warning is just that—a warning!
Response to warnings of this type cannot be made mandatory, only made public. There are also only a certain number of methods for posting warnings: caution signs can be erected; areas can be clearly marked and sometimes barricaded; textual communication can also be posted. If the danger is sufficient enough warning lights and other audible indicators may be employed. But in the end a warning is just a warning.
Why is there a need for a public warning when discussing God? Because there is no greater danger in human existence than the rejection of God and his Son Jesus Christ. And because the danger is real, and because the threat is so grave, the need for bold warning exists. Consider the expectation of society to warn others of impending danger. Failure to warn others of hazards that result in injury or death not only elicits a negative response from society, but may include a punitive action due to the gravity of the neglect. At the very least, a verbal reprimand should be expected when someone fails to at least attempt to inform others where danger is present and warning should have been the right course of action. With this in mind, there is no greater need for public warning than to alert those who follow the clarion call of those who are opposed to God and admonish others to do the same. Please accept the following biblical warning as an attempt to help and not hinder.
5 Basic Warnings
I would like to provide just five basic points of warning. But first, let us be clear on the matter that God is interested in all persons taking heed to his warnings as clearly stated in the Bible. And secondly, that his warnings result in people choosing to obey the gospel and his offer of forgiveness of sins. Here are only a few of the New Testament passages make this evident (italics and emphsais added throughout this section).
“This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time” (1 Timothy 2:3-6 ESV).
“The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15 ESV).
“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent: because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31 KJV).
God is openly interested in everyone understanding his efforts to deliver people from unbelief and sin. God provides warning through public announcement as contained in the world-wide publication and dissemination of the Bible. This is the equivalence of posted warnings and communications that God himself gives to provide ample warning to everyone.
Now for the five basic warnings.
Biblical warning #1: Every individual will give an account for his or her life. In stark contrast to secular humanism’s staunch declaration that no ultimate accountability exists for any of us, the Bible plainly states the opposite. Please do not be misled into thinking that human beings are merely dust of the stars that live a few years and return to the dust of the universe without an ongoing conscious existence. Every person will give an account for themselves. Any view that denies this fact stands directly opposed to the Scriptures.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV).
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37 ESV).
Biblical warning #2: Our sins will be discovered. We are all sinners—every one of us. We are born with a predisposition to sin and we willingly and knowingly commit sin.
Although some denounce the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments) as pernicious to human self-actualization, the Ten Commandments alone provide the yardstick by which we can measure and know we sin. Without such a standard and instrument we would never recognize our sin. When the biblical standard measures our conduct and we recognize we are sinners, we ought also to recognize we are in need of forgiveness for our sins. That understanding should drive us to the One whom we sin against, and who offers forgiveness of our sins.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10 KJV).
Our sins will not be covered, swept under a rug, nor hidden away from God’s eyes and evaluation. Our sins will all be exposed.
“Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops” (Luke 12:2-5 ESV).
Biblical warning #3: Judgment will be passed on each individual’s life. In the most basic explanation, there is an appointed day when every individual will meet their maker and judge. Consider the Bible’s proclamation about this day:
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works (Revelation 20:11-13 KJV).
If, therefore, every person will appear before God who is the judge, what is judgment based upon? The biblical warning explains the matter to us: judgment is based upon choosing darkness rather than the light, and choosing not to come to the light. This is the great decision confronted by every person—come to God through Jesus Christ or refuse to come to him (italics added).
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed” (John 3:16-20 ESV).
But for those who come to the Light, that is, Jesus Christ, judgment and condemnation for sin is removed: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God“ (John 3:18 ESV). The apostle Paul reiterates the removal of condemnation for sin: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2 KJV).
Biblical warning #4: Repentance and acknowledgment of the lordship of Christ is required. There is possibly no more concise statement in the Good News than is found at the end of the gospel of Luke, which says, “Thus it is written [within the Old testament], that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:46-47 ESV).
From God’s perspective, repentance is a requirement for forgiveness of sins. Why would this be? Simply put, the gift of God is given to all who come to him and are willing to acknowledge their personal sins and believe in Jesus Christ. We cannot pay for our sins. We cannot deliver ourselves from our sins. God has provided the substitutionary death, burial, and resurrection of Christ to make forgiveness of sins possible. Nevertheless, God requires that each one who comes to him must acknowledge his or her sins and turn from his sins (repentance) to live for God through Jesus Christ. This is a non-negotiable part of being saved from our sins. And what if we refuse to repent? Christ himself made this abundantly clear, saying, “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:5 KJV). And if anyone repents? The answer is also clearly stated: “And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3 ESV).
Biblical warning #5: An assignment of eternal dwelling will be determined. Those who believe there will be no ultimate accountability for each person, also make the claim there will be no ultimate place of residence assigned to each person. To be more clear, if there is no God, so the claim goes, there can be no accountability; and if no accountability, no assignment of location for an eternal dwelling. This belief and claim is in direct conflict with the statements of the Scriptures. The biblical warning of an eternal dwelling assignment by God for each person is thorough, extensive, and complete. Here are but a few examples.
“And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2 ESV).
...when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 ESV).
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15 KJV).
Again, these are but a few of the passages that tell us God has issued a warning to all. A significant part of that warning is the fact that every one of us will dwell in one of two places throughout eternity—either where the Lord of Glory resides or the place that has been prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 12:9).
Allow me to provide one final biblical warning. This warning provides a concise summary of the situation that exists for all people—for those who repent of their sins and believe in Christ, and for those who refuse to believe in Christ and repent.
“But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality” (Romans 2:5-10 ESV).
The conclusion—an invitation Do these warnings seem to be negative and overly concerned with personal sins and the eternal results of sin committed during this lifetime? Is there only fearful warning that must be published? Of course not! The Scriptures issue an invitation to every one of us calling us to come to God through Jesus Christ for everlasting life. In fact, this invitation is referred to in the Bible as the Good News—the Gospel. The invitation can be offered because of the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ for the redemption of all humanity—to all who call upon him in truth and sincerity.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God (John 3:16-18 ESV).
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4 KJV).
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:4-9 KJV).
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Andall things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 KJV)
For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for "Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world" (Romans 10:11-18 ESV).
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17 KJV).
Human secularism is yet another source of authority for attempting to understand the world in which we live. To many it is a stone in the road of life over which they stumble. And unfortunately, secular humanism places itself in a position so directly and so completely in opposition to God and Jesus Christ and the published Scriptures that eclipsing their staunch position can hardly be imagined. Nevertheless, for anyone who will hear and take heed to the Bible and God’s invitation, He waits for a response.
“Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, the sure mercies of David” (Isaiah 55:3 KJV).
“I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture”--Jesus Christ (John 10:9 ESV).
I encourage you to consider both the warnings and the invitation. Pick up a Bible and read these references for yourself. Ask God to help you to understand and come to life in Jesus Christ!
My best to you!Homepage