TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Ezekiel 3:16-27
A Google search for “most famous sermon in history” returns a fiery sermon by Jonathan Edwards in 1741 entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The sermon was a vivid description of a sinner on the brink of Hell, scarcely saved from the horrors of the wrath of God. Edwards warned the audience that they were dangling on a spider’s thread over the great and unending fire unless they repented and obeyed Jesus.
A Google search for “most popular preachers of today” returns a list of men who are known primarily as health, wealth, and prosperity Gospel preachers or shysters who promised healings that never came. Our culture has change dramatically. Hell isn’t as popular as it used to be — though the population remains unchanged.
In days gone by, some crowds seemed to take pleasure in hearing Hell’s torments described. Some preachers were more interested in scaring people out of punishment than wooing them towards Jesus. Others stepped into God’s territory by making themselves the judge for eternity. We shouldn’t be disappointed that these errors have faded, but we should be cautious to make sure we haven’t neglected an important Biblical doctrine.
When God calls Ezekiel, he makes the prophet’s mission crystal clear: “Whenever you hear a word from My mouth, you shall give them warning from Me.” God recognizes that the people might or might not listen, but it is Ezekiel’s job to tell the truth about judgment and righteousness.
At first glance, Ezekiel 3:16 and following seems like it couldn’t be more different from John 3:16 if it tried, but when you read both passages, you see that Ezekiel and Jesus had the same mission: warn and rescue people from a needless eternal death. Their mission is our mission, too. Hell isn’t fun to talk about, but we must make sure that we declare the whole counsel of God.
Today, I will…think about the “unpopular” truths of Scripture that I am tempted to neglect and pray for boldness