Saturday, 28 February 2015

Why it is unwise to tell a sinner that you have sinned too

A modern evangelical once patronisingly and rudely, said to me, "I know you tell the unsaved that you also deserve Hell, but [this is not enough]". The phrase "we all deserve Hell" is not very accurate. It should be " according to the Law of God, we all deserve Hell". The unsaved who do end up in Hell do deserve it. God is fair and impartial to all. He is fair in saving people by grace through faith. Romans 9:4-16 says:

Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel. Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Ray Comfort explains at in the following post:

I was riding my bike this morning when I noticed a man in his sixties with a small dog, walking on the sidewalk. I stopped and asked, "Did you get one of these?" and at the same time handed him a Ten Commandments coin.

He predictably asked what it was, so I told him and asked, "Are you a Christian?" He said that he was, so I asked if he had been born again. He said, "No. What is a born again Christian?"

At that point, I said, "Nice dog. What's his name?" He said, "Such-as." I introduced myself, and asked for his name.

"Ben, the best way to explain what it means to be born again, is to ask if you believe Heaven exists. Do you?" He said he did.

"Are you going to make it there? Are you a good person?" He said that he used to be.
As we went through the Commandments and I asked if he had ever stolen anything, he said, "Have you?" I quickly said I had and moved on to the next Commandment. This brings up an important point. We can be tempted (when somebody says they have lied) to say, "I have too." When they say that that have stolen, "So have I." This is done to console the person. The motivation may be one of kindness, but I believe this is a mistake.

When Paul asked his hearers (in Romans 2:20), "Have you committed adultery?" he didn't say, "I have too." When he asked if they had stolen, he didn't say, "So have I." When Nathan accused David of breaking the Commandments, he didn't console the king and his sins by saying that he had sinned also. If he had done so, David may not have seen the serious nature of his sin against God. It would have been as though Nathan was saying, "Don't be too concerned David, everybody has sinned against God. It's okay. Don't get too upset about this."

If we console sinners in their sins we may steal contrition from them. What lawyer cross-examines a guilty criminal and when an admission of guilt is elicited, consoles the criminal by saying that he has broken the law also?

So I quickly moved on with Ben and spoke of Judgment Day, the reality of Hell and the necessity of repentance and faith in Jesus.

Ben looked like a pick-pocket who found himself sitting next to a uniformed police officer. He was extremely fidgety; looking to the left and then to the right and then back at me.

When he said that he didn't have a Bible at home, I strongly encouraged him to get right with God today, because he may not have tomorrow.

Then I raced to the ministry, grabbed a New Testament and went back to look for him. I rode around an entire block looking for him, but he had completely disappeared. I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation, such as...

Please pray for Ben.