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It is difficult for any of us to receive a hard truth, however necessary it may be for us to hear it. But it is always much easier to hear it if it is told in love.

Pastor and author Ray Stedman tells of a congregation that had dismissed its pastor. Someone asked a member of the congregation why they had dismissed the pastor.

"The pastor keeps telling us we are going to hell," the church member answered.

"And what does your new pastor say?"

"He keeps telling us we are going to hell, too."

"So what’s the difference?"

"Well," the church member replied, "when our first pastor said we were going to hell, he sounded like he was glad. But when our new pastor says it, he sounds like it is breaking his heart."

(From a sermon by Freddy Fritz, "Responding to Rejection of the Gospel")

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