Summary: How many people will be in Hell because we chose not to win them or told them that some sin we deemed unpardonable blocked them from coming to Him?
2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
You do not have to condone a person’s lifestyle to love them. Indeed, they may be in that lifestyle because no one loved them.
I remember when I was in bible college in Winston-Salem, NC there was a young woman in our complex that I tried to lead to Jesus. She was a single Mom and was rumored to be somewhat on what we would call the loose side. She was also known to be depressed.
One day I knocked on her door and we sat down to have a conversation. When I tried to lead her to salvation she told me could not come to Christ, I asked her why not. She said that her grandfather, who was a Pentecostal preacher, told her she had committed the unpardonable sin so she could not be saved. She did not elaborate what the sin was, but by her description of the faith she grew up in, I guessed it was because of an illegitimate child. I am thankful that not all Pentecostals are like that lad! Sadly, he sounds like too many Baptist preachers that I have known.
Despite all my explanation of how she did not commit that sin and that she could be saved, she felt that since her grandfather was a pastor he was right. I did everything but get on my knees and plead with her to no avail.
I walked out very sad that a preacher condemned this girl to a life of Hell as well as consigning her to Hell with no love or grace extended to her or hope of forgiveness for a sin that has been forgiven by God many times over the years. Did he not remember that David had committed murder and adultery and instead of being killed, he was forgiven by God when there was no sacrifice for those two sins in the OT? Did he not read of the sin that not even the Gentiles did in Corinth that was forgiven when the couple repented of it?: What was he thinking?
No wonder her lifestyle was a mess. What hope did she have? What point would there be to go to church or try and live a better life if she was a dead woman walking to Hell?
We must reach out to sinners in love and extend hope for their lifestyle may be fueled by hopelessness and a life barren of love. Slapping and kicking them when they are already down is not how Jesus responded to the woman taken in adultery or even the demoniac in the tombs.
Jesus came to call sinners to repentance, not scream at them. He was harsh to the hypocrites of the religious establishment. He did not even rail on Judas when he betrayed Him with a kiss. What makes us think we have the right to do differently when we call ourselves Christians?
It is time to be about our Father’s business in the way that Jesus did it and if we are walking in the Spirit as He was we will not act as fleshly as some have done in the name of Jesus. If we truly believe He is coming soon then we need to get into the fields weeping, not shaking our fists. Shake fists at the hypocrites and false prophets, not the sinners. They need Jesus and forgiveness.
When we berate the sinners who are only being what we were before Christ or would have been if not for our coming to Christ as early age, we forget that our sins were forgiven and disgrace the Gospel of grace and the God who gave it. Repent and reach out in love and gratitude to the ones who need love and grace be they sinners or wayward saints that need ointment for the burns they may have received from a Christian or sadly, a pastor. Maranatha!