The Terror and Wonder of the Gospel

This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, July 29, 2007, and was taken from Jeremiah 4:5-31.

How do we share the gospel? There are those who say you need to be very careful, so as not to offend your hearers. Talk about life and meaning and purpose, and steer away from those negative things. Others say that you need to shake them out of their complacency. Some say avoid any mention of the judgment of God, while others think you should start off with the judgment of God. Which way is the right way? The answer is both. You need to have some understanding of who you are dealing with, and let God lead you as to how you should approach them.

We have just one gospel to proclaim, and we have no option but to proclaim all of it: Those who are outside of Christ are sinners. Sin incurs the wrath of a holy God. Unless one repents of their sins, and turns to the only way of salvation, Jesus Christ, they must stand before the righteous judge in the last day.

  1. God’s grace does not cancel out his righteous judgment. While it is true that God is love, he is also fully holy and righteous. We must declare the full nature of God. Judgment is coming because God’s wrath abides upon the unrepentant; and judgment is coming because the people have rebelled against the Lord, repeatedly.
  2. God’s judgment is devastating. See how it is described in verse 6 and 7. This is not a slap on the wrist. Look at vs. 23-27. The devastating destruction of God is so complete that Jeremiah describes the scene as an un-creation.
  3. Even in the midst of this terrifying judgement, God holds out a ray of hope in the latter part of verse 27: “yet I will not make a full end.” How should one respond. The right response is tucked away in verse 14: “O Jerusalem, wash your heart from evil, that you may be saved.”

The Gospel warns against the coming judgement of God. Your only hope is to flee to Christ.

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