Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hell-deserving sinners are saved for God's glory

Last night I was struck again the truth of this message. I read through the transcript of a sermon by Paris Reidhead on Judges 17 called "Ten shekels and a shirt". He delivered it in 1980, nearly thirty years ago, but it is one of the most prophetic sermons that I have ever heard. It is possibly more relevant now than it was then.

Humanism is such a disgusting sickness in our churches today. I think most evangelists are motivated by a concern for poor humans ending up in hell. But isn't it our just and glorious and holy and righteous and loving God who will put them there?

In our flesh we are monsters of iniquity. We deserve hell, we deserve the eternal torment of an omnipotent angry and righteous God. A concern for horrible sinners ending up in hell? Isn't that totally against God's character? If God didn't want anyone to go to hell, He would certainly make sure that everyone was saved. But this is not what the Bible tells us. The Bible tells us that God did not spare the angels when they fell, but threw them into hell.

Our evangelism should certainly be motivated by a concern, but it is not a concern for the happiness of hell-deserving sinners, it is a concern for the glory of God. It is a desire that God would be glorified through hell-deserving sinners hearing the Gospel and being regenerated and humbling themselves and coming to the cross and dying to self and living for God, by the blood of Jesus Christ.

It is a desire for God to be glorified through the salvation of sinners for the praise of the glory of His grace. As the Lord revealed to Paris Reidhead, "It wasn't for their sake that I sent you to Africa! It was for my sake! I paid the price to redeem them and my people belong to Me! I poured out my blood for them! Do I not deserve the reward of my suffering?"

"I, I am he
who blots out your transgressions for my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins." - Isaiah 43:25

And even clearer in Ezekiel 36.

22"Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.
And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.
24 I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you.
I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations.
Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations.
It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord GOD; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel.

It is so clear that evangelism is for the sake of the glory of God. For His name's sake. May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering. Humanism says that it is for the happiness of man. That same man who is an enemy of God, whose depravity and rebellion is so offensive in the eyes of the Lord that he deserves eternal condemnation, damnation and torment. The only reason for God to save such a person is for the praise of the glory of His grace.

May we have the same motivation and have done with humanism and utilitarianism which makes God a means instead of an end. As Paris Reidhead said, let's tell Micah we're through, let's tell the tribe of Dan that we won't go along with them anymore. Let's serve the living God instead of serving Micah and the tribe of Dan for ten shekels and shirt.

May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering!

"Ten shekels and a shirt" by Paris Reidhead. You might be able to find it on as well, and I highly recommend listening to it. Sadly these heresies of humanism and utilitarianism are rampant throughout the church, but may we stand for the truth.

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