The longer I walk with the Lord and serve Him as an undershepherd of Christ the more my spirit is troubled by the increasing tendency among evangelicals to soft-sell God. We live in a church culture committed to sparing the feelings of others. Additionally, my concern is for a key doctrine of God which must be minimized, or even ignored, in order to accomplish this soft-sell. The marketing of a god whose defining trait is sentimental love for his irresistible creatures requires the diminishing of the demands of the true God’s righteousness, which, in turn, requires the camouflaging of the horror of future judgment. This concern resurfaced in my devotional time, this morning, while reading these piercing words from Alec Motyer in Isaiah By the Day. Applying Isaiah 34:1-17, he writes:
“Serious passages about divine wrath and judgment are hard to take, and this is one of them. Isaiah does not try to spare our feelings, and we, for the most part, do not feel, as he did (21:4), that our hearts are broken for the lost who feel the blow of the divine hand. But it will come. The wages of sin is death, and death it will be, the outpouring of divine exasperation when once divine patience has reached its terminus. Isaiah’s picture of mountains eroded by the colossal flood of the blood of the slain is, as we say, ‘only’ a picture, but it will be matched by the reality when the day comes. Praise God, the company of the saved will be innumerable, but that does not take away from the multitudes who will stand unready, unfit, hopeless, in the valley of that eternal decision. Jesus did not hide his face, or ours, from it (Matt. 25:46), nor did John make any attempt to camouflage the grim procession to the lake of fire (Rev. 20:12-15). And these are people we know, sometimes people we love, always people for whom we have a responsibility in the gospel. Today is the day to ponder these things…”
Those who diminish the righteousness and wrath of God often claim to do so out of love for others. But the opposite is reality. Camouflaging God in an attempt to spare the feelings of those not yet rescued by His saving grace is not an act of love at all. True Christian love for the lost is being so concerned for their eternal well-being that one is willing to risk polite rejection, or even bitter hatred, in the effort to bring the gospel to them. Are we really more interested in our own comfort and acceptance than we are in the eternal destiny of immortal souls? O God, help us.