THE WORD IS
- Come back. The ice is too thin.
- Don't try to scare me. Be quiet. The ice will carry me.
In the same instant the ice gives way and the man sinks.
The above incident illustrates how people often relate to matters pertaining to Christian faith. But the Christian faith does not want to frighten us with the threat of hell. It warns us so that we will not have to spend eternity there. "The Lord is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3:9). Nevertheless many are traveling the road that leads to eternal damnation. "For the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it" (Matt. 7:13).
Such a warning is needed. Many apostates are convinced of this in their conscience, but they harden their conscience and travel their own way even though the future seems hopeless. They do not want to repent, neither do they want to hear of the possibility of being lost. They regard all warnings as an attempt to frighten them and regard love as hate. To placate their conscience people are ready to descend to the level of animals according to the formula: The tree decays where it falls. According to this a person does not have an immortal soul and a body that will be resurrected, he does not have to give an account to God and is not subject to judgment.
But Jesus says: "Do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt. 10:28). And the Lord's Apostle says: "For we must all appear before the judgment?seat of Christ, that each one may may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad" (2 Cor. 5:10).
We have all merited God's wrath and condemnation. Let us not be proud. God is the Supreme Majesty. Let us rather humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. God is merciful to sinners for the sake of His Son. Jesus has borne God's wrath in our behalf. Believing in Him we have forgiveness for all our sins through grace. "God justifies the ungodly" (Rom. 4:5). He credits us with Christ's atonement. Everyone who trusts in Christ Jesus is saved.
No one, who trusts in Jesus' name, will be ashamed. Not even you, who are now walking on thin ice. Jesus grasps hold of those who are drowning and places them on the road that leads to heaven. Everyone placed on this road is happy that he was warned. Those in the company of Jesus are not angry, they are thankful. Therefore do not accuse Christians of frightening you, but rather listen to your conscience and conclude: The ice is starting to crack. Leave the thin ice and come to Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Even death was unable to destroy this Way. Come, when the Holy Ghost beckons and draws you.