While seeking the Lord about what to write, He simply said “Why wait?” I said, Lord, I’m going to get right on it. Then it struck me like a 2×4 upside the head…He wasn’t referring to something I was putting off, He was instructing me what to write, so here goes.
A letter was written to me the other day about a certain minister that preaches a very positive and uplifting message, none of this “hellfire and brimstone” stuff. Everyone likes to hear an uplifting, positive message, including me. And I like to preach a “positive” gospel, but, when repentance is needed, I’m not afraid to say so. Does God ever do the “hellfire and brimstone” thing? Yes, and when you read the book of Jonah, God said He would destroy Nineveh for their wickedness, remember? Jonah told them the “good news” and they repented. Now look at that same scenario had Jonah preached a “feel-good” sermon to them instead of the hellfire and brimstone message. They would have ended up destroyed.

 You see, too many times people are lulled into thinking it’s ok to remain living in sin, that God will just wink at it. They’ve heard too many preachers telling them that whatever they do, it’s ok.

 Well, God said “Be ye Holy for I AM HOLY.” Some preachers are afraid to preach the truth, for fear of losing their financial support. So they tickle people’s ears. Make them feel good, and they’ll come back. And they’ll bring their checkbook. Not so with me. If God is telling me to tell people to turn from their sin and repent, that’s what I’m going to preach. I want to see people make it to heaven. Not just “people”, but YOU personally. And if you or they get offended and stop giving, that’s not my problem. I don’t work for you or them, but for God, and have sounded the warning. The monkey’s off my back. I’m a watchman, as in Ezekiel chapters 3 and 33. I don’t want people’s blood on my hands. I didn’t ask for this job, but nonetheless, it’s mine, and it’s a serious responsibility.
In Luke 13:3, Jesus said, I tell you, nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. And if that weren’t enough, He repeated it in verse 5. Sometimes you have to tell it like it is. God isn’t about destroying people, He is about saving them. But some people only repent when they are threatened with hellfire and brimstone. A “positive and uplifting” sermon has no effect on them whatsoever, like water off a duck’s back. I was one of them. But in July 1993, I was diagnosed with cancer and given a month to live. To that point, nothing had moved my hard heart to repent until that weekend, knowing hell was my next stop. That did it! I repented and got saved. Had I heard a positive, uplifting, feel good message that weekend, in all probability things would have continued on just like it had been up to then, until the cancer killed me. And I would have been lost, thinking everything was ok when it wasn’t.

 Actually, I don’t remember what the pastor even preached that weekend. But whatever it was, it made me realize I was lost and headed straight for hell, do not pass go, do not collect $200. My wife and I talked about that one, and she agreed, she hadn’t seen any change in my life up to then at all, until I was faced with going to hell, up close and personal. You know, Jesus spoke more about hell than He did heaven. His message wasn’t always a “feel-good” one. Now that I think about it, a little glimpse of hell just might be good for everyone. It would definitely make everyone’s choice about where they want to spend eternity a little easier to make. It sure did for me!
Of course, we know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Jesus said in Matthew 11:21-23, “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.”
Was this a “positive and uplifting message?” Let me put it like this; would YOU have wanted to hear that? In other words, had someone preached repentance to them, accompanied by miracles, they would have repented and remained and not been destroyed. Keep in mind, Jesus came to save people, not necessarily make them feel good about themselves. He was known to bust a bubble now and then.
Now I know this is being read primarily by Christian people. That’s not to say each of you are where you should be with the Lord. And of course, not all of you are saved. YOUR salvation is the purpose of my letter. You know if you are, I don’t have to tell you, right? And if you are not saved, why wait? Maybe there’s a “backslider” or two out there? Slide back! Why wait? There are only two kinds of people, those who are saved, and those who aren’t.

Are you waiting for a personal invitation from God? This is it!
Always, the number one thing I tell people, is how much God loves them and wants them to be saved, and that the price is already paid for their salvation, and for them not to put salvation off to another time. I mean, you’d have to be a fool to spend eternity in hell when your ticket to heaven is already bought and paid for! There’s a story in Luke 14 that Jesus told,

Luk 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many:
Luk 14:17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready.  Luk 14:18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.

This man had bought a piece of ground sight unseen, and now, all of a sudden, he wants to go see it? It’s a little too late to inspect it now. It’s already a done deal. Too bad if it isn’t what he wanted. Besides, it’s suppertime, is he going to wander around in the dark trying to find his piece of ground? Everyone knows you don’t go out looking for your piece of ground in the dark on an empty stomach! You might be out there quite a while, and there might not be a McDonalds nearby. Pretty sorry excuse, wouldn’t you say?
Luk 14:19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
When was the last time you went out on an empty stomach, in the dark to plow with ten new, untried oxen? Let alone, find them? Keep in mind that flashlights were still a few years off yet…. This guy must have been the brother of the ground buyer…Dumb and Dumber!
Luk 14:20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
I can’t picture a guy not wanting to show off his brand-new Bride….or passing up a free meal. Is that anyway to treat your new Bride, to make her cook on her honeymoon? All the more reason to go. Besides, really, what new bride can cook, anyway? He can almost taste the food….mmmmmm! But Mama said “no”. End of plan. Too bad, Jack, can I have your dessert?
Luk 14:21 So that servant came, and showed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.
Luk 14:22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
Luk 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Luk 14:24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
You know, lots of people are going to miss out on the Kingdom of God. And you don’t want to be one of them. Since the beginning, people have their excuses….too hot, too cold, too early, too late. And sooner or later, it WILL be too late. But it isn’t……yet…..If you’re still breathing, then it isn’t too late.
COME NOW TO JESUS. (This is your cue, do it now, like the nice preacher says)

After that, I remind people they have no guarantee they will draw another breath or wake up tomorrow. It’s then I explain to them about the lake of fire that awaits the unsaved. I don’t have to badger anyone. They know if they’re saved or not. Sometimes it’s that “reality check” that brings them to repentance, and salvation. Some come to the altar when I tell them how very much God loves them. Others come running when they hear the hellfire and brimstone message. Whatever it takes….just so they come. It is said you can draw more flies with honey than vinegar. And that’s true. But God wants to draw all men unto Himself. Some are drawn to honey, others you have to drag kicking and screaming. It isn’t as important how they come, as when they come. Right now is best. One message doesn’t work for everyone. Some come to Jesus in response to a positive, uplifting message. Praise God for that. But for hard-heads like me, only the reality of hell gets the job done. I don’t judge or condemn. That’s not my job. My job is to get the information people need to be saved, into their hands, then motivate them to act on it.
So what is YOUR excuse for putting off God? Your friends may not approve? Your husband or wife may not like it? People at work might not like the “new you”? Maybe you’re having “too much fun”? C’mon! I’ve probably heard more excuses than Hershey’s has M&M’s. And not a one of them will hold water with Jesus, come judgment day, believe me.
The best excuse is no excuse. Just come as you are, right now. Why wait? You aren’t going to surprise God one bit. He already knows all you are, and are not, and He loves you anyway! If you need to repent of something, just do it right now. Stop making excuses. You know, deep inside you really, really want to spend eternity in heaven. Talk to the Lord Jesus right now and tell Him how you really feel. There’s a place for you already set at His table.

Come NOW! Supper’s ready! Why wait?