"Brethren, I have written a letter unto you" (Hebrews 13:22).


Archived Devotionals

September 28, 2020

 

A Faithful Witness

 

My Dear Friend,

      In a prophetic vision, the apostle John saw, heard, and thus personally witnessed, the coming Great White Throne judgment.

     There he beheld Jesus, who will be assisted by overcoming Christians (1 Corinthians 6:1-2), sentencing all who reject Him to degrees of punishment in the lake of fire according to their works in life (Revelation 20:11-15). He added those in the lake of fire would be "tormented day and night forever and ever." O my! What a seemingly unloving word from the apostle of love!

     Without a doubt, this was the heaviest, hardest, most unwanted of the unpleasant truths John was called upon to share. Yet he shared it with us. Why? He was a faithful witness, committed to telling us the whole counsel of God - not just what we want to hear but what we need to hear. He shared the whole, unedited truth: the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly. Was this hard, bitter truth the only thing he shared?

     Certainly not! In John's Gospel, he had already shared with the biblical audience the softest, sweetest truth mortal eyes have ever read or ears ever heard: that God sent His own Son to die for our sins on the cross and that "whosoever" believes on Him will not perish but receive everlasting life - freely, by grace, through faith, apart from any works of our own (John 3:16-17)!

     So, now, in his last literary work, The Book of Revelation, John tells the other side of this most momentous issue of salvation versus damnation. He could have held it back and told us only part of the message. But his faithful heart would not let him fail God or us by withholding vital truth from us. Do we also have faithful hearts? Are we willing to do what John did?

     When asked directly about the weightier issues—salvation by grace alone through Christ alone; the reality of eternal damnation; readiness for the Rapture of the Church; the Judgment Seat of Christ; the futility of other religions; or other challenging truths—will we share with others the full sobering but saving truth, as John did?

     Isaiah did. He closed the great Isaiah scroll with a stark but vital reality check: a glimpse of the unending punishment of the wicked in the lake of fire (Isaiah 66:22-24).

     Paul also did so. Speaking of his extremely fruitful three years of ministry in Asia, Paul told the leaders of its churches, "I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27).

     Jesus also faithfully told us everything we need to know. He said Christians "ready" for His appearing would be taken - and those not ready left behind (Matthew 25:1-13). He said Christians who faithfully use their gifts will be commended and promoted - and those not using them will be rebuked and demoted (Matthew 25:14-30). And He promised that unbelievers who help His believing Jewish brothers and sisters in the Tribulation will be blessed and received into His kingdom - and those who don't will be cursed and sent off to hell (Matthew 25:31-46).

     But, sadly, far too many will not be so faithful in speaking for God or in telling others what they need to hear now in this life.

     The Pharisees omitted many of the "weightier matters," thus earning them a sharp rebuke from Christ (see Matthew 23:23). Theirs is a practice not to be imitated.

     So the issue is before us: will we, like John, Isaiah, Paul, and Jesus, tell all the Gospel story. Or will we, like the Pharisees, quietly omit them?

     This is a major test of our love for the God of truth and the truth of God. If we truly love Christ, we will speak the whole counsel of God as He did. It is also one way we may identify with the true prophets, who shared with us faithfully everything God shared with them. (See Genesis 40:16-19; 1 Samuel 3:15, 18; 2 Samuel 12:7; 18:32; Daniel 4:19; 5:22-29; Luke 6:20-23.) Will you be a faithful witness?

     Wholly pass your test, wholly love the God of truth, wholly identify with the prophets, wholly share the Gospel - and wholly enjoy the joy of the Lord, realizing you are loving God and your neighbor wholly. And you are being a faithful witness!

A faithful witness,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645