by John R. Rice
The Bible deals with the most heart-moving themes that ever entered the mind of man; with the deepest woes of human misery and the highest heights of blessedness and ecstasy; with eternities, not time alone. It centers not on food and drink, nor houses and jobs, but on sin and salvation, Heaven and Hell, everlasting joy or sorrow.
The preacher of the Gospel has more wealth at his disposal than any other public speaker. No other speaker could deal with such themes of joy and promised blessedness, such peace and eternal glory. No other speaker deals with such themes as ought to move the human heart to sighs and tears.
How terrible are the woes pictured in the Bible for the unredeemed, for Christ-rejecting sinners!
With deep moving of heart I have searched through the Bible for the seven saddest sayings about sinners in all the sacred Scriptures. These Scriptures ought to move every Christian to tears and earnest effort to serve the Lord; ought to move the sinner to godly fear and earnest, tearful repentance; ought to move the sinner to seek today the forgiving mercy of God which he has so long rejected.
These are solemn words, tragic words about sinners which we find in the holy Book of God.
“…he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”The sinner is not going to be lost when he dies, not going to be lost after the judgment, but is lost now. The wrath of God is on him all the time.
This same verse says that “he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” One who has trusted Christ is already saved, has a new heart, a new life in Christ. Romans 5:11 says, “…we have now received the atonement.” So those who have trusted in Christ for salvation and have been converted are already children of God, have already received the atonement. John 5:24 says that the believer “is passed from death unto life.” But the unregenerate sinner already has the wrath of God abiding on him.
How does God feel about a sinner who has not trusted Christ? We know that God loves the whole world and gave His Son to die for sinners. But along with this love for all men there is a growing, burning anger against all who reject Christ. Psalm 7:11 says, “God is angry with the wicked every day.”
Then those who are not saved are lost. They are lost now. They are under the wrath of God. Romans 9:22 says, “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction…?” Christ-rejecting sinners are under God’s wrath, and He has already consented to their destruction because they are “vessels…fitted to destruction.”
John 3:18 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” One who has not trusted in Christ is already condemned. It is not said that he will be condemned when he dies or condemned at the judgment, but he is already condemned.
I went to see a man in the jail at Fort Worth, Texas who was already condemned to die in the electric chair within thirty days. He was brought out of solitary confinement so I could talk to him about his soul.
His face was pasty white. His body was thin. His transparent hand trembled like that of a man of eighty, though he was only twenty-two. He was condemned. The court had already tried him. It had already proved him guilty. It had already sentenced him to death. He knew that he was condemned.
All about us are people who are just as certainly condemned as that man, though they do not know it. They have not trusted in Christ, so they have already been found guilty by the court of Heaven. They have spurned the offers of pardon, ignored the plea to repent. God says they are condemned already.
This horrible thought, that unconverted, unrepentant men are already lost, already condemned, already under the wrath of God, is one of the most solemn, saddest taught in the whole Bible.