What do you think about fire and brimstone preachers? Curiously, I was drawn to one while in college. Incredibly, this street preacher is still at it. Brother Jed and his wife, Sister Cindy. I guess they have quite the social media following, mostly in sarcasm. That’s OK. There will be a few who truly hear the message, “Turn and live.”
Please don’t misunderstand. I wish that all who heard would repent of their sins and be saved, but that most likely won’t happen. In fact, it is a rare thing when someone genuinely does. The message, “Turn and live,” is not welcomed by the vast majority of people. Almost everyone scoffs at the idea.
What’s tragic is that “turn and live” is a sincere pleading of the most important message mankind will ever hear. It is a message that God himself gives over and over in scripture. Here is just one example.
Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? Ezekiel 18:23
Incredibly, people laugh at this. I certainly did.
Turn and Live
I can also tell you what it’s like to actually do it. Frankly, it changed my life beyond what I ever imagined. Yes, I became a bible-thumping, Jesus Freak, just as I had feared. However, instead of being a nightmare, this was the best thing that ever happened to me. By far.
It is true. If you turn, you will live. If you can’t see how disgusting your life of sin is, it’s only because you refuse to look at it. What’s more, even your good deeds are filthy rags in the eyes of the Lord because whatever “good” you do is done for selfish reasons instead of glorifying him. Until you repent, you cannot please God. See Romans 8:1-11.
All or Nothing
It’s all or nothing with God. You’re either all-in or you’re all-out. There is nothing in between. It’s heaven, or it’s hell. It’s your choice. You can’t get to heaven unless you repent and have faith in Jesus Christ. How about hell? You can get to hell by keeping on like you already are. You already have your ticket to that destination.
Are you willing to walk away from everything you know to follow Jesus? It will cost you friends, family, and perhaps even your life. People, even loved ones, will hate you because of Jesus. “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)
My recommendation? Turn and live.