The Ultimate Appeal to Unbelievers

Posted on January 26, 2022

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By David Ettinger

Cold and Warm
When sharing the Gospel, I come across unbelievers whose reactions vary from icy cold to very warm.

The icy cold are either those who find Christianity absurd and want nothing to do with it, or laid-back atheists good with “whatever makes you happy is fine with me.” What makes this second category icy cold is that though polite, they, too, want nothing to do with Christianity.

The very warm, on the other hand, are those who have a degree of tolerance toward Christianity in that they can see its merits, agree that Christians in general are “good people,” and believe in a creator of some kind.

The Need for a Savior
But what they all have in common is their need for the Savior Jesus Christ. They need Christ because they are sinners, and as such are condemned to eternal damnation.

Matthew 10:28 tells us: “And do not be afraid of 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.” Similarly, Mark 9:43 says: “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire.”

Therefore, according to Jesus Himself, Hell is real, and people go there. But who goes there? For the answer, we turn to the apostle Paul, who wrote in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9:

… when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God, and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These people will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.

This is as powerful a passage as you can get regarding the fate of those who reject Christ. This is their fate because they were born sinners and have not had their sins washed away by the blood of Christ.

In other words, all of us are born sinners, which make us objects of God’s wrath, which make us subject to God’s eternal punishment. However, God provided a Savior – the Lord Jesus – to take away our sins: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Though Jesus died on the cross for the sins of the world, individuals must accept His gracious gift: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12, emphasis added).

To those who reject this gift, the penalty is clear: “The one who believes in the Son has eternal life; but the one who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” (John 3:36).

And if the wrath of God remains on him, “he [is] thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15).

The Appeal
It is crucial that Christians share the truth of eternity with unbelievers. In fact, it is the most crucial truth there is.

When people I speak with – no matter how cold or warm they are to the message – allow me to present it but don’t accept it, I end our discussion with an ultimate appeal. I say something to the effect of:

“Listen, no matter how much trouble you have with the Bible’s teaching in this area, it all boils down to one issue: Every human life is eternal. When we die, our souls continue forever, and go to one of two places: Heaven or Hell. Heaven is a place of eternal joy and peace with God, and Hell is a place of eternal torment and suffering away from God.

“So, you can have your issues with God, particularly His reducing eternal destination to these two options, but it is the truth. And if it is the truth – that after this life you are heading to either Heaven or Hell – don’t you owe it to yourself to confirm this truth?

“Please, I appeal to you, when you get a quiet moment, please talk to God and ask Him if what I said is true. It is the most important question you will ever ask, and the most important truth you will ever know.

“Please, search out this matter of eternal life and discover the truth for yourself. You can’t afford to get it wrong.”

May God cause more and more of the unsaved to heed this ultimate appeal!