A Two-Sided Gospel (2 Corinthians 2:16)

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After a church service one Sunday morning, a woman who had been helped by the message wanted the preacher to know about it. In her enthusiasm, however, she misspoke herself and said, “Oh, Pastor, your sermon today was exactly what I needed! It was like water to a drowning man.”

Her confused metaphor reminds me of the dual effect of the gospel has on people who hear it. The ones who accept it find it to be life-giving – like water to a person dying of thirst. But to those who reject it, it is death-dealing – like “water to a drowning man.”

Speaking of his ministry as an apostle, Paul wrote, “To the one we are the aroma of death to death, and to the other the aroma of life to life.” Charles Simeon commented on this text: “To some, we are an occasion of deeper condemnation. To others, we are the means and instruments of their salvation.” One of the authors of Pulpit Commentary, R. Tuck, wrote, “There are only these two issues. The gospel must either take us by the hand and lead us up into the sunlight, or it must bid us away down into the dark.

What a warning this should be to the unsaved! To hear the gospel and trust Christ for salvation brings life. But to continue rejecting Him is to guarantee condemnation. It’s a matter of life or death. – Richard W. De Haan

 If God is calling you today,

Then trust in Christ without delay;

Tomorrow it may be too late,

For death’s grim hand may seal your fate. – Sper

The gospel is good news to those who accept it but bad news to those who reject it.

  • July 29, 1990, Our Daily Bread

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