Jesus said, “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).
Everyone loves an encouraging word, but not every situation calls for one. A person suffering from a fatal illness will not benefit from a reassuring lie. Our children are not corrected if all we give them is kindhearted counsel. A defiant army is not subdued by the mere wooing of a negotiator.
Jesus Christ offers words of great encouragement, but these are not the only words He offers. Jesus spoke (and still speaks) words of dreadful threatening, and we are wise to take these words to heart. The true and sober warnings from a faithful friend should be the most welcomed words of all.
What greater despair and anguish could there be than for one to die in sin? The thought is horrible, and yet many carelessly dismiss it today. Christ is the gracious Savior of all who believe (trust, love, serve) Him, but He is the indignant judge of all who remain in their sin of disbelief.
May God gracious grant that we take this warning to heart, and may He grant us grace to believe and thereby be free from our sin and guilt.