Vol.XI No.VIII Pg.1
October 1974

Give 'Em Heaven!

Robert F. Turner

Have you ever heard someone say, Give em Heaven, preacher!! It is likely you have heard the opposite— and maybe there is too little warning and rebuke from some pulpits. Fear of punishment is a legitimate prod, used by our Lord and His apostles. But we may be overlooking the power of hope and encouragement to motivate people.

Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, Go, and sin no more. He did not condone her former life, but pointed her to a better life. I have often been impressed by the blending of severe warning and encouragement in the Hebrew letter. How shall we escape? (2:3), followed by a reminder of Christs sacrifice for us that He might bring many sons to glory and succor them that are tempted. Let us fear (4 : 1), Let us labor (v. 11), Let us hold fast (v. 14), followed by Let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy—, (v. 16).

The terrible charge of crucifying the Son of God afresh (6:4-8), is followed by Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and by the two immutable assurances (Gods oath and promise) by which we may have hope. This is the pattern of the epistle.

The hope is not a childish wish, nor unconditional pie in the sky. Each time it is coupled with demands for obedience, for service, and pleas to hold fast your faith without wavering. The warnings are drastic; but each seems to be followed by some encouragement: If any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. (Heb. 10:38-39). Surely there is a valuable lesson here.

The gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, not unto damnation. (We are condemned because of our sin.) Those who know truth should be emissaries of light, joy, peace. There are people who do not recognize their lost condition, but there are also many many people who groan under their load. They may not understand what brought them to this state, and they may take some convincing — but, Oh, my brother, give em Heaven!!