By David W. Daniels
Is it really hate to warn
them before it's too late?
A fierce nation rose in the Middle East, bent on conquest. They threatened countries with a simple mandate: “Submit, or die!” They destroyed kingdoms and took captive tens of thousands of people, after brutally torturing and killing the rest. They chopped off feet, hands and heads to show their slave-like devotion to a god traceable back to ancient gods and goddesses of the moon, Venus and sun. Yet God had compassion on them.
Many of God’s people hated those Assyrians (who did you think I was referring to?). So when God called His prophet, Jonah, to pronounce judgment to the great city Nineveh (near modern Mosul, Iraq), he fled the other way! Why? Wasn’t judgment what Jonah wanted? But Jonah knew the truth: as he told God, “thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil” (Jonah 4:2).
Jonah was a “hater.” And like many haters, he justified his own hatred of these lost Assyrians. So what did he do? He withheld preaching God’s word to them. He showed his hatred by not warning them about God’s coming judgment of their sins! Of course, God had other plans, and turned Jonah around later. But that’s another story.
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Many times Bible-believing Christians are labeled “haters,” but for the opposite reason. The unbelievers think that our warning about God’s judgment and the lake of fire show hatred toward them. Quite the opposite! We love them so much that we don’t want them to face Jesus at the Great White Throne and be cast in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).
We love them so much that we don’t want their works to be judged by God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We love them so much that we want them with us in the new heaven and the new earth, forever and ever. We love them so much that we warn them, so they may be saved for all eternity.
That’s why we pass out gospel tracts. The purpose of Chick tracts is to shock the unbelievers into realizing they are lost, deserving of judgment and in need of a Saviour. Then, through the story and the information at the end, the sinner is led to turn in simple faith from sin to the Redeemer, who paid for his sin. If we hated the lost, we would either, like Jonah, refuse to give them the gospel that can save them, or lie and pretend they are saved, calling them “brother” and “sister,” making them comfortable as they head for the lake of fire.
But Chick tracts are not “hate literature.” They are “love literature.” “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). That is the message of love that we prayerfully put in every Chick tract. May we all show love to the unsaved around us, and not be like the “hater” Jonah, and withhold the gospel from them.