I can’t believe I haven’t posted this on the blog yet. It’s one of the best sermons I’ve ever heard. It’s a sermon preached by Paris Reidhead on the subject of how sometimes we hide something very dreadful behind a “Christian” facade. He takes quite a bit of time to introduce the main thrust of his message but it climaxes in a way that literally brings me to tears every time I hear it.
You can read the transcript of the entire sermon HERE
Here’s an excerpt…
“And when I went to Africa, I discovered that [the people I went to reach] weren’t poor, ignorant, little heathens running around in the woods looking for someone to tell them how to go to heaven. But they were MONSTERS OF INIQUITY! They were living in utter and total defiance of far more knowledge of God then I ever dreamed they had! They deserved Hell, because they utterly refused to walk in the light of their conscience, and light of the law written upon their heart, and the testimony of nature, and the truth they knew.
When I found that out, I assure you that I was so angry with God that on one occasion in prayer I told Him it was a mighty little thing He’d done, sending me out there to reach these people that were waiting to be told how to go to heaven, but when I got there I found out they knew about heaven and didn’t want to go there, and that they loved their sin and wanted to stay in it.
I went out there motivated by humanism. I’d seen pictures of lepers, I’d seen pictures of ulcers, I’d seen pictures of native funerals, and I didn’t want my fellow human beings to suffer in Hell eternally after such a miserable existence on earth. But it was there in Africa that God began to tear THROUGH THE OVERLAY OF THIS HUMANISM! And it was that day in my bedroom with the door locked that I wrestled with God. For here I was, coming to grips with the fact that the people I thought were ignorant and wanted to know how to go to heaven and were saying, “Someone come teach us”, actually didn’t want to take time to talk with me or anybody else. They had no interest in the Bible and no interest in Christ, and they loved their sin and wanted to continue in it. And I was to that place at that time where I felt the whole thing was a sham and a mockery, and I had been sold a bill of goods! I wanted to come home.
There alone in my bedroom as I faced God honestly with what my heart felt, it seemed to me I heard Him say, “Yes, but will not the Judge of all the earth do right? The Heathen are lost. And they’re going to go to Hell, but not because they haven’t heard the gospel. They’re going to go to Hell because they are sinners WHO LOVE THEIR SIN, and because they deserve Hell. BUT, I didn’t send you out there for them. I didn’t send you out there for their sakes.” And I heard as clearly as I’ve ever heard, though it wasn’t with physical voice but it was the echo of truth of the ages finding its way into an open heart. I heard God say to my heart that day something like this: “I didn’t send you to Africa for the sake of the heathen, I sent you to Africa for My sake. They deserved Hell! But I LOVE THEM! AND I ENDURED THE AGONIES OF HELL FOR THEM! I DIDN’T SEND YOU OUT THERE FOR THEM! I SENT YOU OUT THERE FOR ME! DO I NOT DESERVE THE REWARD OF MY SUFFERING? DON’T I DESERVE THOSE FOR WHOM I DIED?”