Day 25
THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN BE GRIEVED
ONE OF THE most neglected teachings nowadays is the Christian’s inheritance. Every believer is
called to come into his or her inheritance. Some do; some don’t (sadly). The word inheritance may
be used interchangeably with “reward” (1 Cor. 3:14), “prize” (1 Cor. 9:27), or “crown” (2 Tim.
4:8). Those who come into their inheritance here below will receive a reward at the judgment seat of
Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). Those who blow away their inheritance will be saved, but by fire with no
reward (1 Cor. 3:15). A reward was of great importance to Paul. He said he kept his body under
control lest having to preach to others he himself be rejected for the prize (1 Cor. 9:27).
You come into your inheritance by careful obedience to the word of God—walking in the light,
resisting temptation, forgiving your enemies, and honoring God in thought, word, and deed. It can be
summed up this way: find out what grieves the Holy Spirit and don’t do that . The most important
teaching I discovered in my twenty-five years at Westminster Chapel was the importance of not
grieving the Holy Spirit. Your inheritance below—seeing God’s will fulfilled in your life and
finishing well—is assured to the degree the Holy Spirit is ungrieved.
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption”
(Eph. 4:30). You will recall from an early segment in this book that the Holy Spirit is a person. He
can be grieved. The Greek word lupeo can mean, “get your feelings hurt.” What hurts the Holy
Spirit’s feelings? Chiefly, bitterness. The next thing Paul says is, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and
anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one
another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:31–32).
I have written an entire book on this subject, called The Sensitivity of the Spirit. Not sensitivity to
the Spirit, important though that is; this book deals with how sensitive the person of the Holy Spirit
Himself is. I wanted to call my book The Hyper-Sensitivity of the Spirit, but my publisher talked me
out of it, knowing people would have no idea what this meant. When we refer to a person who is
overly sensitive, it is not a compliment. But like it or not, that is the way the way the Holy Spirit is! It
is important that you grasp this—how easy it is to grieve Him, to hurt His feelings. You might say,
“He shouldn’t be like that.” All I know is, this is the way He is, and He is the only Holy Spirit we
have! When you think about this—that anger, losing your temper, shouting when you get frustrated,
speaking impatiently to or unkindly of a person, holding a grudge, or pointing the finger—these things
grieve the Holy Spirit!
The problem is, with so many people these things don’t seem to bother them! They should. If we
are conscious of the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit, we will develop an acute sensitivity to Him—and
be able (in ever-increasing measure) to hear His voice. Before he became king, David needed to
learn about this. When he had a chance to get vengeance upon King Saul, who wanted to kill him,
David wisely turned down the opportunity. But he did one thing he thought was harmless; namely, he
cut off a piece of the king’s robe. Afterward he was “conscience-stricken” for doing this (1 Sam.
24:5). He never repeated that sin again. That is what I mean by my earlier comment about finding out
what grieves the Holy Spirit and don’t do that . In any case, we must learn to narrow the time gap
between sin and repentance. If we develop an acute sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s ways, we will be
able to feel it when we grieve Him. When I sense what exactly grieves the Spirit, I am able not to
repeat this. As I said earlier, the chief way to grieve Him is by bitterness and unforgiveness.
Avoiding bitterness, holding a grudge, and losing one’s temper come by living in love—keeping no
record of wrongs (1 Cor. 13:5).
In 1974 my family and I visited Corrie ten Boom (1892–1983) in Holland. I asked her, “Is it true
that you are a charismatic?” Without saying yes or no, she bluntly replied: “First Corinthians 12 and 1
Corinthians 14. But don’t forget 1 Corinthians 13.” It was a shrewd way of saying we need both the
gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
When it comes to grieving the Holy Spirit, I’m sorry, but He will not bend the rules for any of us. It
does not matter how high your profile is, how educated you are, how much you pray and read your
Bible, or how long you have been a Christian. If you or I hold a grudge, snap back at our spouse,
point the finger, or speak evil of some person (even if it is true), the Dove—the Holy Spirit—will be
grieved. The good news is that we do not forfeit our salvation when we grieve the Spirit. Why?
Because we are sealed for the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). The bad news is that our anointing
diminishes—that is, the sense of His presence. We cannot think as clearly, Bible reading becomes
boring, insights into Scripture are withheld, and we become irritable. Grieving the Holy Spirit isn’t
worth it!
Is there anybody you have not forgiven? Are you holding a grudge toward a person who has hurt
you, lied about you, or who has been unjust? Forgive them! Do it now. You may ask, “How may I
know I have totally forgiven them?” First, don’t tell anyone what they did to you. Second, don’t let
them feel afraid of you. Third, help them to forgive themselves. Fourth, let them save face (instead of
rubbing their noses in it). Fifth, don’t reveal their most embarrassing secret. Sixth, do it now, again
tomorrow, and ten years from now. Total forgiveness is a life commitment. Finally, pray for them,
sincerely asking God to bless them.
Do these things, and the ungrieved Holy Spirit will descend upon you and give you peace, joy, and
clear thinking. Best of all, you will come into your inheritance.
For further study: Genesis 45:1–8; 1 Samuel 24:1–7; Ephesians 4:29–5:5; 1 Peter 2:21–25
Precious Holy Spirit, I am so sorry that I have grieved You. I ask for Your forgiveness.
And I now ask You to bless that person who has hurt me. Thank You for this word from
You, and thank You for convicting me of my sin. In Jesus’s name, amenDay 25
THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN BE GRIEVED
ONE OF THE most neglected teachings nowadays is the Christian’s inheritance. Every believer is
called to come into his or her inheritance. Some do; some don’t (sadly). The word inheritance may
be used interchangeably with “reward” (1 Cor. 3:14), “prize” (1 Cor. 9:27), or “crown” (2 Tim.
4:8). Those who come into their inheritance here below will receive a reward at the judgment seat of
Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). Those who blow away their inheritance will be saved, but by fire with no
reward (1 Cor. 3:15). A reward was of great importance to Paul. He said he kept his body under
control lest having to preach to others he himself be rejected for the prize (1 Cor. 9:27).
You come into your inheritance by careful obedience to the word of God—walking in the light,
resisting temptation, forgiving your enemies, and honoring God in thought, word, and deed. It can be
summed up this way: find out what grieves the Holy Spirit and don’t do that . The most important
teaching I discovered in my twenty-five years at Westminster Chapel was the importance of not
grieving the Holy Spirit. Your inheritance below—seeing God’s will fulfilled in your life and
finishing well—is assured to the degree the Holy Spirit is ungrieved.
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption”
(Eph. 4:30). You will recall from an early segment in this book that the Holy Spirit is a person. He
can be grieved. The Greek word lupeo can mean, “get your feelings hurt.” What hurts the Holy
Spirit’s feelings? Chiefly, bitterness. The next thing Paul says is, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and
anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one
another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:31–32).
I have written an entire book on this subject, called The Sensitivity of the Spirit. Not sensitivity to
the Spirit, important though that is; this book deals with how sensitive the person of the Holy Spirit
Himself is. I wanted to call my book The Hyper-Sensitivity of the Spirit, but my publisher talked me
out of it, knowing people would have no idea what this meant. When we refer to a person who is
overly sensitive, it is not a compliment. But like it or not, that is the way the way the Holy Spirit is! It
is important that you grasp this—how easy it is to grieve Him, to hurt His feelings. You might say,
“He shouldn’t be like that.” All I know is, this is the way He is, and He is the only Holy Spirit we
have! When you think about this—that anger, losing your temper, shouting when you get frustrated,
speaking impatiently to or unkindly of a person, holding a grudge, or pointing the finger—these things
grieve the Holy Spirit!
The problem is, with so many people these things don’t seem to bother them! They should. If we
are conscious of the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit, we will develop an acute sensitivity to Him—and
be able (in ever-increasing measure) to hear His voice. Before he became king, David needed to
learn about this. When he had a chance to get vengeance upon King Saul, who wanted to kill him,
David wisely turned down the opportunity. But he did one thing he thought was harmless; namely, he
cut off a piece of the king’s robe. Afterward he was “conscience-stricken” for doing this (1 Sam.
24:5). He never repeated that sin again. That is what I mean by my earlier comment about finding out
what grieves the Holy Spirit and don’t do that . In any case, we must learn to narrow the time gap
between sin and repentance. If we develop an acute sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s ways, we will be
able to feel it when we grieve Him. When I sense what exactly grieves the Spirit, I am able not to
repeat this. As I said earlier, the chief way to grieve Him is by bitterness and unforgiveness.
Avoiding bitterness, holding a grudge, and losing one’s temper come by living in love—keeping no
record of wrongs (1 Cor. 13:5).
In 1974 my family and I visited Corrie ten Boom (1892–1983) in Holland. I asked her, “Is it true
that you are a charismatic?” Without saying yes or no, she bluntly replied: “First Corinthians 12 and 1
Corinthians 14. But don’t forget 1 Corinthians 13.” It was a shrewd way of saying we need both the
gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
When it comes to grieving the Holy Spirit, I’m sorry, but He will not bend the rules for any of us. It
does not matter how high your profile is, how educated you are, how much you pray and read your
Bible, or how long you have been a Christian. If you or I hold a grudge, snap back at our spouse,
point the finger, or speak evil of some person (even if it is true), the Dove—the Holy Spirit—will be
grieved. The good news is that we do not forfeit our salvation when we grieve the Spirit. Why?
Because we are sealed for the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30). The bad news is that our anointing
diminishes—that is, the sense of His presence. We cannot think as clearly, Bible reading becomes
boring, insights into Scripture are withheld, and we become irritable. Grieving the Holy Spirit isn’t
worth it!
Is there anybody you have not forgiven? Are you holding a grudge toward a person who has hurt
you, lied about you, or who has been unjust? Forgive them! Do it now. You may ask, “How may I
know I have totally forgiven them?” First, don’t tell anyone what they did to you. Second, don’t let
them feel afraid of you. Third, help them to forgive themselves. Fourth, let them save face (instead of
rubbing their noses in it). Fifth, don’t reveal their most embarrassing secret. Sixth, do it now, again
tomorrow, and ten years from now. Total forgiveness is a life commitment. Finally, pray for them,
sincerely asking God to bless them.
Do these things, and the ungrieved Holy Spirit will descend upon you and give you peace, joy, and
clear thinking. Best of all, you will come into your inheritance.
For further study: Genesis 45:1–8; 1 Samuel 24:1–7; Ephesians 4:29–5:5; 1 Peter 2:21–25
Precious Holy Spirit, I am so sorry that I have grieved You. I ask for Your forgiveness.
And I now ask You to bless that person who has hurt me. Thank You for this word from
You, and thank You for convicting me of my sin. In Jesus’s name, amen.


Day 26
THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN BE QUENCHED
THE HOLY SPIRIT is depicted in the New Testament in at least five ways—the dove, fire, oil, wind,
and water. Water cleanses. It is said that our bodies are washed “with pure water” (Heb. 10:22). The
dove relates to the sensitivity of the Holy Spirit. The dove is a shy, sensitive bird. When the dove
came down on Jesus and remained (John 1:32–33), it showed that Jesus never grieved the Spirit, as I
show in The Sensitivity of the Spirit. As for oil, this is something one has to make preparation for.
Moreover, the wise virgins took oil in their vessels; the foolish did not (Matt. 25:3–4). As for the
wind depicting the Spirit, wind cannot be controlled; it is out of our hands. When the wind chooses to
blow, nothing will stop it. In any case, there are at least three references to wind in the New
Testament: (1) on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:2); (2) Jesus’s words to Nicodemus, “The wind
blows wherever it pleases” (John 3:8); and (3) to the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures (2 Tim.
3:16).
Quenching the Spirit refers to fire—fire that is already burning. You cannot quench fire by pouring
water on what isn’t there. Therefore quenching the Spirit implies that the Spirit is at work, but that
one can quench Him; that is, put out the fire. That said, I think it is possible to quench the Spirit before
He has had opportunity to work, perhaps like pouring water on wood before it can burn, as I will
show below.
There is only one explicit reference to quenching the Spirit in the New Testament: “Do not quench
the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19, ESV). “Don’t put out the Holy Spirit’s fire” (NIRV). What is the difference
between grieving the Spirit and quenching the Spirit? They almost certainly overlap. But if there is a
difference, it is probably this: we grieve the Spirit mostly by our relationships with one another—like
judging and unforgiveness; we quench the Spirit mainly when we are prejudiced against the way the
Spirit may be manifesting Himself or by not respecting His presence. It is often fear that lies behind
quenching the Holy Spirit. But it could also be smugness. It is largely Christians who quench the Holy
Spirit; after all, the words “do not quench the Spirit” are addressed to Christians. But you don’t need
to be saved to quench the Spirit.
All the examples that follow had in common that they quenched the Spirit. First, the Gnostics. They
were never converted and were a great threat to the Christian faith. They did not believe that Jesus
Christ had come in the flesh (1 John 2:19–22). They came into the church through the back door and
ruthlessly quenched the Spirit by infiltrating the fellowship (Jude 4). They were “blemishes at your
love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualms” (Jude 12).
Another enemy of the church were the Judaizers. These were Jews who made professions of faith
but insisted that all Gentiles be circumcised. They hated Paul and all he stood for. They not only
quenched the Spirit but almost ruined the Galatians. Anybody who superimposes the Mosaic Law on
believers seriously risks quenching the Holy Spirit. The Galatians, though they were clearly
converted, were in a terrible bondage. This is why Paul was adamant: “It is for freedom that Christ
has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery”
(Gal. 5:1). For “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor. 3:17).
It was definitely true Christians who quenched the Holy Spirit in the church of Corinth. They met in
homes to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. But certain middle-class Christians took over. They did not
bother to wait for the poorer members who had to work late and therefore arrived after the Lord’s
Supper was over (1 Cor. 11:21). God judged these middle-class Christians with weakness, illness,
and death (v. 30). Ananias and Sapphira quenched the Spirit, which resulted in their deaths, when
they lied in the presence of God (Acts 5:1–11).
In my book Holy Fire I talk about a false teaching called “cessationism”—a manufactured theory
that claims that the miraculous “ceased” some two thousand years ago by God’s own decree. These
people maintain that the Holy Spirit does not, will not, or cannot manifest today through the gifts of
the Spirit. Therefore when individuals adhere to cessationism, the Holy Spirit is virtually quenched
before He is given an opportunity to show His power; it is like pouring water on wood that cannot
burn.
Don’t be threatened by the Holy Spirit. Some would say that the Holy Spirit is a “gentleman.” But
I’m not sure I always agree with that! Whereas I am sure you don’t need to be threatened by Him, He
still may not be as nice as some might hope. Dr. Lloyd-Jones said often that the problem with the
ministry today is that it has “too many nice men” in it. The Holy Spirit may require something of you
that was not on your radar screen. Back in 1982 I made the decision to give up my aspiration of being
a great theologian and instead be willing to take to the streets, give out tracts—not that I am
suggesting they are mutually exclusive! I began to talk to complete strangers and passers-by about the
Lord. It was so embarrassing! But I never looked back.
So I do not say God will not require something of you that leads you out of your comfort zone. You
may indeed have to leave your comfort zone. But I can promise this: follow the Holy Spirit by being
totally open to Him; you will be forever thankful. In any case, please do not quench the Holy Spirit—
or pour water on wood so that the fire cannot burn.
For further study: Acts 8:18–24; 1 Corinthians 11:17–21, 27–32; Galatians 3:1–5; Jude 4–13
O Holy Spirit, please overrule in my life that I will never quench the fire that You have
caused to burn. Let me never pour water on wood You may want to ignite. I pray on
bended knee that You will come unquenched into my heart and stay there without any
hindrance from me. In Jesus’s name, amen.


Day 27
THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTS OF SIN
HE WILL CONVICT the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8, ESV). Only
the Holy Spirit can make us see our sin, show us the need for righteousness, and the urgency of the
gospel—that there is judgment. A person cannot feel convicted of these things on his or her own. It
takes the Spirit to shake us rigid.
This is true before and after our conversion. We cannot see our sin or the seriousness of unbelief
before our conversion—we are all so self-righteous. It requires the Holy Spirit to make us see the
painful truth—that we have grieved Him by self-righteousness and unbelief and are going to have to
give an account of our lives at the judgment seat of Christ. Even after conversion we must beware of
self-righteousness. This is why John said, writing to Christians, “If we claim to be without sin, we
deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). It is also why it is good to pray the Lord’s
Prayer daily—recalling the petition, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins
against us” (Luke 11:4).
The Spirit shows us our sin but also leads us to see the need for righteousness—of which there are
two sorts:
1. Righteousness imputed to us when we believe the gospel—called saving faith
2. Righteousness imparted to us when we “continue to live in him” (Col. 2:6)—called
persistent faith
Righteousness is connected to Jesus’s ascension (“I am going to the Father, where you can see me
no longer,” John 16:10) partly because the preaching of the gospel did not begin until Jesus died, rose
from the grave, and ascended to the Father’s right hand.
But what is the “judgment” of which the Spirit promises to convict us? Two things. First, it is a
reminder of the wrath of God. After Paul said that he was “unashamed of the gospel” (Rom. 1:16), he
gave the real reason people need to be saved: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and wickedness of men” (Rom. 1:18). The issue is this: Why be a Christian?
Some say, “You will be so much better off.” “You will be a happier person.” “You can enjoy
prosperity.” “It will help your marriage.” And on and on come the various suggestions. But the real
reason a person should be a Christian is owing to the wrath of God. The earliest message of the New
Testament was from John the Baptist, warning us to “flee from the coming wrath” (Matt. 3:7).
Second, it is a reference to the Final Day—when the Judge of all the earth shall do right. (See
Genesis 18:25.) Satan is the cause of all the evil and injustice in this world. The death of Jesus took
Satan by surprise (1 Cor. 2:8) and not only spelled his downfall but also forecast the day of his
judgment. Death was defeated by Jesus’s death (Heb. 2:14), which is why Jesus said, “The prince of
this world now stands condemned” (John 16:11). People often ask, “Is there no justice in this
world?” Answer: Sometimes there is, but don’t count on it. “Life’s not fair,” said John F. Kennedy.
But one day God will openly bring about Satan’s demise. God will explain the reason for evil and
suffering. Everything will be put under Jesus’s feet. Satan himself will be “thrown into the lake of
burning sulfur” (Rev. 20:10). The Holy Spirit convicts of this truth, testifying that Satan stands
condemned but also that judgment is coming.
For this reason, we “all” must stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of the
things done in the body, whether good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10). The Holy Spirit therefore convicts of the
final judgment. The affect this should have on us is godly fear. As soon as Paul mentioned standing
before the judgment, he mentioned the “fear” of the Lord (“knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,”
2 Cor. 5:11, KJV). The reference to judgment also points to the neglected teaching of eternal
punishment. When Paul witnessed before Felix, he spoke of “judgment to come.” Felix was afraid. He
trembled (Acts 24:25, KJV). In times of great revival there is often a revival of the teaching of
judgment and eternal punishment. And yet only the Holy Spirit can make this truth terrifying. If He
does not come alongside when such is preached, people will be unaffected.
Some people say, “If there were no heaven and no hell, I would still be a Christian.” I know what
they mean by that. But Paul vehemently disagrees. He would say that kind of thinking is sheer
nonsense. “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor.
15:19, ESV). Paul had so much suffering from the day he was saved that he would have no reason for
living if there were not a heaven to come. This is the most wonderful news: we are on our way to
heaven. This is why Jesus died (John 3:16).
When the Holy Spirit convicts us as Jesus promised He would, we become convinced of what
ultimately matters—and learn, therefore, the real reason people need to be saved.
For further study: Matthew 3:1–10; John 3:3–16; Romans 1:16–20; 2 Corinthians 5:10–21
Holy Spirit of glory and grace, thank You for showing us the gospel—why He was sent
into this world, why He died, and how we may be saved. Deliver us from shallow
thinking about the real reason Jesus died and why people need to be saved. In Jesus’s
name, amen.Day 27
THE HOLY SPIRIT CONVICTS OF SIN
HE WILL CONVICT the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:8, ESV). Only
the Holy Spirit can make us see our sin, show us the need for righteousness, and the urgency of the
gospel—that there is judgment. A person cannot feel convicted of these things on his or her own. It
takes the Spirit to shake us rigid.
This is true before and after our conversion. We cannot see our sin or the seriousness of unbelief
before our conversion—we are all so self-righteous. It requires the Holy Spirit to make us see the
painful truth—that we have grieved Him by self-righteousness and unbelief and are going to have to
give an account of our lives at the judgment seat of Christ. Even after conversion we must beware of
self-righteousness. This is why John said, writing to Christians, “If we claim to be without sin, we
deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). It is also why it is good to pray the Lord’s
Prayer daily—recalling the petition, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins
against us” (Luke 11:4).
The Spirit shows us our sin but also leads us to see the need for righteousness—of which there are
two sorts:
1. Righteousness imputed to us when we believe the gospel—called saving faith
2. Righteousness imparted to us when we “continue to live in him” (Col. 2:6)—called
persistent faith
Righteousness is connected to Jesus’s ascension (“I am going to the Father, where you can see me
no longer,” John 16:10) partly because the preaching of the gospel did not begin until Jesus died, rose
from the grave, and ascended to the Father’s right hand.
But what is the “judgment” of which the Spirit promises to convict us? Two things. First, it is a
reminder of the wrath of God. After Paul said that he was “unashamed of the gospel” (Rom. 1:16), he
gave the real reason people need to be saved: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and wickedness of men” (Rom. 1:18). The issue is this: Why be a Christian?
Some say, “You will be so much better off.” “You will be a happier person.” “You can enjoy
prosperity.” “It will help your marriage.” And on and on come the various suggestions. But the real
reason a person should be a Christian is owing to the wrath of God. The earliest message of the New
Testament was from John the Baptist, warning us to “flee from the coming wrath” (Matt. 3:7).
Second, it is a reference to the Final Day—when the Judge of all the earth shall do right. (See
Genesis 18:25.) Satan is the cause of all the evil and injustice in this world. The death of Jesus took
Satan by surprise (1 Cor. 2:8) and not only spelled his downfall but also forecast the day of his
judgment. Death was defeated by Jesus’s death (Heb. 2:14), which is why Jesus said, “The prince of
this world now stands condemned” (John 16:11). People often ask, “Is there no justice in this
world?” Answer: Sometimes there is, but don’t count on it. “Life’s not fair,” said John F. Kennedy.
But one day God will openly bring about Satan’s demise. God will explain the reason for evil and
suffering. Everything will be put under Jesus’s feet. Satan himself will be “thrown into the lake of
burning sulfur” (Rev. 20:10). The Holy Spirit convicts of this truth, testifying that Satan stands
condemned but also that judgment is coming.
For this reason, we “all” must stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account of the
things done in the body, whether good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10). The Holy Spirit therefore convicts of the
final judgment. The affect this should have on us is godly fear. As soon as Paul mentioned standing
before the judgment, he mentioned the “fear” of the Lord (“knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,”
2 Cor. 5:11, KJV). The reference to judgment also points to the neglected teaching of eternal
punishment. When Paul witnessed before Felix, he spoke of “judgment to come.” Felix was afraid. He
trembled (Acts 24:25, KJV). In times of great revival there is often a revival of the teaching of
judgment and eternal punishment. And yet only the Holy Spirit can make this truth terrifying. If He
does not come alongside when such is preached, people will be unaffected.
Some people say, “If there were no heaven and no hell, I would still be a Christian.” I know what
they mean by that. But Paul vehemently disagrees. He would say that kind of thinking is sheer
nonsense. “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor.
15:19, ESV). Paul had so much suffering from the day he was saved that he would have no reason for
living if there were not a heaven to come. This is the most wonderful news: we are on our way to
heaven. This is why Jesus died (John 3:16).
When the Holy Spirit convicts us as Jesus promised He would, we become convinced of what
ultimately matters—and learn, therefore, the real reason people need to be saved.
For further study: Matthew 3:1–10; John 3:3–16; Romans 1:16–20; 2 Corinthians 5:10–21
Holy Spirit of glory and grace, thank You for showing us the gospel—why He was sent
into this world, why He died, and how we may be saved. Deliver us from shallow
thinking about the real reason Jesus died and why people need to be saved. In Jesus’s
name, amen.