James Burton Coffman
The message of John the Baptist, when he came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, was not, “Smile, God loves you!”
It was “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matt. 3:7)
The prophet Jeremiah was not cast into the miry pit for preaching, “I’m OK; You’re OK!” He suffered the wrath of his contemporaries for crying out against their adultery, idolatry, violence, injustice, and shameful indifference to God’s commandments.
Noah’s message from the steps of the ark was not, “Something good is going to happen to you!” He condemned the world and was called by the Holy Spirit, “A preacher of righteousness” (2 Pet. 2:5).
Jesus Christ was not crucified for saying: “Consider the lilies, how they grow.” He went to the cross for demanding of all the dwellers in Jerusalem, ”…except ye repent…Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites…child of hell…fools…blind guides…ye are children of your father the devil” (Luke 13:3; Matt. 23:14-16: John 8:44).
Paul was not commissioned to write about half the New Testament because he taught that men are “saved by faith only.” He taught,
…vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness…obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil (2 Thess. 1:8; Rom. 1:18; 2:8-9).
There is no record of Jesus Christ trying to help men find out who they were. When they went up into the mountain, Jesus did not ask, “Peter, who are you?” The Lord never directed any follower to try to identify himself, but He did demand, “What think ye of Christ; whose son is he?” (Matt. 22:42). It is not, who am I, but who is He!