Let’s imagine that a king made a decree in his land that there would be a blanket pardon extended to all prostitutes. Would that be good news to you if you were a prostitute? Of course it would. No longer would you have to live in hiding, fearing the sheriff. No longer would you have a criminal record; all past offenses are wiped off the books. So the pardon would definitely be good news. But would it be any motivation at all for you to change your life style? No, not a bit. But let’s go a little further without illustration. Let’s say that not only is a blanket pardon extended all who have practiced prostitution, but the king has asked you, in particular, to become his bride. What happens when a prostitute marries a king? She becomes a queen. Now would you have a reason for a change of lifestyle? Absolutely. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the lifestyle of the queen is several levels superior to that of a prostitute. No woman in her right mind would go back to the previous life.
As long as half-gospel continues to be taught, we’re going to continue producing Christians who are very thankful that they will not be judged for their sins, but who have no significant self-motivation to change their behavior. That’s why so many leaders have to use the hammer of the law and suffocating peer pressure to keep people in line. But what is the church called in the New Testament? The bride of Christ! The gospel message is in effect a marriage proposal.
Classic Christianity, Harvest House, 1989, 72-3.