A doctor called one of his patients into his office and said, "I have some good news and some bad news."
The patient said, "What's the good news?"
The doctor said, "You have only three weeks to live."
"That's the good news? Then what's the bad news?" asked the patient.
"I should have told you two weeks ago. I forgot. I'm so sorry."
How can people appreciate the good news about God's love and forgiveness in Jesus Christ if they don't understand the bad news about sin and judgment? Some people present the gospel as though Jesus were some kind of additive in life: "Accept Jesus and your teeth will be whiter and your clothes will be cleaner and your life will be better. And everything will be great." There are some truths to that. It is true that Jesus will do some of those things.
But here is the problem. What about the person who says, "You know what? I can see that you were once a miserable person. I can see that this has made you a happier person, and I am glad you have found religion. I am glad you have found God. But I'm not miserable like you were. I'm pretty happy with the things are going."
You see, it's not just about being happier. It's not about being a little bit more fulfilled. It's about facing a certain judgment if you reject God's offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. It's about not going to Hell. We don't want to say these things, because it might be offensive. Yes, it might. But it just might be offensive enough to someone to start thinking about his or her life.
If we don't deliver the whole truth of the gospel, then we are not proclaiming the gospel. It's good news and it's bad news. Before we can appreciate the good news of forgiveness, we need to know the bad news about judgment.