Bad News Before It's Good
I've been studying Hebrews this week. It's interesting to observe how the author of Hebrews uses both encouragement and warning to address a situation pastorally. It's my observation that most of us default to one or the other. It takes intentionality to use both together.
Jonathan Edwards touches on this when he talks about the God's message containing both warnings and hope. The gospel is not only good news.
The old original wounds must first be probed in their depth before there can be healing. The Scripture compares sin with the wound of the soul, and says that an attempt to heal this wound without examining it first is vain and deceitful. It is God's message to show men how awful their state is before he brings the comfort of deliverance and healing. The gospel must be revealed as bad news before it can be good news. (Religious Affections)