Tuesday, January 26, 2010

But God Loves Us!

"But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him." Luke 12:5

The other day I shared an event (the death of a believer) in my mom's life that had a great impact on her walk with the Lord. It was not the only time she was at the deathbed of a loved one as a child. She was there when another family member also died--I will not mention the relationship for the sake of sensitivity. By all accounts, this was a good person. Once, this individual braved cold and a long walk to deliver groceries to a family in need. If good works and a decent life saved us, this person would be a candidate. It serves to confirm the word, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25

Salvation is found only in Christ! It is certain that we cannot save ourselves since we are all found guilty before God. Solomon saw this truth when he wrote, "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not." Ecclesiastes 7:20 John elaborated greatly on this in 1 John 1:8-10 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." Love would compel God to make one way so as to not confuse mankind. He would surely make that one way stand out above all error; virgin birth, detailed fulfilled prophecy, death and resurrection, etc. God would do this because the penalty for not accepting Him is so high.

Unfortunately, we are living in a time when men take great liberties with scripture. They attempt to alter the message especially when they don't like its clear teaching. Yet, God is immutable, unchanging, and unmoving as love would require Him to be. We may wish God might treat us different than others, but to do so would be unjust. In love, God must remain immutable, He cannot lie, and He must faithfully warn us of impending disaster. Maybe that is why Jesus spoke on Hell more than any other person in all of scripture! In love He shared truth and He shared this truth in a loving way. He knows what horrors are in store as He created it. His word is not like a buffet line. We can't take what we like and throw the rest away if it doesn't suit us! We must cultivate a greater respect for God than that!

At death, this good person began to curse and swear. Shouts of "I'm burning, make it stop" and, "They are clawing at me" were heard. Yet, Christ was never once named. This person began calling on another family member to make it stop, but Jesus was never called on. It is for this very reason that we must pray for and witness of God's love for all men. God does not desire any man to miss salvation! Listen to His pleading voice in Ezekiel 33:11, "Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?" Only a love like God's would reach out to a terrorist, a prostitute, or any other wretched sinner! Why! He does not want to send them from His presence, but in love He must honor the choice they made.

Since there is a heaven to gain and a hell to shun, we must share the good news in Christ. God's love constrains us. We must take God's word as it is on these "touchy" subjects or risk losing the world around us. Maybe we need to consider again Paul's admonition about changing the word to suit our tastes. " But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8-9 I may not like what it says, but it is clearly not my message to mess with! I also can't change the immutable God to suit my needs or wishes! "For I am the LORD, I change not;" Malachi 3:6a Since we seem to be in the last days, remember Jesus always started His teaching on theis time with the warning to let no one deceive you.

He does love us! That is why He risked such a heavy price at Calvary to purchase our redemption. Jesus blood was eternal blood and the price of rejecting it has eternal consequences. But that same, precious blood has the power to wash away every sin and stain!

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