I've been listening a lot recently to peoples' views about God.
I've heard people talk about a distant God who seems to sit back and watch history play itself out, rather like watching a play.This God already knows the end because He wrote the book.I've heard tell of a God who has "created people just to go to hell" And been told that only those God has already chosen will respond to the gospel message.
This shows me a God who doesn't care, a God who is callous.If this is what God is like then I don't want to know Him.
However, the God I see portrayed in scripture, and in Jesus isn't like this.
I see a God who will go to extreem lenghts to redeem His creation
A God who is patient, a God who is love, a God who gets involves.
Jesus talks about God as the good shepherd who looks hard for His his lost sheep and rejoices when He finds him.(Luke 15)A God who welcomes back the lost son.
I see in Jesus someone who loved the people who walked away from him(Mk10:17-31(21))
I see a God who listens to us and even changes his mind!(Jonah, Sodom and Gomorrah(gen18:16-33),king Hezekiah(2kgs20:1-11) Gentile woman(Mk7:24-30)
God in Jesus lived our life and suffered a horrific death....if the chosen were going to be saved anyway what was the point?It makes Jesus' sacrifice obsene.
Instead I read in Hebrews how God has spoken in the past through prohets but now speaks through his Son Heb1:1-2, and I hear Jesus' parable about a king who sent many messengers and finally sent His son(Matt 21:33-46)
I read that it's God's will that ALL mankind be saved(1tim 2:4-6).I read that ALL who call on His name will be saved (acts 2:21)
Yes I do see the passages that talk about God choosing us...but I see a God who chooses ALL...being chosen still gives us a choice...we can refuse to come.
Jn3:16 says "God so loved THE WORLD...." not God so love the elect.....Jesus says "Come to me ALL you who are weary..."(Matt 11:27-29)
The Gospel is inclusive, not exclusive. Salvation is for ALL, not just the special little club.
We can't just sit back and gloat that we've been chosen...we're told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil2:12).
God wants us to search out the lost and the hurting and give them hope...just like someone searched out you.There is no-one that is beyond God's love.No-one "created for hell"
The church (us!) are called to be light and salt(Matt 5:13-16) Christians should make a difference in whatever community we find ourselves in(Matt 25:31-46)It's not an option...our actions show the genuiness of our faith(James 2:14-26)
Christians are called to love one another (1Jn 3:11,18,23 1Jn4:7-21,1Peter1:22) Jesus prayed that we be one (Jn17:21).So lets not sit back in our little groups thinking that only our church has got it all right! Let us be the holy people He has called us to be.
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