Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
We, in the wake of the Christmas season, have been discussing love from a Biblical perspective. We called it the Greatest Gift, from John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world, that He GAVE-----”.
We have been discussing what Love is, and equally important, what it is not. Love is not sentimental emotion. Nor is it “condemning tolerance”. If that term sounds like an oxymoron, let me explain. Jesus said (in John 14:6) “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”
Note the singular, exclusive, definite article. Also: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;” - John 3:36. If this is true, and it is, than the world view of tolerance which states that all roads lead to God, and as long as you are sincere about what you believe, you will be OK, is condemning. Sincerity won’t by you anything. Jesus paid it all. Another perversion of love suggests that the Old Testament God was all about wrath, while the New Testament Jesus walked around loving folks, and forgiving unconditionally.
Well, the revealed God of scripture is the same today, as He has always been. If your picture of Jesus is something other than a Righteous Judge, let me remind you what He called the Pharisees in Matt. 23 and John 8. He called them hypocrites, snakes, liars, sons of the devil, blind leading the blind, whitewashed cisterns and broken vessels. And none of this out of anger or frustration or loss of control, but out of Sovereign Judgement.
Application: “What about me. What does God’s judgement look like in my day to day life?” Well, something you have to wrap your head around is this. God’s judgement (in this life) is never punitive. It is Always for the purpose of reconciliation. Even the severe cases in the Bible display God’s heart: “To deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” - 1st Cor. 5. God does Love unconditionally, but His love gift (His Son Jesus) comes with some strings. It requires a response: “whosoever believeth”.
This goes beyond just mental ascent, to placing all that you understand about your self under the Lordship of all you understand about Him. It requires repentance, or turning from sin and self, to Him. If it is true that we will “die in our sin” apart from savingly believing (placing our faith) in Him, then suddenly this Great Gift is huge. Rather than focus on how condemning it all sounds, marvel at how Great a Salvation His love gift hath provided for you. Have you accepted His gift? God Bless.