Thursday, October 15, 2009
"As surely as I live," says the Sovereign Lord, "I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live."
We wonder about the fate of people who have never heard the gospel—would God send them to hell? To me this indicates an incorrect view of God, because the idea is that God would somehow want to send someone to hell, or at the very least, wouldn't care if someone went there. But that is not the God of the Bible.
If we learn nothing else from the Bible, we should learn that God loves humanity and longs for fellowship and friendship with us. God doesn't want any person to go to hell, and the best evidence of this is the fact that He poured out His wrath on His own Son. No father wants his child to be harmed and would gladly take that harm upon himself if it were possible. But God loved us so much that He put His judgment on His Son who had never committed a single sin so that we would not have to go to hell.
God doesn't want anyone to perish but instead wants everyone to repent (see 2 Peter 3:9). God longs for fellowship with humanity. He longs for friendship with you.
If you want to see how God feels about people, then look at the trio of stories Jesus told in Luke 15. God is compared to a shepherd who has lost a sheep, a woman who has lost a coin, and a father who has lost a son. God searches for us. He cares for us. And He wants us to know Him. We will be judged according to the truth we have received; we will not be held accountable for what we do not know. This doesn't excuse us from all responsibility. The fact of the matter is that God will reveal himself to the true seeker.
Copyright © 2009 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
- This life will have its sorrows
- God loves us
- Jesus weeps in our times of pain
- God can be glorified through human suffering
Hope for Hurting Hearts, Pastor Greg Laurie's new book, examines these truths, revealing God's love and care for us, and shows how we can find hope, even in the midst of the most unbearable pain and sorrow.