God’s love brings us to repentance.
It’s like that line “you make me want to be a better man”
in the movie “As Good as It Gets”.
Once we begin to grasp that God loves us so deeply,
we want to be better people.
He is powerful and just.
No question he could rain down wrath because of our disobedience.
He has shown what His wrath can do:
The Flood…because of the rampant sinfulness of mankind
The destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah..
again due to the sinfulness of the humans in that wicked city.
He has nothing left to prove in regard to His power & might.
His message now is Love & mercy.
Because he wants to save us. That was the entire life purpose of Christ.
God isn’t sadistic…he isn’t happy when people go to hell.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9
“God is mighty, but does not despise men;
He is mighty, and firm in his purpose.”
I found this interesting:
“There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:
a lying tongue,
hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked schemes,
feet that are quick to rush into evil,
a false witness who pours out lies,
and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
Yes, there are instances of hate in the scripture…but anyone who has access to a concordance can see clearly
what the overwhelming message of scripture is.
The word hate appears approximately 90 times in the Holy Bible.
The word love appears over 300 times.
Not including their other forms (hated, hates, loves, loved, etc)
There is a certain church group in Kansas that frequently proves the idea that a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous tool in the hands of the ignorant. I find myself having trouble calling them a church…because their actions and words sound more like a cult than part of the Body of Christ.
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.”
“…knowledge puffs up but love builds up.”
1 Corinthians 8:1
“Love must be sincere, hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
Luke 6:35 (the red words are Christ's!)
There is an ENTIRE chapter devoted only to Love:
1 Corinthians 13
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,
but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part;
then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.”
If God’s message was hate and damnation, there would have been no reason to send Christ to endure such horrific torture and humiliation to pay the ransom for our eternal lives.
Anyone who preaches a different message than what Christ came to reveal will have to face Him one day…and will have to answer for all the damage they’ve done…all the people they pushed away from the love that we are supposed to exemplify as His ambassadors.
I shudder for them.
Love has won the war already…
hate intends to take down as many as possible during the skirmishes.
While I was writing, I was reminded of two songs: