I have a couple of questions for all of us who have children. Here’s the first
question: Has your child ever disobeyed you? Now, take a little time to think
about it in case you’re not sure.
now if you answer was yes, like all
the rest of us, here’s the second question: Have you ever punished your child
let me ask you this: How long did the punishment last? More to the point, Did
you declare that the punishment would last forever?
idea of it sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
weak and imperfect parents, forgive
our kids for their disobedience against us. We might also punish them if it
seems appropriate, but I wonder how many of us would think it fitting, or even
sane, to punish them for the rest of their lives.
Christians would have us believe that God, our heavenly Father, who is not weak and imperfect, does punish people forever and ever,
even people who have never even heard the gospel. And these same people say God
is full of grace and mercy.
think about it for a moment, because there seems to be a large gap between what
we learn from Jesus and what some Christians believe about eternal damnation.
For example, Jesus tells us to love our enemies and even to do good to those
who hate us and persecute us. But some Christians think that God not only hates
his enemies, but literally roasts them mercilessly and relentlessly for
on the other hand, prayed for his executioners,
saying, “Father, forgive them,
because they don’t know what they’re doing.” But some Christians teach
that God only forgives a precious few that he predestined to forgive before he
even created the world. Now, if that were true, then Jesus’ prayer didn’t make
a whole lot of difference, did it?
as we humans love our kids, how much more does God love them? It’s a rhetorical
question — God loves them infinitely more than we are even able to love them.
Jesus said, “Which of you fathers, if your
son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?… If you then, though you
are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your
Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke
truth is, just as John 3:16-17 tells us, God really does love the world. “For God so loved the world that he gave
his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to
condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
know, the salvation of this world, this world that God loves so much he sent
his Son to save it, depends on God, and only
on God. If it depended on us, and on how good we are at getting the gospel to
people, then there really would be a
big problem. But it doesn’t depend on us. It depends on God, and God sent Jesus to do the job, and Jesus did the job.
blessed to be able to take part in the process of getting the gospel to people,
but the actual salvation of the
people we love and care about,
of those we don’t even know,
and even those who it seems to us never even
heard the gospel:
short, the salvation of everybody,
something God takes care of, and God
is really good at what he does.
That’s why we put our trust in him, and in him alone!
Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.