Saturday, April 23, 2011

"God loves the sinner" clarified

I made a comment a couple days ago that I would like to clarify. It is in regard to the commonly known phrase, “God loves the sinner and hates the sin.” I had said that was not true. Whereas I still maintain that position it does need clarification.

Of course God loves His creation; He loves the world so much that although they were separated from Him without hope of redemption, He sent His Son from on High to suffer humility, shame, brutality, torture, and abandonment from the Father so we would have a Way of redemption.

John 3:12-16 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I would like to encourage you to read verse 14 again: 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

Now read a portion of the account Jesus is referring to (from Numbers 21)

Numbers 21:7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and against you; pray to the LORD that He take away the serpents from us." So Moses prayed for the people. 8 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, shall live." 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone, when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived.

There are 3 things that really jump out at me as I read this:

1- The people then knew they sinned against God and knew they needed His Mercy and Grace. Many people today do not consider themselves sinful, and until that happens they will not see the need for Jesus

2- God brought the Jews out of bondage and they still turned on Him, choosing instead to serve idols. Sounds strangely familiar doesn't it? Many people get to the point of brokenness and turn to God. He frees them from the bondage of sin and instead to serving Him, they return to serving idols. Our idols are much more sophisticated than golden calves though, right? Our idols are money, power, sex, booze, drugs, pornography, hollywood, gossip, pride, religion etc.

3- Although God provided the most basic instruction to the Jews, “look to the serpent and you will live”, many still died. Why? Were they too proud? Were they too angry with God? Did it sound silly? Were they too lazy? It is confusing that many rejected God's healing; after all, the ones that were bitten by the snake were going to die. There wasn't a chance of another “remedy” to come along. Maybe some were deceived by someone saying, “don't waste your time looking at that snake, I have a cure right here, you don't need to look to the snake.” All of this sounds oddly familiar with peoples reaction to God's plan of redemption.

Pride, anger, confusion, laziness, deception; pick your favorite or add to the list; there are plenty of reasons people reject Jesus Christ. But one thing is certain, Jesus is the Author of salvation and the disobedient will NOT inherit eternal life:

Hebrews 5:9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

The reason I say, “God loves the sinner and hates the sin” is untrue is because it creates confusion and God is not the author of confusion. This statement leaves people with a false sense of eternal security. This statement suggest that we can go on sinning and God still loves us and we will still be ushered in to Heaven when we die. This is simply not true. God is angry with the disobedient every day. God is angry with the unbelievers every day. Yes, He loves the world so much that He did what He did to redeem us; but that doesn't mean your hands been stamped by default. We are not born children of God, we are born objects of Wrath with the right to “become” children of God.

Ephesians 2:1-5 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Hebrews 3:10 THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THAT GENERATION, AND SAID, 'THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY HAVE NOT KNOWN MY WAYS.'

Deuteronomy 9:7 "Remember! Do not forget how you provoked the LORD your God to wrath in the wilderness. From the day that you departed from the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the LORD. 8 Also in Horeb you provoked the LORD to wrath, so that the LORD was angry enough with you to have destroyed you.

I have been accused of being too hard-core in my posts and that I need to be more positive. I am reading what the Word of God says, and when I read that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey and know there are those professing to be Christians, yet look just like the rest of the world in serving their flesh, I write about it. I just write what the Lord puts on my heart. My desire is not to get people to like me, my desire is that people be saved.

Hebrews 5:11-13 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

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