1 Timothy 2:4, 8 MSG
He wants not only us but everyone saved, you know, everyone to get to know the truth we’ve learned: that there’s one God and only one, and one Priest-Mediator between God and us—Jesus, who offered himself in exchange for everyone held captive by sin, to set them all free. Eventually the news is going to get out. This and this only has been my appointed work: getting this news to those who have never heard of God, and explaining how it works by simple faith and plain truth.
Since prayer is at the bottom of all this, what I want mostly is for men to pray—not shaking angry fists at enemies but raising holy hands to God. And I want women to get in there with the men in humility before God, not primping before a mirror or chasing the latest fashions but doing something beautiful for God and becoming beautiful doing it.
With all of the horrible things going on in this world, I hear a lot of, “They’re gonna burn in hell.” Or, “There’s a special place in hell for monsters like that.”
I used to say the same things frequently..but then I had a revelation. We all deserve hell as our final destination, and there is a “special” place there for all of us.
Just because our sins may seem prettier, or are more socially acceptable, they’re still equally hideous in His sight. But! We believers have hope. Because we are saved by grace. And the non-believers have hope, too, because they can also receive Christ and experience grace.
If we spend all of our time condemning “the sinners”, who’s gonna lead them to Jesus?
If we refuse to have anything to do with “them”, how will they ever see that there is hope, love, and forgiveness for them, too?
Christians need to stop acting as if this is some elite group that only some sinners can be accepted into.
Would the world be different if we reached out to these “monsters” and “horrible sinners” – the rejects of the world – the most hated – and told them that they too can be forgiven? That it’s not too late? That even their sins/crimes can be forgiven? That Jesus came died for them, too? What if we got really crazy and said, “I forgive you.” ?
If there is one thing I know, love and forgiveness change everything. They change everything, because love and forgiveness were being offered at the cross..and they’re still being offered today. They transform sinners into believers. They bring hope to the hopeless.
If we are to be like Christ, then we must also offer love and forgiveness to those who have committed the most heinous of sins/crimes. The only way to do that is by realizing how we have also received the same degree of love and forgiveness.
We cannot continue to place pride on our personal brand of sin, seeing our sin as superior. Our sin is filthy, just like everyone else’s.
Let’s work on trying to heal the world, instead of trying to constantly condemn and put the last nail in the coffin. Jesus wants EVERYONE to be in Heaven with Him. None of us deserve to go, but He was willing to die for us anyway. All of us. So that we could be with Him forever.
People need to know they are wanted, loved, and forgiven. Try to see beyond the sin, and into the heart of the person. There are reasons people have become who they are. There are deep hurts, and scars.
What’s one thing people often say to reporters after someone they know does a horrible thing? They say, “I didn’t see it coming. This isn’t the ….. I knew. He/she always seemed happy. He/she was quiet, and kept to himself/herself.”
This proves, most people never take the time to look beyond the surface of a person. People who feel alone and hurt get desperate. They want to be heard.
Will you be a person today who chooses to look past the outward appearance, and the sins, into the heart of a person? Even if you’ve never met them. You can offer love. A simple smile. A kind hello. A sincere, “How are you?” When you read a news article about yet another horrible thing that’s happened, will you stop and offer up a prayer for that person?
Will you show the unbiased love of God today? No one deserves it, but everyone needs it.
Jesus came to save the sinners. We are all sinners. As it says in The Word, He wants NO ONE to perish, but He wants EVERYONE to enjoy everlasting life.
Love like Jesus loves. 🙂
Blessings to you as we continue on this journey together,