Tag Archives: mercy

Grace: More Abundant Than Sin

God’s grace!  We are told that where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.  We, as believers in Christ, know that we cannot “earn” God’s grace.  It is given out to whom He chooses to give it out to.  The wonderful thing is that God gives grace to all people (in different measures of course).  We do nothing to merit the dawning of a new day. We do nothing to merit the birth of a newborn.  We do nothing to merit safety from much danger in our lives.  And yet, grace is there to bless us, to save us, to walk with us and uphold us in this world of much sin and evil.

But, I think, that most Christians have no idea what God’s grace really is.  If they do know about it, they sure don’t act if they do.  God’s grace, to the one who truly acknowledges it and begins rightly to understand it, is like the runner who does not seem to labor in his marathon.  He seems to effortlessly glide along the path with no concern about the dangers along the way, the pain along the way, the struggles along the way.  Some would say he is “in the zone” or is experiencing the “runner’s high.”  God’s grace in the life of the believer is so much more than those chemical or mental experiences.  The runner in a sense “earns” those feelings and that state of mind through his activity.  For the believer this is not so!

If you step into most churches today you will hear a steady stream of moaning and bewailing of personal sin.   You will hear many people relaying their struggles with sin and the latest “remedy” they have found to combat their sin (the latest 12 step something, or avoidance technique, or meditation ritual, etc).  But at the end of the day, you will not hear much about the conquering of sin!  Where is the abundant grace that is more abundant than sin?  It seems, nowhere to be found in the modern church!  The modern day believer is so self-focused and sin-focused they couldn’t identify an act of God’s grace if it was handed to them on a silver platter with a sign attached to it!

The remedy though, I am finding out, is fairly simple and straight-forward.  You want to know what the remedy is? Sure you do!  Here it is, wait for it, wait for it, it is to  GIVE UP!   Give up trying to count and label your sin.  Give up giving it preeminence in your thoughts.  Give up trying to conquer it because in this fleshly body you will not conquer it (it needs no conquering!  Jesus conquered it for you on the cross!!!!!)  When you give up trying to eliminate sin from your life, grace is still there running on legs that never tire or ache.  Grace is there beside you, just waiting for you to accept powerlessness over sin and give yourself over to God’s love, mercy, His GRACE, and to carry you when you can no longer run!

Think about it for a minute.  If every time you thought about God’s grace when you sinned, about how your sin was wiped out by Jesus, about the love that God lavishes on you when you don’t deserve it, and many other like things, how long could sin keep you down?  How long would it take to realize that God is worth more thought and attention than the sin you daily espouse and bemoan?  How would your ministry to love others be affected by this new thought process and action plan?

I am on that journey of transformation.  I will arrive one day, at the end of the ages for sure, but during this earthly age, I am slowly learning that what we treasure in our heart (focus our lives on God’s grace, not our sin) will show us who deserves our time and attention.  Will you focus your attention on God and Christ or on sin and evil?  The choice is yours, my brothers and sisters, the choice is yours!  Make the right choice today!  (check out Paul’s letter to the Roman believers in the New Testament of the Bible, it will be a big help to you!)

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Craig

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Don’t Let Sin Reign in Your Mortal Body

Here is my provocative question for this post.  When you read what Paul wrote in Romans 6:12, “Let not Sin, then, be reigning in your mortal body, for you to be obeying its lusts.” (CLV, Concordant Literal Version), do you:

A. Believe this to mean “stop sinning” and refers to the “acts of sin” OR

B.  I will never stop sinning in my mortal body but thankfully as a new creation in Christ my sins have been removed and sin no longer tells me what to do, I tell it what to do! (get lost!)

If you choose A., then you are in league with the whole modern church today.  You believe just as most every other believer today because you believe that Paul is telling you to quit committing acts of sin, like adultery, swearing, lying, cheating, stealing, etc.  It also means you will probably seek to remove all appearances of evil and sin from your life.  Example:  We don’t believe it is a sin to drink alcohol, but we require our leaders to abstain from drinking alcohol because we do not even want to give the appearance of sin, or cause even the least of our brothers to stumble.  Or, I have been “saved” by God and in my past have struggled with pornography, therefore, when I want to rent a movie from Netflix, I search only G-rated movies because I do not even want to be tempted to sin.  Or, I know overeating is a sin, but I have a lust for pizza so, as a believer, I will never go down the pizza aisle at the grocery store, nor will I go to parties where pizza is being served.

If you chose B., you look back at my last paragraph and say, “Wow, I am glad I am not like those sinners over there!”  No, I am only kidding!  But seriously, you probably realize that Paul’s whole case in Romans is not some theological treatise for the seminary classroom, nor for the making of super saints!  It is for everyone, saved and unsaved alike.  It is especially for believers who understand that they will never be NOT sinning in this mortal body but thankfully Jesus paid it all, paid for every sin, past, present, and future, on the cross and in his resurrection.  You realize that you are not defined by your sin but by your identity with and in Christ.  When you realize you sin, and you realize it is an anomaly, that because you treasure His grace, you stop and say, “No more,” and you continue on reveling in the grace that super-exceeds the sin you just committed.  Then, rather than being sad over your sin, and letting sin ruin your disposition, you push it aside and focus on the grace of Christ, His ever and over-abundant love for ALL OF HIS CREATION, and go about praising Him the rest of the day!

Which kind of person are you?  Which kind of person do you want to be?  Think about it!  Send me your comments and let’s dialog about it.  Questions?  Me, too.  Let’s help one another find answers! As always,

Love in Christ,

Craig

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“New creation” Christians should never ask what Jesus would do!

No new thoughts here today from myself, but stunning truth from Martin Zender, who I am seeming to relate to more and more.  Here are some comments from him that totally resonated with me and make sense out of the Scriptures.  Martin talked about a passage from Paul’s writings, 2 Cor 5:14-17.

 

14 For the love of Christ is constraining us, judging this, that, if One died for the sake of all, consequently *all died.
15 And He died for the sake of all that *those who are living should by no means still be living to themselves, but to the One dying and being roused for their sakes.
16 So that we’, from *now on, are acquainted with not one according to flesh. Yet even if we have known Christ according to flesh, but nevertheless now we know Him so not longer.
17 So that, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: the primitive passed by. Lo! there has become new!

We are no longer living for ourselves.  We have been made completely new and compare more to Jesus’ resurrected state than we do to the world’s state, flesh, what we used to be.  Verse 17 says the old has passed away (the primitive).  What is the old?  The old is the world’s system, the Israelite system, everything Old Testament and everything pertaining to Jesus’ instructions to the Jews that He came predominantly to instruct.  Think about it.  We are so self-absorbed.  And no, I am not talking mainly about the unsaved in this life. I am mainly talking about those who should know better, believers in Christ.  We Christians are so self-absorbed that all we seem to think about is how much we sin, how badly we sin, how much more we need to be like Christ in our actions, how much better we are than other believers, how much less we are than other believers, and on and on, gag me!  The more we talk about, as Martin puts it, “surrendering the self”, the more we find ourselves having to dig out our old creation from the grave it was buried in with Christ and propping it up, and then abusing the old man (who is dead) and trying to make that corpse understand how bad it is, how much it is not following Christ, etc.  News flash!:  the old man is dead and CANNOT do anything  for he is dead.  He doesn’t hear nor understand your constant instructions to do better!

If we are no longer supposed to live to ourselves, and we are not, vs. 15,  we are also not to know Christ any longer according to the flesh.  Craig, what do you mean?  I mean, we live to Christ, not self.  We live to Christ not in the flesh but in the Spirit.  Analyzing self all the time, like we are told to do in the traditional church today, is against what Paul said we should be doing.The pre-occupation with flesh goes back to the age-old problem the church has had.  The church believes that unless people’s sins (flesh and fleshly living in particular) are kept ever before the average church members’ eyes, they will forget how awful they are and simply do whatever they want to do and begin to think the church irrelevant.  They will leave the church for other things.  Then the church will not have money to pay for pastors’ salaries and buildings and you name it.  So, pastors must always preach sin rather than grace.  In all the churches I have been a part of, sin was always more prevalent than grace.  So, instead of Romans 5 and 6 ruling the day (especially “where sin abounds, grace does much more abound!), it is Satan’s stain of sin, Adam’s downfall casting all of mankind into sin and eventually eternal conscious torment in hell (which I don’t believe is true!), and then all the guilt we should feel about the fact that we are filthy sinners deserving of hell and torment, rather than new creations in Christ, enjoying the abundant grace that surrounds us at every moment.

Think more about it.  We say we stand condemned before God because we are sinners, and when we are saved do we feel any less condemned based on what you hear in church every Sunday?  Hell no!  Paul says in Romans 8:34 that Jesus is our condemner, yet He died for us, and He was resurrected for us, and He is pleading our case to the Father, and so, are we still condemned?  Hell no!  We are no longer acquainted with Christ in His flesh but in His Spirit and in His resurrection and we stand no longer condemned.  We are free in Christ to love Him more abundantly than ever.  It no longer is the desire of the Christian to align himself with the shoulds (i.e. I should follow the 10 commandments, I should go to church more, I should give more, etc.) but aligned with wants (I want to love God more because I am no longer under condemnation, and I want to love His creation more, and I want to show my love to others in Christ, and I want…).  Let me sum it all up this way.  No matter how much I may sin (though my desire to sin diminishes and really should not even be a concern), God’s grace is covering over that in such a greater way that it obliterates the sin and focuses my desire more and more on His grace and love rather than wrath that I will not experience!  Christian, quit analyzing your every behavior, which is self-focused, and focus on God’s abundant grace that comes in measures that would blow your mind!

Sorry for rambling on, and I hope this makes some semblance of sense (it sure does in my mind!).  But, as always, my comment box is open and I would sure love to hear what you have to say, questions, comments, etc., especially the newer ones coming to my blog.  Grace and peace to you!

In Christ’s love,

Craig

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Most Christians Deny the Power of God

4 I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom, 2 preach the word, be ready in season and out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all patience and instruction. 3 For there will be a time when they will not put up with sound teaching, but in accordance with their own desires, they will accumulate for themselves teachers, ⌊because they have an insatiable curiosity⌋, 4 and they will turn away from the hearing of the truth, but will turn to myths.  (2 Tim 4:1-4, LEB)

I have preached this text a number of times over 15 years of pastoring churches and preaching sermons.  In the beginning it was more toward those who spoke of a call to the preaching ministry (being a pastor as they call it).  I exhorted those men to always be ready to preach, never turn down an opportunity.  I also taught those same men to preach the whole counsel of God (the whole Bible, not just pet doctrines or passages) and not only the easy passages.  In these “last days”, I taught, people won’t want to hear the truth and will only follow after those they agree with.  They will even try to get rid of you as a pastor if you don’t preach what the congregation wants to hear (boy, did I verify the truth of that statement in my own ministry!!!).  The people in church, you know, the Christians, will even begin following after the likes of Joel Osteen, and Joyce Meyers, the feel good preachers of health and wealth.  The only way to combat this was to keep preaching the truth and God will change their minds when He is ready.  But, we pastors should not “go easy” on them but keep telling the Christians the hard truths, like turn from your sin and false teaching or burn in hell forever.

Well, here is my truth statement:  Most Christians deny the power of God!

Listen to what Paul says in 2 Tim 3:1-5:

3 But know this, that in the last days difficult times will come, 2 for people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 hardhearted, irreconcilable, slanderous, without self-control, savage, with no interest for what is good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, loving pleasure rather than loving God, 5 maintaining a form of godliness, but denying its power.  (2 Tim 3:1-5, LEB)

As I have been misled and deceived by one church leader after another , this list of Paul’s truly showed me that this is an apt description of many Christians today, not just people outside the church.  As I have been thinking lately, something struck me hard, right between the eyes, as they say.  Most Christians deny the power of God.  How, you ask?  Most Christians are trying to maintain a form of godliness, following the laws laid down before them (the 10 commandments, the by-laws of the church they are members of, membership rules, any other legalistic do’s and don’t’s church leaders can come up with).  And, on the outside they look and feel like godly people.  They look good, smell good, but they still deny God’s power.  Again, how, you ask?

They deny God’s power by saying or believing that God is not able to save all mankind (all people who have ever lived, past, present, and future).  They say that God is loving yet most of mankind will be consigned to an “eternal hell!”  They say that God is omnipotent (all-powerful) yet He can’t stop people from going to an “eternal hell,” forever separated from God and His loving presence.  My God is capable of saving all mankind and in fact will save all mankind because His Word says so.  Take a look at 1 Tim 4:10 for yourself (10 For to this end we labor and suffer reproach, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of believers.)  This is one of many verses supporting my claim, that God will save all His creation, including all His people, you know, His image-bearers.  Your challenge today, is to comment and ask me to supply you with further evidence of my claim.  Should you  accept my challenge, you may come to an understanding that the reason my theology changed was due to overwhelming evidence contrary to what I had been taught for so many years.

Let me know your thoughts on this statement and the supporting verses!

God’s blessings to you and His peace to you as well!

Craig

 

 

 

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What Must One Know To Be Saved (Inherit the Kingdom)?

I have given this question so much thought through the last decade, and I have an answer that many/most Christians would not/never agree with.  But, it is biblical and it is fully supported by Jesus and I pity those who would say I am wrong.  This is my 100th post and I thought that I would make it a thought-provoking question post.

“What must one know to be saved?”

Think long before you answer.  Think deeply before you answer.  I challenge you to remind yourself of the fruit of the Spirit as Paul mentions in Galatians 5  (22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self control. Against such things there is no law).   I also want you to place yourself back in the days of Jesus and imagine that you have laced up your sandals, pulled tight your robe, and are following after Jesus on His journey around Galilee and Capernaum in the biblical narrative.  Around you are many types of people; nay-sayers, questioners, believers, young, old, children, babies. Then Jesus stops and gets asked a question about who is the greatest in the Kingdom.  Jesus calls a child over to himself and says:

Matthew 18:3 (LEB)
3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you turn around and become like young children, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven!

Now, what is your answer to my question?  Are you summoning up a long list of do’s and don’t’s?  Are you putting together the Sunday School /seminary answer of “you must repent, you must believe, etc.?”  Well, let me give you my take and I believe Jesus’ take on salvation and being IN Him, In Christ.

What did that little child understand about Jesus?  What could he have possibly known about Jesus?  What would/did Jesus require of that child to be greatest in the Kingdom?  Did Jesus require them to have a highly evolved and highly complex theology about “The Christ” and the Father and the Spirit, along with a detailed set of beliefs, details that have eluded and excluded most of the human race from God and Jesus according to the church, both throughout the Middle Ages up to and including the modern era?

Or, did this child, and Jesus’ expectations for entry into the Kingdom focus on Jesus’ love and how He loved people?  I believe the answer ot the question is simply “love!”  Jesus expects us to love as a child loves.  That is really all a child could understand about Jesus, that He is love and loves unconditionally!  I believe it is as simple as that.  The more light we are given the more we can love God and others, but I do not believe anyone has to have a developed understanding of Jesus beyond “God is love, Jesus is Gd, Jesus is love” and live in that belief and share that belief with others through our actions in life.

Reader, I love you with the love of Christ and am trying to live more of that love everyday.  I fail but I am striving to be more like Christ in this simple way since I believe it is the most important thing we could ever pass on to one another and help each other with.  Be blessed in the warmth of His love today.  I pray I have given you hope and help straight from the mind of Christ today.  As always, feel free to share with me the edification Christ has given you and the love He has given you that I too, may be blessed by it.  Let me know what your heart speaks regarding this issue.  And let’s praise God together for it!

Amen and Amen!

Craig

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My new most favorite Bible passage – Rom 5:15-19

Here is the way it is, and I can unequivocally state it cannot be any other.  Either ALL inherit death and sin through Adam, or MANY don’t.  There is no other way it can be.  And if you come to me and say it can be some third way you are a liar and the truth is not in you!  How can I be SO dogmatic (and offensive to some people by this statement) about this topic?  I can because Paul makes some extremely clear statements in my new favorite Bible passages, Romans 5:15-19.  Here are those verses for you in several different translations:

 

“much rather the grace of God and the gratuity in grace, which is of the One Man, Jesus Christ, to the many superabounds.”

(Rom 5:16) And not as through one act of sinning is the gratuity. For, indeed, the judgment is out of one into condemnation, yet the grace is out of many offenses into a just award.”

(Rom 5:17) For if, by the offense of the one, death reigns through the one, much rather, those obtaining the superabundance of grace and the gratuity of righteousness shall be reigning in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”

(Rom 5:18) Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through one just award for all mankind for life’s justifying.”

(Rom 5:19) For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted just.”   (THE Concordant Literal Version, CLV)”

 

“(Rom 5:15) [But the gift is not like the trespass], for if by the trespass of the one, the many died, by much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, multiply to the many.

(Rom 5:16) And the gift is not as through the one who sinned, for on the one hand, judgment from the one sin led to condemnation, but the gift, from many trespasses, led to justification.

(Rom 5:17) For if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through the one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.

(Rom 5:18) Consequently therefore, as through one trespass came condemnation to all people, so also through one righteous deed came justification of life to all people.

(Rom 5:19) For just as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous.”   The Lexham English Bible, LEB

 

 

“(Rom 5:15) But, not as the offence so also is the free gift; for if by the offence of the one the many did die, much more did the grace of God, and the free gift in grace of the one man Jesus Christ, abound to the many;

(Rom 5:16) and not as through one who did sin is the free gift, for the judgment indeed is of one to condemnation, but the gift is of many offences to a declaration of `Righteous,’

(Rom 5:17) for if by the offence of the one the death did reign through the one, much more those, who the abundance of the grace and of the free gift of the righteousness are receiving, in life shall reign through the one–Jesus Christ.

(Rom 5:18) So, then, as through one offence to all men it is to condemnation, so also through one declaration of `Righteous’ it is to all men to justification of life;

(Rom 5:19) for as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners: so also through the obedience of the one, shall the many be constituted righteous.”  Young’s Literal Translation, YLT

AND LASTLY,

 

(Rom 5:15) But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

(Rom 5:16) And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.

(Rom 5:17) For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

(Rom 5:18) Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

(Rom 5:19) For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.  English Standard Version, ESV

 

Here then is my dogmatism, just as Paul writes, substantiated.  In verse 18 we read that because of the one man Adam, condemnation came to ALL men.  So, either Paul is speaking the truth or Paul is a liar and worthy of an awful death for deceiving so many for thousands of years!  But, going even further with the strength of Paul’s beliefs about sin and death versus salvation (reconciliation, restoration, etc. ), Paul adds the statement in verse 19 that through the one man Adam many were made sinners, yet through the one man, Jesus, many will be made righteous.

Now, immediately most average church-going, bible-believing Christians will point out that in verse 19 Paul states”many” and “many.” They will say that “all” cannot mean “many!” Well, evidently it can  because Paul states it to be so and I stand dogmatically firm with him in what he says.  But, I am curious.  Why does that same average Christian ignore verse 18?  Paul there says the exact same thing as he does in verse 19, does he not?  Absolutely he does!  And, this is why I am so fascinated with this portion of Scripture.  When you read the words Paul writes here and really let them sink in, they are truly joyous words!  You cannot believe what Paul says in all of his writings unless you also believe that Paul was a universalist, meaning, he believed in the salvation of all mankind!  Hint for you skeptics:  you either honestly believe what Paul writes (and therefore must become a believer in the salvation of all mankind, Christian universalism, if you will, willing to give up your currently held beliefs) or you believe he is a liar and you yourself are at best a hypocrite (believing one thing but advocating something opposite) and at worst a liar of the worst kind (saying you believe in Christ but willingly lying about what He taught and the Spirit led Paul to write).

My exhortation to you, dear reader, is this:  Toss off the restraint of what really boils down to being a belief in legalism and embrace the Good News that was of great joy to all the people.  Believe today that God’s grace and mercy super abounds over any sin and error we could commit.  Isn’t it a true blessing to know that God truly is victorious over sin and death by covering our frailties and sins with His abundant grace?  To me it surely is and I hope one day it will be for you too!  Do your long held beliefs restrain you from this grace of God or will you change your understanding of God and believe He cannot be the loser over His creation?  I love you, dear reader, with the love that comes from knowing my Sovereign and Loving God will redeem ALL of His creatures and creation will be restored to what He originally created it to be!  Will you rejoice with me and praise our God or will you try to keep God small and boxed in by your thoughts of who He is?  Join me in praising the Almighty by letting your mind be blown away by His vast love for everything He created, especially YOU, the express image-bearer of God!

 

Love in Christ to you!

Craig

 

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We Are Not Born Sinners, But Rather Mortal

I was reading some teachings on Romans 5 recently and these few statements I will share jumped out at me and I wanted to get your thoughts.  Here is the first:

 

“We are not born sinners, but rather mortal.”

 

This statement does not intimate that mankind does not sin, but merely that Adam was born sinless, sinned, and brought with his sin, death upon the rest of mankind. In other words, his sin wrought mortality on all the rest of mankind.  It is not sin that is passed on but death (mortality) through Adam to us.

 

“If death is temporary (and it is), then so is sin.  So, if God eliminates death, sin automatically disappears.”

 

God eliminated death by raising Christ from the dead.  I would really love to hear your thoughts on these teachings I read by Martin Zender in his recent ZWTF Volume 3, Issue 43.  It sounds OK to me, but I value the thoughts (counsel) of multiple believers to keep things on track.  Let me know what you believe and why.  Blessings to you!

 

Craig

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This is what passes for great preaching!?

I have not followed mainstream Christian leaders over the last few years because I have come to find out there is much deception going on, and it seems the deception is to keep the power and money flowing.  But, every once in a  while a newsfeed headline catches my attention and I decide to spend a few minutes with it to ferret out what is being said.  That happened today when I got home from work and found this title from Al Mohler’s site, albertmohler.com.  This was a sermon given at my former church, Highview Baptist Church East, Louisville, KY, by Al Mohler on December 22, 2013.  The title that caught my eye was this:  “For Whom Was Christmas Bad News.”

Now this caught my eye because over the last month I have read and/or explained the very text Mohler preaches on to family and friends stating, “Many Christians do not believe that Christ coming into the world was good news of great joy that will be for all people because most Christians believe in a literal eternal conscious torment for unbelievers who die in this life without expressing belief in Christ.   How can Jesus Christ be good news of great joy for all people when most of the people God creates end up in everlasting torment in hell?”  My point was directly quoted from Luke 2:10 when the angels came to the shepherds in their field and said to them, “And the messenger said to them, “Fear not, for lo! I am bringing you an evangel of great joy which will be for the entire people, for today was brought forth to you a Savior, Who is Christ, the Lord, in the city of David.  And this is the sign to you: you will be finding a Babe, swaddled and lying in a manger.”  (Luke 2:10-12 CLV)

In this audio message was the statement from the title.  Background information, most of which was irrelevant to the title and point of the message was given for about 24-26 minutes.  That’s alot of time to sit and wait for such an important point to make.  I was getting to the point of giving up until finally Mohler made the statement and began unpacking what he meant by the statement that for some people, Christ’s coming was not good news of great joy.  Immediately I thought about the messengers of God sent to proclaim this important word about the birth of Christ.  Were these angelic messengers liars?  Could they lie?  After the statement Mohler just made, it sure seems like that is what he is saying.  And, in fact, that is what was said!  He went on to explain that Jesus came and rendered the power brokers, the Pharisees and other Jewish leaders defeated and powerless in His Kingdom.  He said Jesus’ coming rendered the local and state governments powerless because they would not accept Him  for Who He is.  Jesus came and interrupted their rule and reign over people because now the True King has come!  So, the message from the angels was good news of great joy for all people, Mohler says, but that it was not good news of great joy for some people!  Are you confused?  I sure am!

This is the kind of double-speak that passes as God-inspired preaching today.  Either this message was good news of great joy or it wasn’t.  Now, to be sure, what Mohler did was what many, if not most, preachers do; they bait and switch the text.  Obviously this text is talking about a spiritual reality, not a here and now physical reality.  What I mean is this, that the good news of great joy was that Jesus would eventually atone for the sins of the whole world, in fact, and conquer the death that sin brought with it.  This is a text that flies in the face of eternal conscious torment in hell.  It has to if words mean anything.  There was no qualification here by the messengers saying that this was a message that had many different meanings.  The Savior was prophesied about by the prophets of old (the Old Covenant/Old Testament) and was never meant to be a physically real message about Jesus ruling on an actual throne with actual people being by His side ruling with Him, like the Jewish leaders thought it meant.  It was a spiritual message relating how God would restore mankind and reconcile all mankind to Himself.  That is why, God who cannot lie, and the angels who perfectly do the will of God, brought the message that Christ’s coming (including his birth, death, resurrection) was truly GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY FOR ALL PEOPLE!

Messages like this are mere sleight of hand, marketing gimmicks, to draw a crowd in.  They are given for shock value.  The message became mixed when Mohler deviated from the true message given by the angels and mixed it with a physical reality that, though true, confuses the real message of the angels.  Why not follow through with how this message is good news of great joy FOR ALL PEOPLE?  I can answer that question myself.  Because, if Jesus was truly good news of great joy for all people (Jews and Gentiles as Mohler states, which by the way, is ALL OF MANKIND!), then as Ricky told Lucy on many an I Love Lucy episode, “Lucy, you got some splainin’ to do!”  Mohler and all who believe in eternal conscious torment in hell must explain how, and I mean truly explain how, God can bring billions of people into the world, breathe life into them, only to have this good news of great joy for all people become a message of eternal, everlasting bad news for billions of people who will be tortured forever and ever in the burning flames of hell.  We truly need to hold Christian leaders feet to the fire, so to speak, and not accept these confusing explanations of God’s Word.  We need to hold them to explaining how A can be NOT A at the same time.

If Christ’s birth was truly good news of great joy for all people then tell it like it is.  Explain the real message and what it means.  If Jesus also came and rendered the religious leaders and secular leaders power and influence moot, then explain that.  If two messages in the Bible seem to conflict, well explain with rational argumentation why there is no conflict.  But don’t keep perpetuating this type of nonsense.  Be honest and upfront in your handling of the Word of God.  Don’t keep the sheep in the auditorium at Highview Baptist Church East buying into mixed messages just because you are a well-known leader in the Christian church.  Well, I am tired of writing and disappointed again, so I will close by including the link to the audio message.  You can cut to the chase by skipping to around the 24 minute mark.  This will get you in the neighborhood before the actual discussion of the “bad news” begins.

For Whom Was Christmas Bad News

Let me know what you think, (sigh)

In Christ’s Defense,

Craig

P.S.  For your benefit and edification,  Jesus is the good news of great joy for all people and will save people from their sins and will eventually reconcile all mankind to the Father through His work on the cross and resurrection and one day, God will be all in all, and we, all of God’s image bearers, will bow down before Him in true worship and praise.  There is no contradiction in God, there is no lying by the angelic messengers, and there is cause to fear the judgment to come, especially if you die without belief in Christ, but  at the end of all things, God will overcome everything opposed to Him and win all of creation over with His abundant love, the love that comes from His abundant grace  that overcomes sin.  Peace to you all in Christ!

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Hell Under Fire Book Review – Chapter 8 – Universalism: Will Everyone Ultimately Be Saved? Part 8

 

Examining Universalism III: The Universalist Thesis

 

 

John 5:29

 

(Joh 5:21) For even as the Father is rousing the dead and vivifying [making alive] , thus the Son also is vivifying whom He will.”

 

 

(Joh 5:22) For neither is the Father judging anyone, but has given all judging to the Son,

 

 

(Joh 5:23) that all may be honoring the Son, according as they are honoring the Father. He who is not honoring the Son is not honoring the Father Who sends Him.”

 

 

(Joh 5:24) Verily, verily, I am saying to you that he who is hearing My word and believing Him Who sends Me, has life eonian and is not coming into judging, but has proceeded out of death into life.”

 

 

(Joh 5:25) Verily, verily, I am saying to you that coming is an hour, and now is, when the dead shall be hearing the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear shall be living.”

 

 

(Joh 5:26) For even as the Father has life in Himself, thus to the Son also He gives to have life in Himself.”

 

 

(Joh 5:27) And He gives Him authority to do judging, seeing that He is a son of mankind.”

 

 

(Joh 5:28) Marvel not at this, for coming is the hour in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice,

 

 

(Joh 5:29) and those who do good shall go out into a resurrection of life, yet those who commit bad things, into a resurrection of judging.”

 

 

 

For some strange reason I have gotten hung up on this text. It could be a bunch of things going on in my life, like working a lot of overtime, or any of many other concerns. Whatever it is, there is another element that I want to bring out right now. I have been literally stunned by this text. The more I read it, the more shocked and rejoicing in the Father and the Son I find myself. Why? Man, just look at what you read here. In this chapter Jesus does several healings and is sought after by the Jews to die at their hand. Jesus heals on the Sabbath, which all by itself was worthy of the Jews seeking retribution against Jesus. But, add to that the fact that Jesus so aligned Himself with the Father that the Jews claimed that He was equating Himself equal with the Father! Blasphemy, according to the Jews! This was an offense worthy of death! But that isn’t the amazing part.

 

 

Then Jesus tells the Jews that not only is the Father rousing the dead and making them alive, not specifying whether they have done good or bad, at this point, but goes on and says that He is rousing the dead also! Jesus says He is also making some alive, those whom He wills to do so. Jesus goes on and says that those who say they honor the Father must also honor Him as well. They cannot honor one without honoring the other. Those who are hearing what Jesus is saying about the Father and believe in the Father have life. Those are the ones who have passed from death into life.

 

 

Now here comes the amazing stuff. Jesus has been talking about rousing the dead to life. He says that an hour is coming when the DEAD will hear His voice. Those who hear will be living! What? The end of this life isn’t the dividing line between whether someone can/will believe. The supposedly great chasm fixed between the rich man and Lazarus must mean something other than what we have been led to believe? The dead can hear and believe and live? Oh my! What an amazing thing! What good news! What Good News of great joy for all mankind! And this must be good news for all mankind because there is no differentiation in the dead. Jesus merely says “the dead!” He doesn’t say the believing dead and the unbelieving dead. Just the dead. And look at what comes next.

 

 

There is an hour coming when all who are in the tombs will come forth. Those who hear and believe in the Father will come forth, just as Jesus said earlier, being roused from death and made alive to life. The others who are dead and not believing in the Father will be roused from death and made alive to judgment. There is hope, even after death, to believe in the Father and have life (and consequently in Jesus, though that doesn’t seem to be the focal point. But we know that Jesus and the Father are one.)! Nowhere here in these verses, nor the context of this chapter is there anything about a final rejection or final destruction. The life spoken of here that those who believe have is not said to be forever or eternal. It just says life. Nor does it say that the judgment is final or forever. It merely says those not believing will be in a state of judgment. When we ask the question, “What is this judgment He speaks of?” we can go back to chapter 3 and see that the judgment Jesus judges with is that the unbelieving ones love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil (3:19-21). The believing ones love the light and want to make their deeds manifest to all, which corresponds to resurrection life.

 

 

What these verses are for the world is words of hope! What these verses are not are words of final rejection or destruction. That concept must be read into these verses for it cannot be read out of them! I encourage you to read and re-read these verses and see if what I am saying is true. If you do not see what I see, and you are not amazed by the hope for all mankind that is shown here, comment on this post so we can dialog and we can learn from each other.

 

 

I do not expect to spend so much time on one verse, but what if it was so? Would it be terrible? I am thankful for the light God has given me and what a blessing it has been to try to “figure” out what to write about these verses. I kept coming back to the same thing, AMAZEMENT! Will you be, can you be amazed with me concerning this verse (really these verses!)? I hope so and I hope God expands your hope in Him and your amazement in Him, and your desire to see Him for who and how He is: The Father of all who loves all of His children with such a special love that His love will one day melt even the hardest of hearts! To Him be all praise and glory and honor!

 

 

Love in Christ,

 

Craig

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, God's Love, Mercy, Understanding the Bible, Universal salvation

God’s Love in Action

Just some verses to show you what the Bible says about God, His love, His mercy, His judgment, His salvation, and the hope the world has in Him!  Enjoy these!

 

(All verses are from the Lexham English Bible (LEB) from my Logos 5 Software.)

 

NOTE:  Posted these verses but the two column format from Logos doesn’t quite work so well in WordPress.  I will leave the post up though, because for those who have this on RSS feed, it will read just fine.  For all others, simply highlight, right click, and copy and paste into a Word doc and you will have the verses to carry with you.  If you need help, let me know and I can guide you through the process.  Anyway, be blessed!

 

Genesis 12:3

 

And I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse. And all families of the earth will be blessed in you.”

 

Genesis 18:18

 

Abraham will surely become a great and strong nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed on account of him.

 

Genesis 22:18

 

All the nations of the earth will be blessed through your offspring, because you have listened to my voice.”

 

Genesis 26:4

 

And I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and I will give to your descendants all these lands. And all nations of the earth will be blessed through your offspring,

 

Genesis 28:14

 

Your descendants shall be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west, and to the east, and to the north and to the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and through your descendants.

 

Genesis 26:3–4

 

3 Dwell as an alien in this land, and I will be with you, and will bless you, for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, and I will establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father. 4 And I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and I will give to your descendants all these lands. And all nations of the earth will be blessed through your offspring,

 

1 Samuel 2:6

 

Yahweh kills and restores alive, he brings down to Sheol and raises up.

 

2 Samuel 14:14

 

For we must certainly die, and we are as the waters spilled to the ground which cannot be gathered. God will not take a life but devises plans for a banished person not to be cast out from him.

 

1 Chronicles 16:34

 

Oh give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good; his loyal love is everlasting.

 

Job 5:17–18

 

17 “Look, happy is the human being whom God reproves; and you must not despise the discipline of Shaddai, 18 for he himself wounds, but he binds up; he strikes, but his hands heal.

 

Job 42:2

 

“I know that you can do all things, and any scheme from you will not be thwarted.

 

Psalm 22:27

 

All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to Yahweh. All the families of the nations will worship before you.

 

Psalm 22:29

 

All the healthy ones of the earth will eat and worship. Before him all of those descending into the dust will kneel, even he who cannot keep his soul alive.

 

Psalm 30:5

 

For there is a moment in his anger; there is a lifetime in his favor. Weeping lodges for the evening, but in the morning comes rejoicing.

 

Psalm 33:5

 

He loves righteousness and justice. The earth is full of the loyal love of Yahweh.

 

Psalm 49:15

 

Surely God will ransom my life from the power of Sheol, because he will receive me. Selah

 

Psalm 62:12

 

And to you belongs loyal love, O Lord, because you will render to each according to his work.

 

Psalm 65:2–3

 

2 O you who hear prayer, to you all flesh will come. 3 Iniquities prevail over me. As for our transgressions, you will forgive them.

 

Psalm 66:3–4

 

3 Say to God, “How awesome are your works! Because of the greatness of your strength, your enemies will cringe before you. 4 All the earth will bow in worship to you, and sing praise to you. They will sing the praise of your name.” Selah

 

Psalm 66:11–12

 

11 You brought us into the net; you placed a heavy burden on our backs. 12 You let men ride over our heads. We went through fire and through water, but you have brought us out to the place of abundance.

 

Psalm 67:1–4

 

1 May God be gracious to us and bless us. May he cause his face to shine toward us, Selah 2 that your way may be known on the earth, your salvation among all nations. 3 Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all of the peoples praise you. 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, because you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations on the earth. Selah

 

Psalm 72:11

 

and let all kings bow down to him. Let all nations serve him.

 

Psalm 72:17

 

May his name endure forever. May his name increase as long as the sun shines, and let them be blessed in him. Let all nations call him blessed.

 

Psalm 82:8

 

Rise up, O God, judge the earth, because you shall inherit all the nations.

 

Psalm 86:9

 

All the nations that you have made will come and bow down before you, O Lord, and glorify your name.

 

Psalm 86:10

 

For you are great and doing wondrous things; you alone are God.

 

Psalm 86:13

 

because your loyal love is great toward me, and you will have delivered my life from Sheol below.

 

Psalm 89:30–34

 

30 If his sons forsake my law and do not walk in my judgments, 31 if they defile my statutes and do not keep my commandments, 32 then I will punish their transgression with a rod, and their guilt with wounds. 33 But I will not break off my loyal love from him, and I will not be false against my faithfulness. 34 I will not defile my covenant, or alter what proceeded from my lips.

 

Psalm 98:6–9

 

6 With trumpets and sound of horn, shout joyfully before the king, Yahweh. 7 Let the sea with its fullness roar, the world and those who live in it. 8 Let the rivers clap their hands. Let the hills sing joyfully together 9 before Yahweh, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity.

 

Psalm 102:19–20

 

19 that he looked down from his holy height. Yahweh looked from heaven over the earth 20 to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to liberate those destined to die,

 

Psalm 103:8–9

 

8 Yahweh is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in loyal love. 9 He does not dispute continually, nor keep his anger forever.

 

Psalm 107:1

 

Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loyal love is forever.

 

Psalm 135:6

 

All that Yahweh desires, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all the depths.

 

Psalm 136:1–26

 

1 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loyal love endures forever. 2 Give thanks to the God of gods, for his loyal love endures forever. 3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his loyal love endures forever. 4 To him who alone does great wonders, for his loyal love endures forever. 5 To him who made the heavens with skill, for his loyal love endures forever. 6 To him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his loyal love endures forever. 7 To him who made the great lights, for his loyal love endures forever. 8 The sun to rule the day, for his loyal love endures forever. 9 The moon and stars to rule the night, for his loyal love endures forever. 10 To him who struck Egypt through their firstborn, for his loyal love endures forever. 11 And he brought Israel out from among them, for his loyal love endures forever. 12 With a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his loyal love endures forever. 13 To him who divided the Red Sea in two, for his loyal love endures forever. 14 And he let Israel cross over through the midst of it, for his loyal love endures forever. 15 But he tossed Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea, for his loyal love endures forever. 16 To him who led his people through the wilderness, for his loyal love endures forever. 17 To him who struck great kings, for his loyal love endures forever. 18 And he killed mighty kings, for his loyal love endures forever. 19 Sihon the king of the Amorites, for his loyal love endures forever. 20 And Og the king of Bashan, for his loyal love endures forever. 21 And he gave their land as an inheritance, for his loyal love endures forever. 22 An inheritance to Israel his servant, for his loyal love endures forever. 23 Who remembered us in our low estate, for his loyal love endures forever. 24 And he rescued us from our enemies, for his loyal love endures forever. 25 The one who gives food to all flesh, for his loyal love endures forever. 26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his loyal love endures forever.

 

Psalm 138:4

 

All the kings of the earth will praise you, O Yahweh, when they have heard the words of your mouth,

 

Psalm 139:8

 

If I ascend to heaven, there you are, and if I make my bed in Sheol, look! There you are.

 

Psalm 145:7–10

 

7 They will utter the renown of your abundant goodness, and they will proclaim with joy your righteousness. 8 Yahweh is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in loyal love. 9 Yahweh is good to all, and his mercies are over all his works. 10 All your works will praise you, O Yahweh, and your faithful ones will bless you.

 

Psalm 145:14–16

 

14 Yahweh upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look hopefully to you, and you give them their food in due time, 16 opening your hand, and satisfying the desire of every living creature.

 

Proverbs 16:9

 

The mind of a person will plan his ways, and Yahweh will direct his steps.

 

Proverbs 19:21

 

Many plans are in the heart of a man, but the purpose of Yahweh will be established.

 

Proverbs 20:24

 

Away from Yahweh are the steps of a strong man, and how will humankind understand his ways?

 

Isaiah 2:2

 

And it shall happen in the future of the days the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established; it will be among the highest of the mountains, and it shall be raised from the hills. All of the nations shall travel to him;

 

Isaiah 14:24

 

Yahweh of hosts has sworn, saying, “Surely just as I have intended, so it shall be. And just as I have planned, it shall stand:

 

Isaiah 14:27

 

For Yahweh of hosts has planned, and who will frustrate it? And his hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?

 

Isaiah 25:6–8

 

6 And on this mountain Yahweh of hosts will make for all peoples a rich feast, a feast of aged wines, fat filled with marrow, filtered aged wine. 7 And on this mountain he will destroy the face of the shroud, the shroud over all peoples, and the woven covering over all nations. 8 He will destroy death forever, and the Lord Yahweh will wipe off the tears from all faces, and he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth, for Yahweh has spoken.

 

Isaiah 26:9

 

I desire you with all my soul in the night; also I seek you with my spirit within me, for when your judgments are upon the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness.

 

Isaiah 26:10

 

Though the wicked person is shown compassion, he does not learn righteousness; he acts unjustly in the land of uprightness, and he does not see the majesty of Yahweh.

 

Isaiah 40:5

 

And the glory of Yahweh shall be revealed, and all humankind together shall see it, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”

 

Isaiah 45:21–25

 

21 Declare and present your case, also let them consult together! Who made this known from former times, declared it from of old? Was it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God besides me, and no savior besides me. 22 Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none besides me. 23 I have sworn by myself; a word that shall not return has gone forth from my mouth in righteousness: ‘Every knee shall kneel down to me; every tongue shall swear.’ 24 ‘Only in Yahweh,’ one shall say to me, ‘are righteousness and strength.’ He shall come to him, and all those who were angry with him shall be ashamed. 25 In Yahweh all the offspring of Israel shall be in the right, and they shall boast.”

 

Isaiah 46:10–11

 

10 who from the beginning declares the end, and from before, things that have not been done, who says, ‘My plan shall stand,’ and, ‘I will accomplish all my wishes,’ 11 who calls a bird of prey from the east, the man of his plan from a country from afar. Indeed I have spoken; indeed I will bring it to being. I have formed it; indeed I will do it.

 

Isaiah 48:10

 

Look! I have refined you, but not like silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of misery.

 

Isaiah 49:6

 

And he says, “It is trivial for you to be a servant for me, to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel. I will give you as a light to the nations, to be my salvation to the end of the earth.”

 

Isaiah 50:2

 

Why was there no man when I came, no one who answered when I called? Do I lack the strength to save? Or is there no power in me to deliver? Look! by my rebuke I dry up the sea; I make the rivers a desert; their fish stink because there is no water, and they die because of thirst.

 

Isaiah 52:10

 

Yahweh has bared his holy arm to the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

 

Isaiah 53:10–11

 

10 Yet Yahweh was pleased to crush him; he made him sick. If she places his life a guilt offering, he will see offspring. He will prolong days, and the will of Yahweh will succeed in his hand. 11 From the trouble of his life he will see; he will be satisfied. In his knowledge, the righteous one, my servant, shall declare many righteous, and he is the one who will bear their iniquities.

 

Isaiah 54:8

 

I hid my face from you for a moment, in the flowing of anger, but I will have compassion on you with everlasting faithfulness” says your redeemer, Yahweh.

 

Isaiah 55:7b–8

 

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the man of sin his thoughts. And let him return to Yahweh, that he may take pity on him, and to our God, for he will forgive manifold. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways,” declares Yahweh.

 

Isaiah 55:11

 

so shall be my word that goes out from my mouth. It shall not return to me without success, but shall accomplish what I desire and be successful in the thing for which I sent it.

 

Isaiah 57:16

 

For I will not attack forever, and I will not be angry forever, for the spirit will grow faint before me, and the breaths that I myself I have made.

 

Jeremiah 3:17

 

At that time they will call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of Yahweh,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to the name of Yahweh, to Jerusalem, and they will no longer go after the stubbornness of their evil heart.

 

Jeremiah 10:23

 

I know, O Yahweh, that to the human is not his own way, nor to a person is the walking and the directing of his own step.

 

Jeremiah 23:20

 

The anger of Yahweh will not turn back until his doing and until his keeping the plans of his mind. In latter days you will look closely at it with understanding.

 

Jeremiah 31:33–34

 

33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Yahweh: “I will put my law in their inward parts and on their hearts I will write it, and I will be to them God, and they themselves will be to me people. 34 And they will no longer teach each one his neighbor, or each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahweh,’ for all of them will know me, from their smallest and up to their greatest,” declares Yahweh, “for I will forgive their iniquity and their sin I will no longer remember.”

 

Jeremiah 32:17

 

‘Ah Lord Yahweh! Look, you made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you,

 

Jeremiah 32:40

 

And I will make with them an everlasting covenant that I will not turn away from them, my doing good to them, and my reverence I will put in their hearts so that they will not turn aside from me.

 

Lamentations 3:31–33

 

31 For the Lord will not reject forever. 32 For even though he causes grief he has compassion according to the greatness of his royal love. 33 He does not afflict willingly, or grieve anyone.

 

Ezekiel 36:23

 

And I will consecrate my great name, which was profaned among the nations and which you have profaned in the midst of them, and the nations will know that I am Yahweh!” ’ a declaration of the Lord Yahweh, when I show myself holy before their eyes.

 

Ezekiel 36:26

 

And I will give a new heart to you, and a new spirit I will give into your inner parts, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh, and I will give to you a heart of flesh.

 

Ezekiel 36:27

 

And I will give my spirit into your inner parts, and I will make it so that you will go in my rules, and my regulations you will remember, and you will do them.

 

Ezekiel 36:36

 

And the nations who are left all around, you will know that I, Yahweh, I built that which was destroyed; I planted the desolate land; I, Yahweh, I have spoken, and I will act.’

 

Ezekiel 16:55

 

And as for your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, they will return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters, they will return to their former state, and you and your daughters will return to your former state.

 

Daniel 7:14

 

And to him was given dominion and glory and kingship that all the peoples, the nations, and languages would serve him; his dominion is a dominion without end that will not cease, and his kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.

 

Daniel 9:24

 

“Seventy weeks is decreed for your people and for your holy city, to put an end to the transgression and to seal up sin and to make atonement for guilt and to bring in everlasting righteousness and to seal vision and prophet and to anoint the most holy place.

 

Hosea 13:14

 

Should I redeem them from the power of Sheol? Should I deliver them from death? Where are your plagues, O Death? Where is your destruction, O Sheol? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.

 

Joel 2:28

 

And it will happen afterward thus: I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your elders will dream dreams; your young men shall see visions.

 

Jonah 4:2

 

And he prayed to Yahweh and said, “O Yahweh, was this not what I said while I was in my homeland? Therefore I originally fled to Tarshish, because I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and having great steadfast love, and one who relents concerning calamity.

 

Micah 7:18–19

 

18 Who is a God like you, forgiving sin and passing over rebellion for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, for he delights in loyal love. 19 He will again have compassion on us; he will trample our iniquities. And you will hurl all their sins in the depths of the sea.

 

Habakkuk 1:12

 

Are you not from of old, O Yahweh my God, my Holy One? You shall not die. O Yahweh, you have marked them for judgment; O Rock, you have established them for reproof.

 

Habakkuk 2:14

 

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh, like the waters covering the sea.

 

Malachi 2:10

 

Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we unfaithful to one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors?

 

Malachi 3:6

 

“For I, Yahweh, have not changed, and you, O children of Jacob, have not perished.

 

Matthew 18:34–35

 

34 And because he was angry, his master handed him over to the merciless jailers until he would repay everything that was owed. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from your hearts!”

 

Luke 12:59

 

I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid back even the last cent!”

 

Matthew 5:44

 

But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

 

Matthew 9:36–38

 

36 And when he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were weary and dejected, like sheep that did not have a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest that he send out workers into his harvest.”

 

Matthew 12:20–21

 

20 A crushed reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not extinguish, until he brings justice to victory. 21 And in his name the Gentiles will hope.

 

Matthew 18:14

 

In the same way it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.

 

Mark 9:49

 

For everyone will be salted with fire.

 

Mark 10:26–27

 

26 And they were very astounded, saying to one another, “And who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With human beings it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.”

 

Luke 2:10

 

And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring good news to you of great joy which will be for all the people:

 

Luke 3:6

 

and all flesh will see the salvation of God.’ ”

 

Luke 4:18

 

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because of which he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send out in freedom those who are oppressed,

 

Luke 15:4

 

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the grassland and go after the one that was lost until he finds it?

 

John 1:7–9

 

7 This one came for a witness, in order that he could testify about the light, so that all would believe through him. 8 That one was not the light, but came in order that he could testify about the light. 9 The true light, who gives light to every person, was coming into the world.

 

John 1:13

 

who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a husband, but of God.

 

John 1:29

 

On the next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

 

John 3:17

 

For God did not send his Son into the world in order that he should judge the world, but in order that the world should be saved through him.

 

John 4:42

 

And they were saying to the woman, “No longer because of what you said do we believe, for we ourselves have heard, and we know that this one is truly the Savior of the world!”

 

John 6:33

 

For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

 

John 6:51

 

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

 

John 8:12

 

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world! The one who follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

John 8:56

 

Abraham your father rejoiced that he would see my day, and he saw it and was glad.”

 

John 12:32

 

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

 

John 12:47

 

And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I will not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

 

John 17:4

 

I have glorified you on earth by completing the work that you have given me to do.

 

Acts 3:21

 

whom heaven must receive until the times of the restoration of all things, about which God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from earliest times.

 

Acts 3:25–26

 

25 You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God ordained with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed.’ 26 God, after he had raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning each of you back from your wickedness!”

 

Romans 2:4

 

Or do you despise the wealth of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

 

Romans 3:3–4

 

3 What is the result if some refused to believe? Their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? 4 May it never be! But let God be true but every human being a liar, just as it is written, “In order that you may be justified in your words, and may prevail when you are judged.”

 

Romans 5:8

 

but God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

 

Romans 5:17

 

For if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through the one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.

 

Romans 5:18

 

Consequently therefore, as through one trespass came condemnation to all people, so also through one righteous deed came justification of life to all people.

 

Romans 5:20

 

Now the law came in as a side issue, in order that the trespass could increase, but where sin increased, grace was present in greater abundance,

 

Romans 8:21

 

that the creation itself also will be set free from its servility to decay, into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

 

Romans 11:15–16

 

15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean except life from the dead? 16 Now if the first fruits are holy, so also is the whole batch of dough, and if the root is holy, so also are the branches.

 

Romans 11:26

 

and so all Israel will be saved, just as it is written, “The deliverer will come out of Zion; he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.

 

Romans 11:29

 

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

 

Romans 11:32

 

For God confined them all in disobedience, in order that he could have mercy on them all.

 

Romans 11:33

 

Oh, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how incomprehensible are his ways!

 

Romans 11:36

 

For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for eternity! Amen.

 

Romans 12:21

 

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

Romans 14:11

 

For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will praise God.”

 

1 Corinthians 3:15

 

If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but so as through fire.

 

1 Corinthians 13:8

 

Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will pass away. If there are tongues, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will pass away.

 

1 Corinthians 15:22

 

For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

 

1 Corinthians 15:23

 

But each in his own group: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s at his coming,

 

1 Corinthians 15:26

 

The last enemy to be abolished is death.

 

1 Corinthians 15:28

 

But whenever all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one who subjected all things to him, in order that God may be all in all.

 

1 Corinthians 15:54

 

But whenever this perishable body puts on incorruptibility and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will take place: “Death is swallowed up in victory.

 

1 Corinthians 15:55

 

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

 

2 Corinthians 5:14

 

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one died for all; as a result all died.

 

2 Corinthians 5:19

 

namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

 

Galatians 3:8

 

And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the good news in advance to Abraham: “In you all the nations will be blessed.”

 

Ephesians 1:9–11

 

9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in him, 10 for the administration of the fullness of times, to bring together all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in him 11 in whom also we were chosen, having been predestined according to the purpose of the One who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

 

Ephesians 2:7

 

in order that he might show in the coming ages the surpassing riches of his grace in kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.

 

Ephesians 3:6

 

that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow sharers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,

 

Ephesians 2:14

 

For he himself is our peace, who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of the partition, the enmity, in his flesh,

 

Ephesians 4:8–10

 

8 Therefore it says, “Ascending on high he led captivity captive; he gave gifts to men.” 9 Now “he ascended,” what is it, except that he also descended to the lower regions of the earth? 10 The one who descended himself is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order that he might fill all things.

 

Philippians 2:10–11

 

10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Philippians 3:21

 

who will transform our humble body to be conformed to his glorious body, in accordance with the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

 

Colossians 1:19–20

 

19 because he was well pleased for all the fullness to dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by making peace through the blood of his cross, through him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

 

1 Timothy 1:19–20

 

19 having faith and a good conscience, which some, because they have rejected these, have suffered shipwreck concerning their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, in order that they may be taught not to blaspheme.

 

1 Timothy 2:3–4

 

3 This is good and acceptable before God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

 

1 Timothy 2:6

 

who gave himself a ransom for all, the testimony at the proper time,

 

1 Timothy 4:9–11

 

9 The statement is trustworthy and deserving of complete acceptance. 10 For to this end we labor and suffer reproach, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of believers. 11 Command these things and teach them.

 

1 Timothy 5:8

 

But if someone does not provide for his own relatives, and especially the members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

 

2 Timothy 1:9

 

who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace that was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

 

2 Timothy 1:10

 

but has now been disclosed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought to light life and immortality through the gospel,

 

Titus 2:11

 

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people,

 

Hebrews 2:2

 

For if the word spoken through angels was binding and every transgression and act of disobedience received a just penalty,

 

Hebrews 2:9

 

but we see Jesus, for a short time made lower than the angels, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that apart from God he might taste death on behalf of everyone.

 

Hebrews 2:14–15

 

14 Therefore, since the children share in blood and flesh, he also in like manner shared in these same things, in order that through death he could destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and could set free these who through fear of death were subject to slavery throughout all their lives.

 

Hebrews 7:25

 

Therefore also he is able to save completely those who draw near to God through him, because he always lives in order to intercede on their behalf.

 

Hebrews 8:10–11

 

10 For this is the covenant that I will decree with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I am putting my laws in their minds and I will write them on their hearts, and I will be their God and they will be my people. 11 And they will not teach each one his fellow citizen and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

 

James 1:18

 

By his will he gave birth to us through the message of truth, so that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

 

James 2:13

 

For judgment is merciless to the one who has not practiced mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

 

James 5:11

 

Behold, we consider blessed those who have endured. You have heard about the patient endurance of Job, and you saw the outcome from the Lord, that the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

 

1 Peter 1:8

 

whom, although you have not seen, you love; in whom now you believe, although you do not see him, and you rejoice greatly with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

 

1 Peter 2:12

 

maintaining your good conduct among the Gentiles, so that in the things in which they slander you as evildoers, by seeing your good deeds they may glorify God on the day of visitation.

 

1 Peter 3:19–20

 

19 in which also he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, 20 who were formerly disobedient, when the patience of God waited in the days of Noah, while an ark was being constructed, in which a few—that is, eight souls—were rescued through water.

 

1 Peter 4:6

 

Because for this reason also the gospel was preached to those who are dead, so that they were judged by human standards in the flesh, but they may live in the spirit by God’s standards.

 

2 Peter 3:8

 

Now, dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice, that one day with the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.

 

2 Peter 3:9

 

The Lord is not delaying the promise, as some consider slowness, but is being patient toward you, because he does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

 

2 Peter 3:15

 

And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also our dear brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom that was given to him,

 

1 John 2:2

 

and he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

 

1 John 3:8

 

The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this reason the Son of God was revealed: in order to destroy the works of the devil.

 

1 John 4:8

 

The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

 

1 John 4:16

 

And we have come to know and have believed the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him.

 

1 John 4:14

 

And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

 

Revelation 1:17–18

 

17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead person, and he placed his right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid! I am the first and the last, 18 and the one who lives, and I was dead, and behold, I am living forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and of Hades.

 

Revelation 5:13

 

And I heard every creature that is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and in the sea and everything in them saying, “To the one who is seated on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever.”

 

Revelation 15:4

 

Who would never fear, Lord, and glorify your name? For only you are holy, because all the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous deeds have been revealed.”

 

Revelation 20:13

 

And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and each one was judged according to their deeds.

 

Revelation 21:5

 

And the one seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new!” And he said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.”

 

Revelation 22:3

 

And there will not be any curse any longer, and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his slaves will serve him,

 

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