All are forgiven, but not everyone will enter eternal life. Is this because God does not desire everyone's salvation? Consider that question in the light of Jesus' crucifixion. No, the damned are ultimately responsible for their own fate.
God is both just and loving, as it is written: "The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished." Numbers 14:18
The problem is not God's lack of love but their own hard hearts that refuse to be loved. And so, after continual rejections or indifference to the gospel, the gospel will stand as a testimony against them, as Jesus himself says,
"There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day." John 12:48
There is a mystery here, to be sure. Only God can break through the hardness of a person's heart. Yet people are condemned for having hard hearts. How can that be? Scripture does not answer that question. Scripture only holds before us God's universal will for all people and points us to the Word, God's powerful tool to break through hard hearts and lead people to repent and believe.
My word that goes out from my mouth: it will...achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11
Friday, July 11, 2008
The purpose (and power) of God's Word
I read something really great in my daily Meditations booklet today. Here are some excerpts and corresponding scripture: