God Actually LOVES the People in the World!
Most Christians have a way of looking at the world with condemnation – or even at other parts of the Body of Christ that don’t think or believe exactly as they do. They have too much of a “us” and “them” mentality. They give out a sense that God loves the church (at least their part of the Church) but is against the world. They seem to be blinded to the good in people who do not yet belong to the Lord. They are quick to point out faults and sins in others. But this IS NOT how Jesus views mankind.
John 3:16-17 – For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.
God greatly loves and dearly prizes the world. That is why He gave Jesus. God didn’t send His Son into the world to judge or condemn but to give life and salvation to all who will accept it.
2 Corinthians 5:18-20 – But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him]. It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.
God through Jesus received each and every one of us into favor and brought us into harmony with Himself. The ministry of the Church isn’t to go out and point out faults and sin but to bring the ministry of reconciliation to the world.
God in Christ reconciled and restored the world to favor with Himself and is not counting or holding against men their sins. He has cancelled them. HE HAS COMMITTED TO US THE MESSAGE OF RECONCILIATION (the restoration to favor). We are Christ’s ambassadors to offer the world God’s favor and reconciliation not to point out their sins.
Repentance isn’t confessing and renouncing all sins; it is turning from your old ways to God. It is accepting the salvation He has provided. It is letting go of the old and laying hold of the divine favor offered by God (though us). When people turn to the Lord, He will have love, pity and mercy and multiply to them His abundant pardon.
Isaiah 55:7-8 – Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have love, pity, and mercy for him, and to our God, for He will multiply to him His abundant pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord.
This merciful way of viewing people in love and not judgment is how God’s ways our higher than ours. We tend to judge and condemn all those who WE THINK are wrong and command them to repent. God freely offers favor and love to all who turn to Him. The turning to Him is the repentance. Repentance is not falling to the ground and crying because of how bad you are. Repentance is turning from the way you have been going into another.
God has provided salvation by grace through faith. His part is that HE provided it for all. Our part is that we receive it and after receiving it pass it on to others. Salvation is that simple. We don’t receive salvation by confessing all of our sins but by believing that Jesus died for our sins and was raised from the death and confessing Jesus as Lord. Notice it is confessing Jesus not sin that saves you.
His ways aren’t like our ways because He will have love, pity and mercy and abundant pardon towards the wicked and unrighteous. Jesus isn’t out to correct everyone He doesn’t agree with. He loves them.
Loving someone into the kingdom is far more effective than “guilting” or “fearing” then in.
How did Jesus treat the sinners? Jesus was far kinder and more understanding to the sinners than He was to the religious people. Jesus is against religion and for people – in whatever condition or state they are in presently.
He may hate what they are involved in because sin is evil in that is kills, steals and destroys mankind. Sin takes people from God’s original intention for them and destroys their lives. He wants them free from sin so that they can be who they were meant to be and live the life they were made to live.
Mark 2:16-17 – And the scribes [belonging to the party] of the Pharisees, when they saw that He was eating with [those definitely known to be especially wicked] sinners and tax collectors, said to His disciples, Why does He eat and drink with tax collectors and [notorious] sinners? And when Jesus heard it, He said to them, Those who are strong and well have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick; I came not to call the righteous ones to repentance, but sinners (the erring ones and all those not free from sin).
The religious people condemned Jesus for hanging out with sinners. But they are the very ones He loves so much that He gave His live for.
Matthew 9:13 – Go and learn what this means: I desire mercy [that is, readiness to help those in trouble] and not sacrifice and sacrificial victims. For I came not to call and invite the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), but sinners (the erring ones and all those not free from sin).
Luke 5:31-32 – And Jesus replied to them, it is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to arouse and invite and call the righteous, but the erring ones (those not free from sin) to repentance [to change their minds for the better and heartily to amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins].
People tend to think all of the religious things they do are most important and that it is more important to hate sin than to love and accept people. But Jesus came to invite the sinners to come near to God.
Luke 19:10 – For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.
Matthew 18:11-13 – For the Son of man came to save [from the penalty of eternal death] that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray and gets lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one that is lost? And if it should be that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost.
Look at this passage describing how Jesus feels about people whose lives and in sin and the results of sin.
Matthew 9:35-38 – And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and every weakness and infirmity. When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.
Jesus was (and still is) moved with compassion upon mankind. And if we are filled with Him and His truth, we will be too.
He saw where their lives were because of sin and was moved with compassion (not condemnation and correction).
He was moved with pity and sympathy for them because there were bewildered, harassed and distressed, dejected and helpless.
Because of this He went about teaching them, preaching to them and healing them. And the need was so great that He told us to pray for more labors to go out, laborers who see with His eyes and have compassion upon people, who actually love people right where they are, those who pull them out of sin and their old way of life because they LOVE them and care not because they are trying to earn points from God for witnessing.
We will win the world when they can see and feel the true love of God in us and understand the wonderful plan of salvation God has provided. When they stop looking at the church as powerless people who don’t enjoy life and condemn others for doing so, as those who can’t do this can’t do that, and instead see them as who they are, children of the living God, with compassion and answers and help for every area of life.
Let’s change our ways to God’s ways and our thoughts to God’s thoughts! Let us go out and LOVE the world into the kingdom!