Monday, February 21, 2011
Our Free Will - February 21, 2011
Ezekiel 18:32; Ezekiel 33:11 (New International Version, ©2010)
18:32 For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live!
33:11 Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’
Matthew 18:14 (New King James Version)
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
1 Timothy 2:3-4 (New International Reader's Version)
3 That is good. It pleases God our Savior. 4 He wants everyone to be saved. He wants them to come to know the truth.
I have often wondered and about the billions of people on this planet that are "lost". By lost I mean that they either don't know or have rejected that the only way of salvation is through Jesus Christ. Many in this world would dispute that, but fact is that once you have studied the Bible, and every other religious text, only Jesus claimed to be the full represenation and only way to God.
Once I fully grasp what He was offering, what Jesus did on the cross in sacrificing himself for our sins became very clear to me. The more I studied the Bible and the Old Testament sacrificial system, the more I read how God's people would wander from Him despite His provision and love, the more it became obvious that mankind needed a permanent solution to his sinfulness and waywardness.
God, through His love, grace, mercy and soveriegn will, determined that He would have to be the One to redeem His people. Just like a good parent would rather take the punishment or pain inflicted on their children, God decided that He needed to take it upon Himself to resolve man's problem of sin by taking on the just punishment that sin would require. No other religious teaching has God doing the work to bring man to Himself. The sole requirement is for us to freely believe and accept it.
If you are still not a Christian, God has given you the free will to choose His way of rescue. He has known you from the beginning and He knows when your life will end. For all of us, our time on this earth is short. He will not let you or anyone get away from His holiness and justice. Someday we will all have to reconcile our account with Him. Better to do it in this life, by accepting His free gift of salvation, than have to stand judgement in the after life.
If you were called to stand before Him without Jesus Christ, would your good outweigh your bad on the scales of justice? When the gavel comes down at your judgement, where you will spend eternity?
2 Peter 3:9 (New Century Version)
9 The Lord is not slow in doing what he promised—the way some people understand slowness. But God is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to be lost, but he wants all people to change their hearts and lives.
Photo "Hammer to Fall" by gmarcelo, 12-4-2006, from stock.xchng