God’s Desire

Grace 101

“The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish.”  2 Peter 3:9

How simple is that?  It is the will of the Lord that all people should enter into this amazing relationship He wants with us.  All people.  No one should perish.  There is little question, based on simple Scripture, that Jesus died to give the opportunity for salvation to all people.

That means there is no room for racism in the Christian faith.  Yes, I realize racism is part of Christian history, but we have not always acted in accordance with the will of our Lord. 

babiesbacksNow, I suffer from cultural angst as much as the next person.  That means I find myself uncomfortable outside my own culture.  To enter into a situation where I don’t understand the words and don’t really know what’s going on is naturally a little disconcerting.  That’s not racism.  Real racism goes far beyond that.  Racism is another form of depersonalization; which, of course, is a foundation of hate.

If there are people in my mind that I think of as less in the sight of God, or undesirable to Him, then I am wrong.  God loves every person of His creation.  All are in His heart.  Jesus died for each one.  Any walls I put up are mine alone.

But if I understand that God loves all people, then I have to understand that He calls to each one within that person’s culture.  No person has to become like me in order to be saved.  God loves each one where and as they are.  Dominant cultures tend to think of themselves as some kind of ideal or model for others.  The truth is that the variety of culture is as much a testament to the creativity of God as the variety we see among people.   That doesn’t mean everything in every culture is good.  It simply means that one culture does not have a corner on the heart of God.

Of course, culture isn’t the only thing that makes people different.  Nor is skin color.  Body size and shape, gender, hair color, language, even choices we have made suggest differences.  God loves us all.  Many of the differences that we so foolishly allow to divide us are simply expressions of the amazing creativity of God.

Oh, yeah, I mentioned choices.  Does God love the sinner, the person who has not yet come to Him for salvation?  Of course!  Does He make a distinction between sins, so that those who do this sin are acceptable, but those who do that one are not?  Of course not!  Jesus came to wash away sin, no matter what that sin is.  So even the divisions between us that we consider to be the result of past or continuing sinful choices are lost in the love of God.  He loves us all!

Now there are some people teaching that God gets whatever He wants and, if He wants everyone to be saved then, all are or will be saved.  That certainly is not what the Bible teaches.  Yet, if He does love every person, why are not all going to be saved?  It isn’t as simple as saying that all kinds of people will be in Heaven.  The question is why every individual is not going to be saved.

What would keep God from saving every person He loves?

His love!

I’ll explain tomorrow.

1 Comment

Filed under Grace 101, Relationship, Theology and mystery

One response to “God’s Desire

  1. Prairiemom

    Great post, and a great reminder that God is the Creator of only ONE race, the human race!! I am amazed at how much racism there actually is within the church. If we all believe our Bibles, then we would know that we all descended from Noah, so our gene pool is not all that deep :-). As far as culture goes, it is so true that God reaches each culture (and each person, for that matter) in a unique way that each culture or person can understand. I love reading great books about missionaries who are given insight into the people they are trying to reach so that they can make the gospel relevant to that particular culture. Even as individuals, some are lead to repentance because they are overwhelmed by God’s mercy, and others respond to God’s discipline, still others are reached in different ways. We are all so different, but as Psalm 139 tells us, God knows each person inside and out.

    I especially love how God makes a family out of those He redeems, regardless of cultural differences. I have recently come to know some dear Korean believers who speak very little English (and I do NOT know any Korean), but we have become so close in such a short period of time becuase it is obvious we have the same Dad. Our dear friends in India have such a different life than we do, but we love being together and praying for one another, even if they hate our food!

    Do you think that perhaps there are some cultures (I am thinking wealthy, proud cultures like America and Western Europe) that, as a culture, are much less likely to beleive in Christ because of the cultural lies and pressures, but that some cultures (like in India where people are so poor and dehumanized because of their caste) that are more receptive to God’s love because they realize how hungry they are for it? Our friend who is an Indian pastor says he pities our children because he believes it is so hard to be saved in America. What do you think?

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