Scriptures to the Witness of God being the Father of ALL, and Jesus being the Savior of ALL. Part 1
Is God the loving Father of ALL the people of the world and Jesus the Savior of ALL the people of the world...or...Is God the loving Father of only "ALL", and Jesus the Savior of only "ALL"...who confess their sins by repenting by repeating the "sinner's prayer", fills out a salvation card, shakes the preacher's hand and faithfully attends the weekend-meetings to give of their tithes and offerings...is this truly a thus saith the Lord "ALL"?
In John 6:44, Jesus says this to His disciples, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws them.” If we reflect on that verse the question may arise; what if the Father doesn’t draw someone? Does that mean that...no mater what...the person will never be redeemed?
Other verses that caused me to question who exactly, is in control when it comes to people responding to God:
“Yet to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear” (Deut. 29:4).
“The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made both of them” (Prov. 20:12).
Why did not some people torn to God? Isaiah says: "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn...and I (Jesus) would heal them” (John 12:39–40).
“While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached them and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him” (Luke 24:15–16).
Wow, what do a person do if they are in the category of people written about above, who won’t be able to turn to Jesus for healing spiritually because God has prevented them from doing so? Does their not knowing God because they were prevented by God Himself, cannot some to salvation seem fair to you? Did God cut these people off Himself, so they would end up in everlasting hell's flame? Such a view of God is devilish to say the least!
However, the good news is...and this is truly the Good News Gospel of Grace...just a few chapters after Jesus tells His disciples that no one can come to Him unless the Father draws them, He then says, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will DRAW ALL men to Myself” (John 12:32). How AMAZING is His AMAZING GRACE...ALL...someday will be drawn to Jesus and NONE will be refused
“Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures” (Luke 24:45).41
I usually don't use a lot of scripture in my posts because I am not a Bible-thump-er who believes that my way is the highway regarding its interpretation in using Bible verses to back up what I say. However, I will use many scriptures a little further in this series to aid the litteralist hell-believers (who have stated that I don't use bible verses because there are none to support what I believe) who are "hell bent" on believing the vast majority of Father God's beloved people, are "hell bound" to spend eternity in hell's torture chamber to suffering in hell fire to consider...even if they then refuse to believe what the scriptures say. I wonder, if they choose not to believe the scripture, are they truly bible literalists?
Before getting into the scriptures that support the premise for the subject of this series I would like to prepare the ground work to build on by looking at a few things.
What did Jesus accomplish by His finished cross-work?
Scribes have scribed the ordeal that Jesus went through just prior to and as He hung between heaven and earth on the cross. It has been documented on film, such as “The Passion of Christ” portraying the agony of suffering Jesus went through. Scripture makes us aware of Jesus’ inquisition before the religious leaders in Jerusalem, His trial and His scourging and the physical torture and humiliation and His death by crucifixion. But...is there something about Jesus and the cross that we have failed to grasp and understand?
I was indoctrinated with the punishment/appeasement-based view of the cross as, I would assume, was most people in the western world. It sounds something like this..."Because Jesus was without sin He did not deserve to die. However He submitted Himself to His Father’s will, and as a sacrifice He accepted the guilt and punishment of our sins. God’s punitive action was to punish Jesus to satisfy the justice and punishment our sins deserved. By enduring God’s sentence, Jesus absolved the gilt of our sin and we can now stand justified before a holy God by repenting and becoming a part of the religious system."
Though this may satisfy our sense of shame for our own sins by continually repenting of them...is that what the cross-work of Jesus was for. If we stagnate at this appeasement-based view of the cross we make God out to be the big bad dude in the sky executing sentence upon the good dude on earth, who was willing to take our punishment. God’s wrath against the sin of sinners, killed Jesus and thus appeased His anger. However, if people do not accept Him, He goes beyond anger and turns into a stark raving maniac who at the death of non-repentant people casts them into the torture chamber of hell fire to suffer untold agony for ever and ever. That is the predominant view of the momentous cross event of Jesus Christ.
However, I believe that scripture reveals a much richer perspective regarding the depth of what took place by the cross-work of Christ. What really happened on the cross? What was the work that the Father and Son accomplished together...I do not believe it was a work to appease God’s anger and justice, but a way to cleanse mankind of sin because of His LOVE for His beloved creation....humanity. This was more an act of LOVE for man than a act of punitive anger against sin. Their plan was not to merely punish sin, but to destroy its power and provide a way for humanity to be rescued from the brokenness of sin and bring them into a love relationship with God that He desires to have with them. God's plan for humanity is far more than an appeasement gospel.
We need to understand that there was nothing that man could do that would have been sufficient to kill Jesus...NOTHING!
Jesus was not a victim of the lying religious leaders nor the corrupt politics of His day. Death would come when He was willing to surrender to it. He laid down His life on His own accord, according to John 10:17-18. The cross alone, the acts of cruelty by the Roman soldiers were not sufficient to kill Jesus. Jesus was without sin and it is only the soul that sins that will die. Since Jesus knew no sin, death could not overpower Him. Instead He submitted to death for the greater good of ALL mankind. He yielded His spirit to God and gave His body over to death.
At any point in the juncture He could have called a legion of angels to deliver Him. That Jesus would endure the agony of the cross with the full freedom to end it at any moment if He wanted to, ought to make His cross-work much more appreciative then the "turn or burn" doctrine that is so much believe today.
I do not pretend to fully understand the mystery of the relationship that exists between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for it is beyond the finite mind of man. But the idea that has been propagated, that in some way God was able to separate Himself from the cross does not reason with me. The understanding of the cross by religions across our land is that God the Father executed His wrath on God the Son and forsook Him.
This kind of thinking in my humble opinion, denies the very essence of God’s nature and also distorts the the work of the cross. Scripture tells us that “God was reconciling the people of the world to Himself in Christ” ( 2 Cor. 5:19). God the Father was not a distant forsake-er, but very much a willing participant. He did not send Jesus to do what He would not do, but God Himself acted through Jesus to bring about the reconciliation of mankind.
God was fully involved in all aspects of redemption, after all it was His plan. The anguish that ripped through the Godhead that day cannot be fathomed by our limited brain grey matter. They were working together, enduring the process necessary to destroy sin to liberate those they love. Jesus was not the victim and His Father the victimizer! They together were paying the price for the relationship they so deeply desired with humanity.
To make this a punitive act of God that He laid on Jesus for the guilt of our sins misses the main point. Jesus was not just guilty for our sins, He became sin (singular) itself. This is not referring to the acts of sin, but the very root of it...that self-preferring, self-trusting, self-exalting nature that puts itself above God.
The cross stands as the undeniable proof that we ALL are loved children of God. God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.