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THE PURPOSES OF GOD
We have been looking at the products of God. Let us move to the purposes of God. Since these matters have already been the subject of 7 volumes, and sometimes the treatment is not short, let us this time make it very short indeed, in a revisitation.
Consider with this, also MISSIONARY MOTIVATION IN THE CONTEXT OF DIVINE FOREKNOWLEDGE (cf. Marvellous Matters of Predestinative Perspectives).
The concept of someone perishing eternally because someone else failed in duty does not square with the infinitely knowledgeable statement from the Lord that the reason for CONDEMNATION in the face of SUCH love as moved God so mightily that He gave even His only begotten to fulfil it, is this, a negative preference (John 3:19). God, we find in Romans 3:26, set forth the Christ as justification and redeemer that He might be just and the justifier of the one who believes in Jesus. It was not, for instance, that He might be unjust. He is exhibiting, rather forcibly, that justice was a crucial consideration. A fallen humanity indeed does not have any rights before God (Romans 5), but it is not right to make a wrong of His righteousness by contradicting Him and embracing compromising theologies, let alone in defiance of what He has said in His written word.
What then ? Pursuing what is written, we find a reason in all justice and judgment for the abortion of any saving result for SOME, when the major massif of the cross is erected and on display, and they reject it, do not take it. It is that there is a negative preference on the part of those who are going to that category, everlasting destruction, to wit. It is THEIRS which is cited, their preference and not His preference; and indeed His contrary wishes are not only as just cited, but as in I Timothy 2, Ezekiel 33:11, Matthew 23:37, Luke 19:42ff., Colossians 1:19ff.. As to the last case, Colossians, in Westminster Theological Seminary, no one ever gave me an answer to my challenge that there was no doubt that God desired ALL to come to reconciliation with Himself, and His saying so emphatically. It is written.
Why did they not ? That is because this is the case, logically irrefutable; and He has it clearly stated repetitively, and if that be so, it is for good reason: that even with so many statements of divine motivation, there is still more than enough who make what HE makes clear, some kind of a mystery. Now if I told my children this, that the reason why I was not taking a picnic next week, was their conduct and preference as on display, when it was really otherwise, or said it was a mystery that they could not be told, I would be misleading, even deceptive.
God, perfectly simply, is not like that. He IS the truth, and HIS WORD IS truth. It is even impossible, we find in Titus that He should lie. It is for just for one reason, impossible because He it is utterly contrary to His own personal will. He does not want to lie, nothing bends Him. His will and word embracing with His power, do not vary or collide.
In fact, however if God sends someone (like Jonah, phase 1) to do something having a result of salvation, and that someone fails to go because (as in that case) of wilfulness for example, then this does not mean that God is frustrated, baulked, His plans awry, His will overthrown. He does, we read, both in heaven and earth whatever He pleases, and Colossians 1:11 has more to say on that.
In the case of Jonah, He brought out the intrinsic but heavily covered up willingness in a series of events. Then Jonah went, ceasing so to act out of character, and contrary to both mission and commission, in doing so. In others, whatever the case, God has not failed to be aware of what is come, for ALL THINGS are manifest before Him with whom we have to do (as in Hebrews 4). Hence what is to happen to secure the part in view (in Jonah's case Nineveh), out of the prodigies of His own mercy, is not only clear to Him, but available, for He did not make a universe to carry out enormity or injustice or baulking of what is His predisposition and position, but to fulfil it.
He, being beyond the apex of human mercy, and the source of it, and its explanation (when as often, that quality is to be found in man, though it is often blocked in individuals for individual reasons), proceeds to carry out what He has ultimately planned; and it is done. It may be heart-rending as in Matthew 23:37, and He may weep (as in Luke 19;42ff.): but it is done. There is no tangling, but truth, no wangling, but integrity, no iniquity, but mercy which refuses deviation, and a lovingkindness which does not manhandle, for God IS love.
Many prophets came but Christ came and the consequences were crucial. Christ Himself indicated clearly that He not only did the will of His Father continually, but did what pleased Him. There is no question of a divergence as alas Calvin incredibly puts in His fouled up coverage*1 of this point, in his Institutes. God really is like that, and His incarnation does not philosophise but paints the skies red as He seeks, not with the blood of others, but His own.
Some may draw illicit conclusions. One may opine: So it doesn't matter if a person becomes a missionary, even if sent (and if God sends, you know, for He is light and not darkness) ? It will all be the same in the end. Not so, by a factor of infinity!
Corrupted conscience may try to cover up the fact, but God knows what was put there, and how clearly, and judges in truth, which He knows in all cases. If you do not go when sent on a crucial mission (as with Jonah at first), then other means to the same end are found; or it even be a display of the fact that even if one were sent, they would not heed. It may be the case that if those to whom the missionary is sent are rebellious at first, so even for a transient but significant time, was even the missionary. It may save from a certain hauteur those who dabble or delay!
But what RESULTS in the end ? First the refusnik, that is, a person allegedly a Christian, exhibits that fact (unless he or she repents). That is the result, the conclusion of the affair. Such is the preference and such is the consequence; and to this such is the destiny. Heaven is no prison camp or delusion camp, but the affair of those who love the Lord, fear Him and delight in His gracious provision of such gifts to man, and in particular to themselves.
Now on the part of man, as he moves in his life in this relationship to God, there may be fraudulence, conscious or not. This case then becomes a manifestation procedure; it shows things up! Secondly, the said person may be appalled and then realise his failure, and this very fact may constitute a salutary discipline in divine grace to his soul. Thirdly, it may occasion the alternative means to do the will of God as expressed in the original call to this person, and so bring much hardship to those who with much difficulty effect the replacement. This both shows the love and determination of God: and either shows up or sparks up the one who failed. Fourthly, this possibly heavy travail with the alternative route to showing the divine mercy to those in mind, the target, may attest the quality and patience of divine love, that even the 100th one still matters, and nothing is left out, as in the parable of the single lost sheep.
It is foolish to try to explain away what God has said, and to invent humanly contrived soft landings for hard facts*2. Love is NOT dictatorship. Response in love, to love from outside, is not unreal, nominal, the result of being taken without knowing or consenting or desiring into a forced-labour, love camp. Paul makes that so clear in Acts 13:46-47, as does Proverbs 1 in general. If your preference is otherwise than for your God and Creator, offered Saviour and One prepared to pardon, (as known to God and of course foreknown before time was), then that is not only the way it is going to go. It is also the foreknown way of the matter.
God does not need to ponder once more, some special circumstances; He has known them and all, from the start, and applies His plan of salvation how He will, which is motivation by a transcendent love and application by an unwavering truth. He is not subject to human audit, but faith believes Him. "It was necessary," declared the apostle, "that the word of God should be declared to you first, but since you reject it and deem yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles." (Italics added).
Does this act as a disincentive to man when considering going to the mission field ? In fact, it may steel him to the purpose; for if it is not in vain, and whatever God WISHES to show, whether mercy to those responding or else judgment to those failing to do so DESPITE ALL His sendings, or pleadings, or renewed opportunities or appeals, and when these are done, the soul still wills itself away, then that is the result. This may be so whether for the missionary or the temporarily forsaken field, but the field is not forsaken for a lack of wisdom. All these things are in composition, exposition and accomplishment, from the first in foreknowledge, and to the last in performance, and God's depth is infinite, His provisions without number or limit. What He knows, He institutes by the Gospel, man failing or not, for nothing will be called impossible with God, either His timing or His penetration.
One thing remains simple: His will, foreknown, will be done; and His means will be the Gospel.
Thus, whenever and
however, if the ground remain hard, despite
rain in drought, He being perfect in His awareness from the first in
foreknowledge, does not err; for God is very
profound, and if the soul WOULD NOT, then the matter is not otherwise. That is the result:
"O that you had heeded My commandments, then your peace
would have been like a
river!", He cries, tracing the loveliness of the life forsaken, though it came near.
Does then the prospective missionary consider that since God went to no small thrust of pains and trouble to redeem, spared nothing, bared all the vulnerability of the flesh, took the place of the repentant sinner on the Cross in all torture and vicious vagrancy of His slayers, indeed laments for the lost, even weeps, since they had junked their day of opportunity (Luke 19): therefore he himself, a believer, is unmoved! We speak not of feeling but of fact, not of hypothetical psychic situations but real orientation!
Is this so, so that he/she bought by the same ransom, trusting in this same Father and Lord, sending and sent, will lapse into the morbid luxury of a self-indulgent love, and be a divorcee from its tender solicitude and practical zeal! That would be like saying that because you have a million dollars, THEREFORE you have nothing*3.
Thus to the lover of God, who is called to be a missionary for example, it is no small thing to participate in such a calling and it can be most attractive to the seeking soul, bent on serving so great a Master, so kind a Lord, so splendid a King. He, the one sent, is not a storm trooper, a head remover, a scimitar wielder or a psychological manipulator, but one deputed to present love, mercy, liberty, healing of heart, peace of mind and tranquillity of spirit, courage and meaning, a destiny of truth and a dynamic of action through the Gospel.
If one went amid mysteriously obtuse oddities, that is one thing; but when the effect is sure, the love is seven times pure, the mercy is fitly grounded, the offer is free for those who do not fancy themselves and their desires more than desire God, it is a thing most precious. It is so both in truth and in effectiveness, its quality resplendent, its nature unique, its power unsurpassable, rich in understanding and governed from above, not for selfish desire, but for divine deliverance. Fraud is factual; but faith is not factitious! If you walk in the Spirit will you baulk in spirit ? If you err, is God bereft, as if His minions did not multiply! If you delay, does God not know, and did He not know before whom all things are manifest ? (Hebrews 4). Did He not know what was to be beforehand, and does He not make this a telling point in making Israel realise how vast was their folly, in not heeding His demonstrated care, His proven predictions, His staggering all-comprehending knowledge (Isaiah 41,44-45,48).
There is no danger to missions, but sending, praising, applying, waiting on God as He works and working with His word, not in formalistic mode but functional, becomes charged as in a reply to a trumpet.
To be working with the power of God according to the wisdom of God for the will of God is utterly delightful. What a privilege! If in sin, it begins to pall, is God prevented ? If pylons falls and electricity can fail in a whole State to tremendous toll, is God to be paralleled because of some human defect, whether electric or stubbornness of will ? will even a Bath-Sheba derail a destiny ? Though it might lose lustre, even when the soul is secure in Christ, yet this is HIS mission, and He never fails (Zephaniah 3). But as to motivation for missions, if the love of God went so far as to allow His only begotten Son to be incarnate on earth, how debar it in the heart of His own people, not in form but in function and fact, for a good tree DOES bear good fruit, though many may judge amiss (Matthew 7 covers both elements) ?
If there is any sensitivity of heart, does the plight of those to whom there is a sending, waft away life a fleeting mist ? Does the need for another appear nothing ? Does extended pain and suffering have no place ? Does the fact that he who is born of God does not make a practice of sin (John 3:9), take a vacation and forget to return! If God the Word of God, the second Person of the trinity, delighted to do His Father's will (Psalm 40), and show the reciprocity between them on the point, before He came, does the flame fail in His people ? Is a ceremonial substitute for faith, to be counted as faith! (cf. Isaiah 1). Does God so depend on man that His stated principles collapse for man's sin! This is not in accord with the God of the Bible (Psalm 115, Ephesians 1:11).
Talk of unbelief, or of faith; they are so far from identical as are heaven and earth.
The multi-layered guilt of the human race, its cultural flowers as those of weeds abounding and penetrating now here not there, its self-deception, its ruinous hypocrisies and riotous rearguards from truth, with nominalism, formalism and futility vying for place in the unguarded heart, to sting the superficial, and crowd the worldly: this has its own rewards. There, carelessness can provoke the kind of generation of which God said (Isaiah 29:13), their lips were near Him, their hearts far. This is one reason why care is enjoined on the Christian (Romans 12:2), as it was in more apparent ways on Israel (cf. Isaiah 3:8-26). All this however, is like factorisation to the mathematician, a matter provocative but not impossible in kind, and for Him indeed, there is nothing beyond solution. Sodom could for example have heeded the beauty of the angels sent to Lot, in their spiritual domain, not sought to seize them for lust; but instead, they managed to turn even this to the worse for their own imminent destruction.
Two things then at once remove the opposition to having God to be AS HE STATES, and one is this: His beyond all time (time is a creation - Romans 8:36) foreknowledge. Another is His counsel by which He WORKS all things after His own will (Ephesians 1:11). Thus one is that He never fails (Zephaniah 3:5), one is that having these principles (cf. Colossians 1:19ff.), He is never finally foiled; neither is He depleted, as if asthenic, nor is He intimidated by any on earth, who as far as that is concerned, are like grass-hoppers (Isaiah 40:22). Where human imagination fails, divine insight soars. God does not here flounder, for here as elsewhere, His opportunities are without any limit but that of His word, and it is He who has spoken it, according to His own will.
It is but the slight stirring of His wisdom to fulfil EVERY JOT and tittle of what He has declared to be in this world, for in nothing will He ever be diminished, compromised or cancelled, He has foreknown, foreseen, fore-evaluated; and all is tried, at times left as a lesson without intervention to the self-sufficient, aat others, cleared away as a deliverance to the crying saints. The situation may be contained to work patience, but the impediment dismissed in its day, all as He with acute wisdom has wrought. He WORKS all things after the counsel of His will: His own will.
It is imperative therefore to abide in ALL of His word, every particle in seeking truth and understanding; but how much more NOT to remake God in our own cultural images as though our assumptions were His necessities!
A mysterious God who would NOT - having made peace by the blood of the Cross, have all reconciled to Himself WHETHER in heaven or on earth - is not He. There is in His Colossians declaration both a bold assertion and a careful emphasis. This asseverates assuredly: in Him, for such reconciliation of all, there is neither diminution of scope, nor fluctuation of His desire. Rather, there is a certain inclusiveness, ALL, BLOOD, heaven and earth, which defies contradiction. What departs from this, is a human invention. The God of the Bible WOULD HAVE ALL and STATES that what is the ground of their not all coming to Him. It is this (John 3:19), that despite the love and action He took in Christ, they distinctively in their own category, preferred darkness to the defining light of Jesus Christ incarnate (John 3:19). That is why they did not receive, believe and receive authority to become the children of God (John 1).
We are here in Colossians instructed, as so often, of His love, of His encompassing attitude and of the concerns of His heart and of what declines its fulfilment, this being the distinctive attitudes to be found in those who, for all that, still deny Him. No sovereignty is trickily to be named as if it controlled Him; HE controls it, being Himself the Lord, and what that Lord would have, desires, is spelled out so that it is impossible to ignore it except by contradiction of what is written; and that is no way to paint a portrait, or to hear a declaration from the Lord of life.
God IS indeed love (I John 4), and nothing to the contrary can be found; and if love would not invade, dictate, take by force, this is its own barrier; and to go further would be a failure in method, as in quality, confounding the whole divine operation. He knows how to penetrate past sin, to the pre-creation, and predestinates what He has foreknown; but for some He comes not as a Rock, but a stone at which they stumble (I Peter 2),and to this, being foreknown, they are appointed. Predestination, next after foreknowledge logically (Romans 8:20ff.), then allows no confusion, and pathology determines no issues: for God sees His own, and these He takes, and those who freely reject not only righteousness but remedy, these also He knows.
This then is one more case of secession from supposition. God has said what He will about the predestinative matter and it is beautiful in scope and security, justice and mercy alike; and suppositious material to the contrary is not only not needed, but not to be heeded. True that there are many deep things in this*3, and these are a delight in their comprehensive construction; but when GOD speaks, let man listen and not attempt either some kind of divine psychoanalysis or human trumpeting. If you find it in God's word, then wear it; and you will ultimately find that it has a lovely soft and bracing texture.
But it is like brambles to those who reject it.
On this, see for example:
Cascade of Truth, Torrent of Mercy Ch. 9,
Possess Your Possessions 10, Ch. 5, Uncomprehending Darkness ... Ch. 2,
Predestination and Freewill, Section 2.
See The Lord of Longsuffering Ch.2, and Department of Bible ... Vol. 11, Ch. 6, for
in which this error may arise however inadvertently.
Relevant is the approach of Paul to an allied topic, in Romans 6:15ff.
Here he is asking a question to facilitate understanding: So justification is by faith, and not of works; and indeed, if not of of works, it is not of faith, and if of faith it is not of works, as in Romans 11:6-7.
It is in fact not of works, lest anyone should boast (for example, saying 'Neat job, my getting into heaven; I always had a way with me').
Now Paul excoriates this sort of thing as a non sequitur. That is, he sharply rebukes what does not follow. It does NOT mean, that this free justification by faith implies that you could then disgustingly distort things by saying: Very well then, this being so, we can sin the more, for that will require more grace to forgive, and could even be construed as beneficial.
What vile distortion! Paul explains. Do you not realise that - to use imagery - you yield your members, your powers, to the One whose you are and whom you obey! What kind of corruption would mock reality by making the thing merely nominal! You are under new management and it manages, and the heart is where the mouth is (II Corinthians 5:17ff.).
So here. Shall the one just called as a missionary, BEING under new management - for whom therefore CHRIST IS LORD is not an empty bill-board but a placarding of FACT - not yield ? or if like Jonah, then not at first yielding, yet yield at length, when the Lord acts on what He has both redeemed and regenerated! As in the other case in Romans 6: what kind of confusion is in view to imagine otherwise. If the world does not depend on you, yet you still depend on the Lord. Love for the lover in a mutuality, is not an option, but an experience; and in this case, both well-grounded and operative, whatever the lessons to learn. Being a factually founded love, received in liberty and sealed and confirmed in its planting (Matthew 15:13), it is no dream.
Shall the Christian then respond, Forget the missionary work, for if I sin, I shall yet give grace an opportunity to expand ? Or will the Lord forbear to call clearly ? You can of course have most complicated cases of mixed gifts and corruption (cf. Hebrews 6), but the facts are clear. One is either a spiritual vagabond or a Christian, and this still applies in such cases; and if the former, it is no call to preach what you do not know; and if the latter, there is no micro-ord who defies the Lord of His devotion. Even sinister sin does not confuse Him; and even if a saint fails in some episode, as David with Bath Sheba, there is discipline for that as needed; but the kingdom though harassed, does not lose because of it, and the saint is recalled to order, as God requisitions. The character of one thing does not mutate, though fouled premises do express a foul odour; and when all is done, those born of God do not make a practise of sin, however much they have to learn.
Thus the principle of Romans 6, that free justification by grace, foreknown, predestinated, leaves out the necessity of a terrorising jab, and would not work, is contrary to the biblical model, which always starts from within, and is encompassed by the entire merciful and sovereign personality of God. God forbid such nonsense, we find, for the saved sinner is so changed and freely in such a constraint and reconstruction, that the 'seed' of God remaining in him (John 3:9), is just a part of the family affair. It is part of its glorious texture.
When it comes to missionary motivation in a world where God knows exactly what He is doing and none fails by oversight or superficial episode, it is the same. The potential missionary, called, does not sin that grace may abound, and so disdain the call. It is precisely the same setting as in Romans 6, a particular manifestation of it. Different is the model; different is the deity; different is the family of God and the nature of their regenerated members. The free grace of justification is not a causeway to corruption, but an inducement to obedience, and the construction which provides it is as sound as a multi-piered supported stone bridge across a stream. It is moreover just one example of what is the rule Paul announces. You can reject a model if you want to; but this is not an argument against it. Indeed, when the model is being expounded, it is merely a sign of confusion, a mere affirmation that you cannot understand what you are talking about; or will not.
People may fail at
times - David a prime example - but God has no slavish rush to remedy, in
this, that He has foreknown and hence has His own way of covering the case.
God is deep beyond all depths and His word reliable beyond all forces, powers and obstructions.
In Romans 2-3, we find all the world condemned before God, that all should be guilty. There is no slightest wisp of evidence for the idea that you can buy your way out of judgment for your actions, by some kind of relativity. ALL are judged guilty before God (Romans 6:23). All have sinned, and those who think otherwise merely deceive themselves (I John 1).
For ALL therefore the showing of mercy is a gain, an interposition. Romans 3 spells out its basis in the blood of Christ, Romans 10 its operation in believing in your heart that God has raised His Christ from the dead, and confessing Him with the mouth: ALL such will be saved. Faith does not perish, only presumption masquerading as it (Matthew 7:21-23, Ephesians 1:11, I John 3). Once the seed of faith is in you, of the Lord, it remains as in DNA. It is not available for reconstitution.
We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ with a view towards (purpose) receiving what we have done in the flesh. That is the Romans position in Ch. 2. There is no hiding, no subterfuge but open exposure. But as in Romans 3 we find there is a divine action into this sinful swamp. Christ crucified is the way out of it, and moreover, the way into the glorious knowledge of God our Saviour, who has dismissed bounds, barriers, going to the uttermost of love as measuring the immeasurable (that is, going beyond all human computation - cf. Ephesians 3), and provided a safe place amid the furies of judgment. It is a total coverage extended towards what is, all of it, susceptible justly for judgment.
How broadly does its wing spread ? It covers all who receive Christ in this world, and anyone else, by the same wing, Gospel, intervening mercy, love, kindness and interposition, whom God elects for that purpose, having found them in His foreknowing as in Romans 8:30ff., before all time, as in Ephesians 1:4, having for one example in this light, descended into hell as the Apostles' Creed puts it and I Peter 3:18.
In the latter passage, we find that having "died for sinners" , and being "put to death physically but made alive spiritually", this being so: "Thus He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who were disobedient at the time when God's patience was delaying, while Noah was constructing an ark ..." (cf. The Kingdom of Heaven, Ch. 4, esp. at Spirits in Prison, and Aspects of the Glory ... Ch 5). This is the thematic pulse, the tendentious thrust and the contextual enclave. It issues in the resurrection, which follows (I Peter 3:21), towards Him who thus provides for all who in clear conscience seek and rely on Him (whom death could not claim, His body rising just as the Gospel of His salvation spread). Thus He meets all without prejudice, but in truth through the passion that omits no place, but even moves to the highways and the byways to find any (Matthew 22:1-10).
Indeed, in the Bible, 'spirits in prison' (I Peter 3:19) is language used in one way or another of those who are in train for judgment, not of people on earth, as shown in the references on this topic just made.
Moreover, the thrust of this passage is in terms of action: Christ dies, this is why He dies, this is what He did, this is what He continued to do in the impress and outreach of this same passion and love, so that all be covered that may be, all in the spiritual ark who may be led therein, in actions of the thrust of mercy to the uttermost. He died the just for the unjust to bring us to God and was stopped by nothing in His entreaties, even moving to the prison of those alive and now incarcerated, lost in that massive time of the flood. These provide an example of the overflow of mercy, the profundity of divine desire, but one moving by the same method, the preaching which alone provides hope, for it exposes the way home, back, to pardon in that world where all is condemned. So Christ the prisoner went to those imprisoned in spirit, and preached to them!
The confusion that there is implied some abhorred 'second chance' ignores 3 things. First, chance has nothing to do with it; God sovereignly selects in terms of His stated principles. Secondly, it is clear that being ashamed of Him on earth has results of shame in destiny (Luke 9:26), so this is merely irrelevant verbiage, a baying taunt without basis. God said it, therefore it applies. Thirdly, the concept of a flurry of this and that, as if eternal life depended on some psychic flash, not on the wisdom of the Eternal and only wise God, is hard to differentiate from an attack on His profundity and integrity. God is not like that. He works ALL things after the counsel of His OWN will.
That this has such ardent love and noble regard, profound and unpossessive, yet all-providing and careful, is the great felicity of reality. There is no dysfunctional aristocracy in heaven, nor is there place for what downgrades the truth, however many do just that; but there is pardon for ANY, and barring to none who in heart and spirit, call upon Him in faith. He does not despise any who so seek.
It is one of the mischiefs and sorrows of this present world that it has become so antichrist in spirit that people now tend readily to try to treat of Christian things as though they were still bound to this world. This world is a stage, not the beginning and the end: God is the actor, and it is no mere act. Worlds apart, He does what He will, His sovereignty moving to the uttermost not to blight man (Lamentations 3:33), or His own revealed character and approach to mankind, but to express it. It makes it sure. Nothing can deter Him, not even death. But just as He judges in unexcellable love, so it is in undismissible truth.
It is not enough to preach to those in the contemporary world; He covered a domain that even Paul could not. He went to preach to those more obviously in prison, even than His persecutors. In a love that is no merely technical expression, as in some politics, He came and He died to redeem, and even to those to whom He came on this earth, declared,
"If I had not come
and spoken to them, they would have no sin,
The question of damnation is in view, and
without His actually coming and speaking to them, indeed arriving and doing
"among them the works which no one else did", then
"they would have no sin." Now however,
speaking directly to those rejecting Him, the position is very different. Now,
at the time of John 15, "they have seen and also
hated both Me and My Father." Such is the criterion in
type. That removes the mission of mercy from them (except of course in any case one should repent, and find salvation as offered, despite this earlier folly, before dying).
Let us not wander. The case is clear. In terms of judgment they would by no means be finally damned without this exceedingly final type of confrontation or its equivalent in the sight of God. This is what Christ is directly saying here. And this fits with His revealed desires, character and statements of grief, laments and sorrows. HE does not fail amid such power. Love does not cross the barrier into force or manipulation, for then it is not love but mere imperiousness. Yet if there were any intrusive barrier, this will not prevent Him. Being merciful He will judge in truth, and being Creator He knows how to overturn any inconsistency, for love does not stoop to mere appearance. Such is His love, His action, the world of His wonder.
Thus the flag of mercy is shown in that other book in Revelation 20, an entirely different thing, the Book of Life as in Revelation 20. This Book is entirely separated from the book of works which affords no hope to any (Romans 3, Ephesians 2). From before our time even existed, God foreknew who are His (cf. I Timothy 2:19, Romans 8:29), and it is not only elect infants who die as tiny, as in the Westminster Confession, who find Him and His mercy, but all those in elect parallel who, never having heard the Gospel, have NOT rejected it on this earth. Indeed, the election is preceded logically as in Romans 8, by foreknowledge, so enabling fulfilment of all things as prescribed and propounded, the sure foundations and propositions of God.
It is not a problem to God to achieve things beyond man, since He not only made him but the world and the conditions in which he lives, whether physical, physiological, geographical, geological, psychological, spiritual or other. His love is beyond all prodigy, being inherent and eternal, vast and immovable, as is His mercy; yet this duly being averted, leaves only judgment for ALL have sinned.