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BULLETIN ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SEVEN
MISSIONS, CONSIDERATIONS AND COMMANDS
An Enlarged Review
1. THE BACKGROUND
In view of John 9:41 and 14:21-24, as to relevant guilt before God (not the same as desert!) and thundering declaration concerning ALL in Colossians 1:19ff., with the considerations of SMR Appendix B, we find that God has desire for all, given profound expression emotionally in such passages as Jeremiah 31:20 and Hosea 11:7-9, Luke 19:41 with of course the sensational John 3:16-19. Here the world is the object of the extremity of the divine love (not for its worldliness, I John 2:14-17), the very one He personally created and not some other. Indeed, this was the profoundly introduced topic from the first in John's Gospel, while the uttermost cost is the cited expression of the depth and relevance of this celestial LOVE, and its impact and opportunity is in focus in John 3.
In Hosea, we find this in not uncommon intensity, "How shall I give thee up ?", while the provision adequate for all is thrust into sight in I John 2:1-2. Here it is emphatically clear that the redemption from on high is adequate for all, though this by no means redeems all: the revelation of the heart is what concerns us now (Isaiah 53:1-6, Romans 8:32). Again, from the unchanging character of God (Psalm 102:25-28,Malachi 3:6, James 1:17) together with the fact that Jesus Christ is God incarnate (cf. John 8:58, John 14:1-10 ,"the same yesterday, today, forever" - Hebrews 13:8), we are shown that whatever and wherever He has worked and moved, before, in or may work after our time, what He displayed is what is maintained. The love for example of Matthew 23:37 and Luke 19:41, and the scope of Colossians 1:19ff., was what was present and operative in FOREKNOWLEDGE and thence predestination. It is not God who is like the variable flower of Summer, which passes away in its beauty. He made the flowers and their seasons, but is Himself not subject to seasons (I Peter 1:23-25).
Efforts to explain away the bold statements of the Bible become so nauseating after one dismisses them all because of false assumption as is done throughout the 7 volume work on these topics on this site, come to resemble the pettifogging murmurings of the misdirected lawyer. Far is He from abandoning the human race en bloc with few exceptions. The way however is straight and narrow, and though the offer is enormous in intensity, scope and liberty and grace, it is searching, for none deludes God. We are not manipulators of a Spiritual Social Service State, but without God's own remedy, rebels in a magnificent planet, cursed, though still much immersed in grace (Ephesians 2 and 4().
Indeed, John 3:15-19 declares His divine response to the work of His hands in His image, when its aspiration proved illimitable, unrealistic and self-centred (as in Genesis 3). The question in the minds of the first man and woman ? 'what will be done now ?' Naturally there was shame. God before our type of time knew the answer (Revelation 13:8). Guilt and results alike flowed, but the remedy was also on hand (Genesis 3:15), and was duly implemented in the intensity of the cross of Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14, 3:10-13). The basis as in John 3:16 is love arising to divine sacrifice, and it is the result of rebelling even from this, that is being left with sustained guilt, which is not then abandoned, since it is so.
As to that closure of the one and the other party, takers and shunners, it is operative through preference, Indeed, John 3:19 tells us in its highly articulate and cohesive account! Before time and history rolled, before therefore the sin of man had a chance to occur, where the race was not even made, but awaiting as it were, that vast act, God knew His own, past all mere accounts of what they would do (Romans 9:11), and of any delusive fall into confusion which would surely come when creation and the sin it enabled rushed en scène. God could even penetrate and display at will to any (cf. John 16:5-8), even after sin smashed the serenity of spirit, but how much more before it! As Ephesians 1:4 declares, Christians were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. There is no room for error. The great danger is so simple, NOT wanting Christ the remedy, Redeemer and divine resource for mercy.
These are not surmises concerning the love, the provisions, the remedy, the heart and the nature of God, but come from basic statements in the word of God. Our task in this is not to follow any erratic tradition but what is written. Even the devil can miscite scripture, but it does not stand, being contortion and distortion of the obvious.
Clear it is that:
God has the heart, mind, desire and provision to the uttermost
to remedy man's predicament,
and a love so profound as to be proleptic, answering the problem before it even arose,
and so intense as to launch His eternal Word
into flesh as a man,
and so great was the impact of this incarnation and work,
that even Sodom would have escaped destruction to Christ's own day
if His works and words had been given in its time!
That such a One as this should even die for such as we,
leaves the spectacular as drab by comparison.
Exclusions from the power and impact of guilt, are on His basis and
not someone else's. He is the One who paid. What IS the basis of the God who IS love ?
He is assuredly not as if saying:
"My love is such, and the profundity of My payment for the sin of others
so personal to Me, being so deep as to mean sacrificial blood from Me on option for all
to whom it can be cover in heaven and earth,
that here is the remedy for all whom I admit to My presence
for purely personal reasons, for whom alone My offer is applicable."
That sounds like a fraud.
On the contrary the declared profundity of the love towards
the thing called mankind is such that "whoever" believes,
whoever in this world's scope which is inclusive of all
in ravishing relish extensive to all, that in its entire generality
an invitation to believe in Him is both ebullient and declarative.
it is not at the outset, such a matter as this,
in express intention exclusive of some, as if to proclaim:
Whoever in a particular segment of the world should believe,
this being the part in whom and for whom
the offer is made, and in whom I am particularly interested, will be saved.
Nor is it saying, God so loved part of the world that any
in this part may be saved.
It is the world whom He so loved. Entanglements of some in the sodden ruin
as in Hebrews 6 and 10, of toying with or tasting before vomiting the offered salvation,
are only a part of those forsaking the offer in their own proud way.
The offer stands, sincere as God is. His knowledge, indeed foreknowledge
does nothing to falsify His offer. To assume that would be a gratuitous insult.
So to add to the word of God amounts to a changing the text, adding 'a part of''
and diminishing the application. Moreover He states in context, from His mind,
that what DOES exclude despite the declared abundance of love
and provision, is that in the very light of this, some show a preference
for darkness. If God says so, who is to confute it, or dispute ?
God states what excludes; it is not for His creation to contradict Him.
He knows His heart. Love does not tread; it invites; it draws; it knows when to stop
with the option being to move into force of one kind or another,
which in this domain not only leaves love, but abuses it.
God does not do this.
THIS, then, is the exclusion, declared in isolated shame (John 3:19):
PREFERRING darkness, in the face of light.
It cannot be applicable to all, or none would be saved; it must be applicable
to some, as it is in contrast in the domain of darkness. It concerns being saved by acceptance
of the free offer, which is a matter of light. The great and repeated exhibitions of grief
on the part of God throughout the Bible simply gives practical, personal
expression to the principle, when it is applied and indeed, what is thus denied,
is permanently defiled. Isaiah 48:15ff. is one mordant expression of such divine grief,
while Jeremiah 48 contains another.
What then of the missionaries, even whose feet on the mountains
are delight to Him (Isaiah 52:7) ? First, they give expression to the same remorseless love
(when the spirit in which it is done, is authentic) which sent Christ into the world.
Second, those whose feet they are wish to deliver lives in barren darkness
to the glorious light of life, and much more. Yet one thing is most clear:
Christ gives them both the example (Matthew 20:28) and the COMMAND.
Haters of the devil's devilries yearn to deliver.
Those who fear God do not ponder when sent by Him
whether if possible to abort His wishes, work,
but how to focus and forward it, and secure the application.
Those who are of a different mind, take too much upon themselves.
If the gift is given and the specialised call is made (I Corinthians 12)
then the changeless God's schema applies, and the steps are
governed and guided, whatever purely human preferences
people may have, and as in all things, there must be certainty,
and if the way be blocked, then this the more requires it.
Thus the structure is kept, the outline continues, the passion erupts,
the features of the kingdom endure, each in its place, general or
specialised, leaving the impact of sacrificial service which is
the generic, a spectacle to all. THIS is in itself a testimony to this world, an exhibit,
multi-faceted and shining. A good understanding have those
who keep His commandments.