The Broad Jump
The judgement and Love of God. Sin has to be judged. The perfection God requires is absolute. No one is good enough for all have sinned (Romans 3:18-28) There is no such thing as being good enough, or righteous on our own. Pastor Jerry Dirmann gave a great example, my re-paraphrased version goes like this:
You and I are standing at Huntington Beach, CA. We are both standing on the pier. I am standing WAY out at the end of the pier. You are standing closer to the beginning, maybe at the lifeguard tower. Now, in order to get to heaven all we need to do is broad jump to Australia. That should be simple. One jump. No running start. Our feet can't touch the water. Easy right? Then you say: But that's no fair, look how much closer he is to Australia than I am!
Many times we look to others and see their lives as being more right than ours. We compare ourselves to them and feel bad about how much our lives need to change. We then feel that the other party is more righteous than we are.
OR, maybe we've been saved a little while now and forgot how bad we used to be. We start to look down on others for their sin. We say: "Why can't they just get with the program and come on up here!?" Wait a minute now... you used to be a sinner. And even if you were one of the few people who grew up in church, loved God since you were a kid, and never really had a falling out with God and served Him all your years and now you are in your own ministry... You are standing out on the end of the pier looking back to the other man saying: "HA! Look how much closer I AM to God..." Hey fool! You're both a LONG WAY OFF from Australia!
How does God see people and sin today?
So we need to gain a perspective on sin and righteousness. It's a free gift, not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:4-14) Let us take a look at the following passages from the Gospel of John the Beloved.
16 For God had such love for the world that he gave his only Son, so that whoever has faith in him may not come to destruction but have eternal life. 17 God did not send his Son into the world to be judge of the world; he sent him so that the world might have salvation through him.18 The man who has faith in him does not come up to be judged; but he who has no faith in him has been judged even now, because he has no faith in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the test by which men are judged: the light has come into the world and men have more love for the dark than for the light, because their acts are evil.
44 Then Jesus said with a loud voice, He who has faith in me, has faith not in me, but in him who sent me. 45 And he who sees me, sees him who sent me. 46 I have come as a light into the world, so that no one who has faith in me will go on living in the dark. 47 And if any man gives ear to my words and does not keep them, I am not his judge: I did not come to be judge of the world but to give salvation to the world. 48 He who puts me on one side and does not take my words to heart, is not without a judge: the word which I have said will be his judge on the last day.49 For I have not said it on my authority, but the Father who sent me gave me orders what to say and how to say it. 50 And I have knowledge that his order is eternal life: so that the things which I say, I say them even as the Father says them to me.
8 Peter said, I will never let my feet be washed by you, never. Jesus said in answer, If I do not make you clean you have no part with me.
Jesus did not come to condemn the World but to save it (and those who are in and of it). Jesus does not judge you, but the Word that is preached about Him judges you. Ultimately the Father in heaven who spoke the Word judges you. If Jesus does not make you clean you have no part In Him! Yet HIS LOVE is so big, that everyone on this planet can be saved.
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
This scripture single handedly denounces the lie that was spread as a component of Calvinism that only certain people can be saved and it's all up to God and we have no true free will in the matter. In fact, as far as God is concerned everyone on this planet has already been saved, bought, paid for, etc.
It's amazing to think about... but the World is not guilty of sin. Not one person on this planet is guilty of sin. As far as God is concerned everyone on the planet died 2,000 years ago and the full price of sin (past, present, and future) was paid for by the shed blood of Jesus the Anointed One through His Anointing!
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Notice what Paul is saying here. The way we are supposed to view people is that Jesus died for EVERYONE, therefore EVERYONE died. He died for ALL. All means all and that's all "all" means. We do not regard anyone according to the flesh, or in other words, we do not see people in light of their actions or non actions, speech, or any other outward sign. We don't look at the sinner and call them a sinner. We look out into the darkness, just as God did on the first day of creation, and we say "LIGHT BE!" We call them saved because God called them saved.
Back in AA and Al-Anon we had a saying that dealt with learning boundaries in our interactions with others; "You keep your side of the street clean". The idea deals with when other people do things to you, or even when you do things to others and try to make it up to them; in the end you can only be responsible for you and your actions. You may have tried to make up with them, apologize, or be kind. But you can't be responsible for what THEY do. If they choose to be bitter, revile you, hate you, or ignore you... it's NONE of your business. You can only do what you can do. You don't worry yourself about them. Well, God has cleaned up His side of the street AND yours! Adam's sin washed all the way up to heavens door step and God cleaned it all up!
NOW WAIT JUST A MINUTE!
Are you saying that EVERYONE is going to heaven? No. That is not what I'm saying. Although God has cleaned his side of the street AND yours AND you... He will not violate your free will. Under NO circumstance is God going to break his own Word. In Genesis 1:28 He gave you dominion over your own life. He also gave you authority to subdue that which get's out of place and out of order. He has made ALL THINGS that pertain to life and Godliness available to you. (2 Peter 1:3) But He will not do your part. He will not violate your free will. You must make a choice to receive His gift to you.
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.
I see Paul here stretching our understanding. He is letting us know that we must hold fast to the Word we received and not fall away to other things. Mark 4 and John 10:10 shows us how Satan comes to steal the Word and make it unproductive in our lives. Satan's goal is to either keep you from getting any of it, or if he can't do that he wants to keep it from producing results for you. If he can't keep it from producing any results he will attempt to reduce your results by any means necessarily. Fortunately he only have a few means and they are laid on in Mark 4. So how do we get saved? How to we receive God's gift(s)?
8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?
Where is the Word? The Word is in your mouth and heart. That is how you receive from God. You get saved by believing and speaking. You get healed by believing and speaking. You get provision by believing and speaking.
Can I just have any old thing I say? What if I believe that I can go to heaven without Jesus? That is the real point isn't it? It's not just believing and speaking that gets us the results. It's believing what GOD has said that gets us the results. There are some natural results that can come from positive affirmations but they are not lasting, eternal, or spiritual. They do not alter ones life in a total and transforming way. Only by agreeing with God can we get God's results.
So what if I choose not to believe?
The Word Judges you (John 12:44-50). God brought His Son into this earth and paid the price for you! Because He was PASSIONATELY in LOVE with you! If you choose to reject that gift than you will not go to heaven. Obviously you can't be with God if you reject God. Therefore you will go to the only place in existence that God has removed His Love. Hell, for a time, and then the lake of fire. This isn't a fire that you cook with. It's God's presence. God is a fire from the loins up and the loins down. (Ezekiel 8:2 and 1:27) See also this article by KCM: Click Here.
It is the Word that judges you. What did you do with the Word you heard?!
What if I didn't hear?
This is a great question. First of all you just did if you've read this far. But the question is often presented: What about people that lived and died in remote parts of the world where they never heard the Word of God?
- Nature Speaks His Word all around us.
- There is no excuse because God's creations speaks of His attributes. Nature is calling on us to call to Him.
- Romans 1:20
- God is Just and the Justifier
- God is Love
If any man calls on God, God answers. Whether He sends a preacher there, an angel, or shows up himself, God WILL respond to the call of a heart that is seeking Him! He Rewards those who seek Him! (Heb 11:6)
Just a few true stories that may help:
Because everyone can be encouraged by a few modern stories let me tell you three.
- One day a man of prayer was working on an oil rig in Oklahoma and stepped down off the rig. As he did he found himself no where near the rig but standing in a field. A village of huts lay out in the distance in front of him. A small boy came up to him and asked about God. He told him about Jesus and when he was done men from the village came out with spears to kill him. The boy said: You should run! He took a few steps and ended up back in Oklahoma.
- Lest he should feel it had all been a dream, many years latter a tall handsome black man approached him and said: You may not know me, but you came to me when I was a boy in Africa. "You told me about Jesus. I got saved, learned English, and eventually left Africa. One thing I don't understand; Where did you go? I looked away and then you were gone?"
- They didn't speak the same language but God transported a man to save one child and translated for him!
- One time there was a village of Muslims that were all having visions of Jesus telling them that someone would come to tell them about Him. As the people of God arrived they found the group of Muslims already prepared to hear what the message of God was for them.
- God is looking for hearts that will believe.
- These visions in Muslim lands are becoming widespread and increasing today.
- One young lady had rejected God and washed into a life of drinking and sin. One day her boyfriend beat her to death. She raised up out of her body and stared down at the bloody mess. A door opened and great light came through. Jesus stepped through the door and began to talk with her. After she accepted His Love He gave her the choice of coming to heaven or staying on earth and completing her assignment. (I think the reason you don't hear more of these stories is that very few can resist the urge to just go on to heaven right away) She came back. Not only does she recount her story, but after getting healed of that bloody mess she began ministering healing to others. She would go from hospital to hospital creating a pathway of miracles attracting people to Jesus.
Receive the Gift or Not:
My Grandfather, my Dad's Dad, was sent many gifts for birthdays/Christmas etc. They were all attempts on my father's part to keep his side of the street clean, as mentioned above. To attempt to restore relationship. My grandfather returned a pile of those gifts one day, unopened. It hurt the heart of my father. It hurts to take the time to give gifts, only to have them rejected. God gave gifts to men (Ephesians 4:8) God gave salvation from hell, healing, prosperity, restoration, and much much more. ANY gift that is not received hurts the heart of Our Father in Heaven.
Not only does rejecting/no receiving a gift hurt the giver, but it's hurts the would be receiver. Grandfather was not able to enjoy the gifts, or the relationship the gifts represented. So I ask you this one question: Will you receive?
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.
The statement about all having sinned is not a statement that is meant to show us how bad we are, but how Good God is! It qualifies us ALL to receive his gift! All Sinned, therefore All Qualify for Grace
"Lord, I believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, and confess with my mouth that Jesus is my Lord! Come and make something of my life!"
Do I have to live perfect after this? No. There is absolutely NO works to this. You can't earn God and you can't earn keeping God. Yes, there are things God would have you do in life. Yes, he is just as hurt when you don't walk in any of his gifts. He wants you healed, prosperous, and walking out the things of God ministering to others. But those are things we do because we're saved, not to be saved. His salvation is radical grace!
How much of the abundant life of God do you want? That is how much you will walk out. Live Life to the Full! John 10:10
Darrell G. Wolfe