Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My little piece of heresy

1 John 4:8 tells us that God is love. John 3:16 is a beloved little verse that speaks of why Jesus came, connects our eternal fate to God's never-ending love. The following verse says, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." Because He loves us. He loves the people He created even though we've sinned and rebelled and rejected Him. Because of a little thing called grace, we've been saved.

I wonder sometimes, if God's going to save everyone.

There is much about God I don't understand. The trinity, sanctification, the infinite and omnipresence of a Being that has consistently revealed Himself in and above all things is a forever reminder that I don't know everything. Or anything remotely close to everything. That is to say, I have no idea how He'd do it. How He'd save everyone. I know about God's justice and righteousness and holiness just as well as I know His love and mercy. The people who have rejected His free gift, who have rejected Him, have chosen their own death.

But . . .

The Bible is, on a micro-level, a story about a people who were chosen by God and continually rejected Him. In Ezra 10, Jehiel is recounting the sins of Israel and he says, "But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel." Lamentations was written in a time when Jerusalem had been destroyed because God's people rebelled against him, yet after painting a grim picture of the consequences, Lamentations 3:21-22 says "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail." In Romans 11, when Paul is talking about the remnant of Israel in the end times, in verse 32 he says, "For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all."

Is that not the hope of the Gospel, that all the lost will be saved? Is that not the story of Israel, with every rejection comes a hope for redemption? Is that not the nature of God, to rescue every one of the foolish and ignorant for His own glory?

I'm not saying the Bible says everyone's going to be saved from hell. It doesn't say that. It says the opposite. But, the Bible tells me a lot about God. And, I'm not certain that it's wrong to hope. To hope that in His mercy and wisdom God finds some way to soften and save every single soul that rejected Him again and again, that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." [Philippians 2:10-11] It's not wrong to hope for everyone's salvation, is it?


Michael said...

Every time I go to someones blog post and there aren't any comments left yet . . . is a good day. (Is it weird to like being the first commenter?)

I wonder about this to, quite a bit actually. I mean, it seems (seems) consistent with God's nature to save everyone. But . . . the bible clearly says differently. It's frustrating.

Now about your question . . . it seems like a kind, reasonable hope to wish that everyone might be saved. But it is also contrary to the way things will be, as well as the way God wants things to be. I think that it is, however strange sounding, not being like minded with God. But another part of me screams against that saying that God DOES wish all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. (Paraphrase: 1 Timothy 2:4, I think). So . . . I don't know.

Kaitlyn said...

I wonder about this too...

I don't know.

[That just might be the most common phrase in my vocabulary.]

Art said...

If this comment was an email, "Backstory: a comment that should have been posted yesterday." would be the subject line.

This is to say that I don't think I've wondered about this much. I felt bad that I did not have the understanding that comes from asking, and searching for answers, and still not knowing. I don't like thinking that I haven't thought to ask the question of if God's going to save anyone.

Then I took my sadness at not knowing and wrote a blog post about it. It reminded me of life, because "hurt people hurt people" and people seem to turn their problem outwards and create it for someone else.

Now you know, a little bit more.