Serves me right, I suppose. I read something on social media and I let it get to me. I started out angry. I mean going outside and kicking the dirt kind of angry. And then it turned to grief. I mean bent over weeping grief.
Grieving for the lost who come under fire for acting lost. But mostly, I grieve when the Bride seems to point her finger and take delight in the wrath of God that will come to those who do not believe.
Because that is not who we are. So to the believer who wrote what I was foolish enough to read, I say this:
We are ambassadors for Christ, and the message we have been entrusted with is good news. We are the ones who should know, better than anyone, that it is His kindness, not His anger, that leads to repentance.
There should be no delight in us over the final outcome of the lost. Why? Because there will be no delight in the heart of God on that day. Many will perish, but that is not the desire of His heart. He tarries for them. He sends us out with His love, to them. He calls us to go into hard, dark places to find them and bring them out; to risk our very lives, for them.
We are the rescued ones, but pride and arrogance will position us to look down on those who are unaware of the need for rescue. Humility positions us on our knees before the Father, crying out for Him to move on their behalf. Humility will keep us going back to love those who reject us. Humility moves us to stand in the gap on their behalf.
You see, I was once one of those that you hold in such low esteem. I too was handed the message “God will punish you” and I can tell you what that message accomplishes. Nothing, except to move me further from Him. I wanted nothing to do with this punisher God, and even if I did want to move toward Him, I was convinced He would not have me. Not in my condition.
Love, not fear, drew me to Him. Love, not condemnation, rescued me.
Yes, a day of wrath is coming. Yes, hell is real and people will go there.
But it does not delight God’s heart the way it seems to delight yours. I believe God grieves over the lost and if we have anything of His heart, we will grieve with Him. We will pray rather than point. We will look up to Him, instead of down on them. We will love until the very end.
Because our Savior did not just die for us. He died for them.
I should not have read what you wrote. I will not do it again. I kicked dirt and bent over and wept, and then I listened to the heart of God poured out in song. And I worshiped. Because I remembered the love that God used to draw me to Himself, the way He cracked open my hard heart and poured in grace. I came as I was, and He received me. He wanted me. And He wants them.
Remember, Beloved, the love and mercy of God for sinners. For we too were once counted among them.