"For God did not send His Son to condemn the world but that through Him the world might be saved." John 3:17
"Now, here is the rest of the story"...
My eyes where recently opened to the marvelous aspect of grace! We quote the previous verse and we assure ourselves that God loves us, but not many of us understand the meaning of grace.
Grace is that word that needs to be physically seen before its understood. If you can help me out here I believe with all my heart that grace is a hidden gem, that most of us, because of a religious mindset, fail to take hold of. Please let me explain...
We understand that "God sent His Son because He loves us... but He also came to set us free from condemnation! God doesn't want to condemn the world as many preachers are preaching that these days. There is so much fear in our messages that I believe we are preaching in the wrong spirit!! Especially when we give no other option "unless ye repent!"
"God did not send His Son to condemn the world... and He didn't send you to condemn the world either. The next verse states that because of unbelief the world is already condemned! So why are we not helping them believe? "God did not give us a spirit of fear!" (II Tim 1:7) So don't use the spirit of fear to try and change peoples hearts! God gave us a Spirit of power, Love and a sound mind! Amen? We are to preach the Kingdom of Heaven is here and destroy the kingdom of darkness! Love covers! grace conquers and triumphs over all our sin!
"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me in the ministry, although I was formally a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant , with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life."
There is to much fear in our message of hope.. isn't that an oxymoron? We preach all kinds of gloom and doom, the worlds coming to an end! Trying to scare people into the kingdom, when what we should be doing is being like Paul, setting our our life experiences of how we have obtained grace and mercy, and use it as a pattern of salvation for someone else. Jesus was longsuffering with me, one thing that I understand it wasn't because of fear that drew me in to His arms, it was because of His kindness that lead me to repentance. (Romans 2:3-5)
Blessing to the hearers of His word this morning