“And mercy…” Psalm 23:6
I have often heard it said that grace is God’s unmerited favor and mercy is God’s refusal to give us the punishment we so richly deserve. I have also heard it said that we cannot earn mercy or grace, that they are gifts. The Bible bears this out time and again:
” For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:” Eph. 2:8
Still have you ever wondered what motivates God toward mercy? If He is truly merciful then why doesn’t He just save everyone? After all no one is more deserving than anyone else. Romans makes it perfectly clear that we have all fallen too far to be worthy of salvation. So why can some claim to have received mercy while claiming that others have not received it? Does mercy follow everyone or just a certain few?
Tell me what you think!
Thank you, Pastor J, for making us think about this. 🙂 I know that you only have so much time, so don’t feel you have to look this up or read there, but I remember reading Loren at http:answersfromthebook.wordpress.com discussing this. Maybe just in the comments section of one of his posts. For me, I’m thinking that it’s one of those big things that are too big for me, so I have to trust Him that He knows what He is doing, that there are reasons that not everyone will ask for forgiveness and be saved. In the meantime, because I don’t know who will or won’t, I need to be merciful to everyone and share His love and gospel.
How’s that for a vague answer? God bless you and show you mercy and grace!
You are right Deb when you say “because I don’t know who will or won’t, I need to be merciful to everyone and share His love and gospel.” Stay tuned for part two. It might be helpful! 🙂
I think God could certainly save everyone but He wants to know you want and love only Him. Each of us need to come to that place where we say “I can’t do this on my own anymore.” God is the only one who can help us out of the pit but you have to want to ask for help. God wants us to depend on Him and Him alone. Thank you God for showing us your mercy and grace each and everyday. I pray that everyone will have the desire to ask Jesus into their hearts for it is your will that no one be lost but all be saved. Please Lord, help them to desire you over this world in the things in it.
Oh Deb you have hit the nail on the head with this comment! Thanks!
(Sorry for the length) Topics such as “the requirements for getting into heaven” and “what is hell” are not so black and white as I thought they once were. I expect I will be surprised by some of the people I see in heaven:) Anyway, God is motivated to extend mercy to all of the world…Why? because of His great love for us all. That’s why He created us after all…so that we would be included in the fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What a party that is! The world often accuses the Christian message of being a message of exclusion. I disagree. God wants to include everyone. Scripture bears this out too many times to note (as implied by your post).
“God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them…” He has already reconciled (and I would also add forgiven) the entire world to Himself. Does that mean all are saved? No. There is a difference between being reconciled and being saved. I would like to please make 2 points to explain. I apologize for the length, but bear with me. It’ll be worth it…
1) Subjective vs. objective truths. Here is an example by Steve Mcvey:
a) A completely blind man is standing outside in the bright sunshine which totally covers and surrounds him. Is the sunlight real even though he doesn’t see it? Yes, that is the OBJECTIVE reality.
b) Because he doesn’t see it, his SUBJECTIVE (personal, experiential, perceived) reality is that it is not real even though it is. So the OBJECTIVE reality is that the sun totally bathes him but his SUBJECTIVE reality is that it doesn’t.
c) The man is miraculously healed and suddenly can see the sunlight. Now his SUBJECTIVE reality is in line with the OBJECTIVE reality that has existed all along.
The work of the cross is an OBJECTIVE reality for us all but only becomes our SUBJECTIVE experience when we believe. IT IS AN OBJECTIVE REALITY THAT ALL ARE RECONCILED BUT TO EXPERIENCE THE BENEFITS OF THAT RECONCILIATION (SALVATION) YOU MUST BELIEVE.
Believing is what opens it all up for us! He has done everything necessary to be with you. You have been forgiven and accepted already. There is nothing left for you to “do.” He has done it. That is good news! (The gospel). By faith, receive!
2) When you believe…when you say YES, I accept Your free gift!…THEN you experience salvation because it is only then that you receive the very life of God by the indwelling Holy Spirit! Christ came to make us alive to God. That is salvation! Without this aspect, we’d just be a bunch of forgiven dead people. As Bob George says, “a dead man doesn’t need help…a dead man needs life! Salvation is not just something that Christ did for us, but it is Jesus Christ Himself living in us.”
A-men! And that believing is where billions fall apart! We want to do what we cannot hope to do (earn our way to Heaven) and we refuse to do that which is possible (trust Christ to save us to Heaven)! Oh may we change our ways!
Happy Thanksgiving, Pastor J!!!!! 🙂
And to you and Nate as well Nicole!
God bless you pastor J,
I’ve been enjoying the teachings on Genesis 23! Mercy follows everyone. When Jesus died on the cross at Calvary, He died to take upon Himself the penalty of sin for the whole wide world! Therefore, everyone has access to God’s grace and mercy, because it was never the will of God that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance! God has given us the choice to accept or reject the free gift, for which Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price. Thank you Jesus!
A-men Paulette! This is really good…but I think you meant Psalm 23? 😉
Thanks Pastor J! 🙂
You are welcome Paulette! 🙂