BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live.” Ezekiel 18:31,32 ESV
I recall when serving on our local HOA board, the issue of liability for our decisions and actions was being discussed. I called an attorney at the State legislature to ask about protections for volunteer board members. His response was, “Representative Summers, you have to try to be negligent and irresponsible in order to be vulnerable for any liability.”
Many people fail to understand the heart of the Lord for people. Even those who are living in rebellion to all that is righteous and pleasing to the Lord. Many believe the Lord, “delights” in seeing people go to an eternity outside of His presence. The very opposite is true.
I would submit that an individual has to “try” to avoid heaven and suffer the consequences of the stubbornness of their own heart. We see the Lord in the Old Testament, even while bringing much deserved judgment, still pleads with people to turn from their ways.
In the Book of Revelation, we see a glimpse into future “judgment” on a rebellious world. We see the Lord’s judgments are not so much as to punish, but to attempt one last effort to get people’s attention. We read, “The rest of mankind who were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20,21 NIV)
It is interesting how hard hearts will refuse to “cry uncle” even when the final call is given. We read the words of Paul, “…..God our Savior, [who] wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3,4 NIV)
The writer of Hebrews declares, “…how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.” (Hebrews 2:3 NIV) To the Romans Paul writes and says, “…since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19,20 NIV)
The opportunity is wide open. It is not an exclusive or “closed” invitation. “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13 NIV) Regardless of the issues of life or what an individual has done, we have the assurance of scripture, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NIV)
That is good news for those beginning their walk with the Lord and those who have been in relationship with Him for many years.
Prayer for today…. Lord when we consider Your heart for people to know You and the gift of Your Son to make the way wide open we join with the apostle Paul and declare, Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! (Rom. 11:33) Lord, may we see more clearly Your heart and Your desire for all to come to You.