Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

So Loved!

Meditation for the week of November 15, 2009

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Whom do most people see as the most despicable person in the history of mankind?  Would it be Nero the Roman emperor who burned Rome and blamed it on the Christians?  Would it be Hitler who killed six million Jews and possibly eleven million other people that he didn’t happen to like?  Would it be John Wayne Gacy the serial rapist and murderer of at least 33 young men and boys?  Would it be Jerry Dahmer who raped, murdered and cannibalized 17 young men and boys?  Would it be Ted Bundy who raped and killed at least 30 young men and boys or would it be Osama Bin Laden, the master mind behind the plot to destroy the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001?  These are all evil people to be sure, and yet they are part of the world.  The world is the society of people that Satan has control over right now, and it consists of good people (from man’s perspective) and evil people.  Our verse says that God’s love extends to each person in the world including the really evil.  That is why God didn’t just love, but He “so” loved the world. 

I cannot imagine God loving the men that I have mentioned. I don’t love them.  It would be all right with me if they were all to rot in the eternal torments.  But the truth is that all of these men were loved by God, and He proved His love by offering them all a gift.  That gift was salvation through the crucifixion of His unique and only Son with whom He was “well pleased  (Matthew 3:17)”.  Why would God give the best of heaven for the worst people on earth?  Because He “so loved” the whole world and the whole world by nature is lost in sin.

If God could love rapists and murderers and evil dictators, could He love me?  Could He love you?  I think He could.  Some days when the going is tough and you are all alone wondering if anyone cares, think about what happened on the cross of Calvary.  Think of the hatred, ridicule, pain and suffering inflicted on the Lord; and then remember, He endured that for you and for me.  I know that most of us haven’t committed the kinds of crimes that serial killers and some dictators have committed, but even so I suspect that all of us have done things that we should not have done.  But God’s great love takes us all in.  That is why we read that God “so” loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.

Normally love is proven by deeds, and in God’s case it was proven by offering to the world a very costly gift.  But while the gift is offered and while the gift is precious, many people sneer at the love that it represents.  Some say God doesn’t exist.  Or they say, that they don’t want the kind of God who would allow His Son to suffer the way the Lord suffered.  Or they say that God is unfair and they don’t want an unfair God.  Or they say that God’s rules of behavior are out of date and should be modified because they don’t reflect the conditions of the society in which we live.  Or they are afraid that they won’t fit in with their current friends if they accept God’s gift.  But all of these reasons are just excuses to reject the greatest love that the world has ever been offered.  That great love is the  love of God for his fallen creatures.  It is a sacrificial love.  But it is often a spurned love.  And spurning that love is truly evil. 

We who are saved just might meet one of these evil people In heaven if they repented and believed in the Lord before they died. I don’t expect that to happen but because of God’s love, it would certainly be possible.  But if any of us have an evil heart of unbelief (Hebrews 3:12) and we reject the love that has been offered to us, no matter how good we may think we are, we will die in our sins.  The Lord says if we do that we can’t be with Him when we die (John 8:21).

Which is worse?  The evil men do to each other or the evil many people do by rejecting love, particularly when that love is the love of God?

Bruce Collins

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