The Grace of God is For All
Jan 8, 2018 2845
Here is one of the most amazing verses in the entire Bible, and it comes from the lips of Jesus:
The Most High… is kind to the unthankful and evil (Luke 6:35, NKJV).
We sometimes tend to think of God as we view other human beings, as narrow-minded, mean-spirited, and exclusive. That’s why even Christians tend to restrict the grace of God to themselves, along the lines of: “God shows grace to those who believe in Jesus. The rest don’t get to enjoy it.”
But that’s not what Christianity teaches at all. The grace of God is not restricted to a particular church or denomination, or race, or some kind of restrictive notion of the “elect”; not at all!
Paul approvingly quotes the Greek philosophers Epimenides and Aratus in Acts 17, when he writes,
‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
What Paul is telling us here is that all of us live and move and exist because of the goodness of God toward us. We are, all of us, God’s children.
The grace of God is for the entire world to enjoy. John 3:16 says that,
God so loved the world,
The grace of God is like the very light that fills our world, and like the atmosphere we all breathe; it is free and available to all. Light, by its very nature, cannot be hidden. It gives light to everyone:
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind… The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world (John 1:4,9, NIV).
God encourages us to do just what he does: to be kind to the ungrateful and to the evil.
Although God is loving, by his very nature, to all (1 John 4:8), there is also a specific purpose in his kindness to every person, including the unthankful and the evil:
The Lord… is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent (2 Pet 3:9, NLT.)
On another occasion, Jesus also said that our Heavenly Father,
causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt 5:45, NIV).
It’s easy for us to say, “That’s just God! He’s incredibly loving! But I don’t have to be like that.”
The interesting thing is that Jesus said this in the context of encouraging for us to do the same:
I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
God encourages us to do just what he does: to be kind to the ungrateful and to the evil. He says that when we do that, we are living like his own children
It’s easy to be kind to the grateful and good. However, to be kind to those who have hurt us – the ungrateful and evil – is the hardest thing in the world! That’s because of our twisted and selfish human natures.
But God’s kindness and grace are for all, despite who they may be, simply because he knows our needs, and he can’t stop loving. It’s because God is like that, that you and I can be saved.
This revelation of God should melt our hard hearts so that as his children, we too may begin the journey to loving unconditionally as he loves. After all, joy is found only when you love. – Eliezer Gonzalez
Quite right, David.
I certainly wasn't saying that all will be saved. I was only making the same point that Christ made in the verses from the Gospels that I quote.
Thanks Tom. Of course, you are right. It wasn't the main point of this short piece so I didn't emphasise it. The purpose of these blogs is to draw people to Jesus, and to encourage them with the Gospel, so I don't necessarily qualify things or provide all the context. There is a time and place for everything. For example, in the texts I am commenting on here, our Lord is emphasising the goodness of God who shares his grace with all. It is clear in his statements that there are the "good" and the "evil" but he doesn't qualify it further. All I wish to do is to bring out our Lord's key, positive message here... again to draw people to the beauty of Jesus and to encourage them in their walk.
1 John 3:10 makes it clear: "New King James Version "In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother." "Children of God" are those who walk in the light and "children of the devil" are those who choose darkness instead of light. The light of God shines upon all but some choose to reject that and walk in darkness.
An edit to my post: I meant to say, "Not everyone behaves like a child of God. There are some who behave like 'children of the devil.'" There are "children of light" and "children of darkness" in the Bible. Our works, the way we live daily and treat others especially, reveals whether we are walking in the light or walking in darkness. Eli, I do not think you've made this clear enough.
Eli, I've often thought like you as well but as David Clark says above there are "children of the devil" out there. Not every person behaves like a child of God but like a "child of the devil." It is true that the grace of God is bestowed upon all people but many choose to reject that grace in whatever way it is revealed to them and so they suffer accordingly and bring suffering to others as well. There are some folks who believe that EVERYONE, no matter how wicked he/she has lived, goes straight to Heaven upon death. That belief flies in the face of the justice of God which demands the destruction of sin and the vindication of the righteous. This is clear in the Scriptures. What David says enough needs to be considered. Perhaps you may wish to clarify this a bit in subsequent articles.
I agree with everything in here with the clarification that we are all God's children in that God created all mankind through Adam and Eve. Jesus called the Pharisees children of the devil, in that they were followers of the devil. The new Testament signifies a difference between children of the world, or devil and children of God. We are children of God when we follow Him, His Son and are led by the Spirit of God. When we love as He, God loves we are indeed following Him, God.
Jan 15, 2018
Sometimes we are emphasizing a certain aspect of a topic without intending to cover the topic in detail with all of its ramifications. This dialogue is an illustration of this. Indeed, God's grace embraces all and not just a select group but some folks that are embraced in God's love choose to break that embrace and go their own way but they are not left out and never given any opportunity to accept their divine heritage. Esau despised his heritage and sold it for something to satisfy his immediate hunger. Many are still doing the same thing.