Friedrich Nietzsche “I might believe in the Redeemer if his followers looked more redeemed.”
Believing is a process Competing Ideas: Finder of fault Love-hater Forgetter
“We must interpret any Scripture in the light of all Scripture”—Bob T. Scary Scriptures!
LOVE BUT IS ALWAYS HAS BEEN ABOUT THE LOVE I John 4:16b—God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world….” Romans 5: 8 “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Jeremiah 29:11—For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! Plans to give you a future full of hope.
How hell is possible God is Love Love grants free choice No one will be forced against his/her will to choose God’s Presence (Heaven) Those who insist on something else will have it. Sin and evil are like a ruinous plague
God is zealous for Love (Heaven) He wants everyone to arrive there (I Timothy 2:4, II Peter 3:9). Sin and evil are “under quarantine.” The Father has made provision in Christ to let us in while keeping sin out.
Sin & evil are under God’s Wrath Must be destroyed because they are antithetical to Love. Those who insist on clinging to them cannot help but experience the consequences of that association. John 3:36 and the monkey story The divide between Paradise & perdition: a quarantine to preserve Love.
The Prodigal The father gave the prodigal that upon which he insisted. Natural Consequence Up to the son How did the Father catch sight so far off? Depth of the Father’s compassion Why the Father rejoiced
The Prodigal The son’s options and the Father’s response The error of both sons The Father’s view Again, why the Father rejoiced
Acceptance of Ourselves Our Mistakes: “Love and basic worth are earned.” “He loves everybody (so big deal).” “That’s nice, but I want to have worth because….”
Problems with “conditional worth” (“I am the deed/trait.”) What have I done lately? Have I done a stupid, bad, weak, etc. thing? “Worth-less” can feel “worthless.” “Wrong”=“near-death?” Child 1: “You’re a Bozo.” Child 2: “No, you’re a Bozo!” Child 1: “Your face is a Bozo!”
Our Hope & Foundation: God’s Unconditional LOVE Words from the Lord (last Gathering): “Will you let Me love you?” “You will see wondrous things when you prepare a way for me.” “You do not have to strain or struggle to receive My Mercy, My Grace. You do not have to perform some act before me in order to receive My Love for you. You do not have to pretend to be someone you are not to receive My Mercy. Come as you are. Come trust in Me. Come with a humble and open spirit and I will fill you with My very Self, which is Love and Mercy. I can do this for you if you let Me.”
Accepting Others We are reasonably equipped to judge deeds and even habits; we are woefully inadequate for judging persons. Not knowing all the information, jumping to conclusions, etc. mean we do not always get it right even as to the deeds. One has to be God to make a proper judgment of a person; and He has given His Son to spare all who come to Him for Mercy.
A Profound Error Equating the Person with the deed A profound truth: There is infinitely more to the Person than to a plethora of his/her deeds. Matthew 5:43-45—"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.” “The Flower”
“What are we to do?” Choose: To believe to understand…. To hate the sin, but love the sinner To discern between godly and worldly To get “unfrozen” from the past; to hand over the old “mental snapshots” to Jesus To do your utmost to bring out the best in others, and yourself
“But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:44-45a). Romans 12:20a—“Rather, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.’” Galatians 5:14—For the whole Law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Looking Redeemed The answer to Nietzsche: The person who accepts and gives love well much more likely will look redeemed. “But it is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to put a brand on us. See, they say, how they love one another….” (Tertullian, AD 197) GOD IS LOVE, AND HE WHO ABIDES IN LOVE, ABIDES IN GOD, AND GOD IN HIM