Yes, God loves you but there is justice. Yes, God loves you but have you repented? Yes, God loves you but what about your sin?
Yes, but... Yes, but... Yes, but...
My boss always bristles in a staff meeting when someone says "Yes, but". She says the but nullifies the Yes. It is an oxymoron.
I have been flirting with Universalism over the past few years. Universalism believes in the complete reconciliation of God and man. As Julian of Norwich said in the 14th century “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well…” Somewhere along the way Universalism ceased to be a flirtation. It became a truth I see throughout scripture.
Romans 5:10 For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Notice the two events here? Reconciliation and Salvation. I always saw them as the same thing, so why is Paul separating the two? I believe it is because we are reconciled. Period. So what is Salvation? I believe it is the process of becoming like Him.
Jesus said, "I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full".
Peter said that we are to work out our salvation. That verse never made sense to me earlier in my faith. Why did I need to work out a gift? I see now that I do not have to. The gift is reconciliation! AND God wants to gift us again by re-making us into the likeness of his Son.
God's love for me does not depend on me. His acceptance truly is unconditional. Now I am invited to move on in Him.
This makes sense to every parent. You want your child to become all they can. You want them to love and be loved. What could they do to make you turn away?
Not a thing.......
That doesn't mean we will not discipline or be disappointed with our children.... but turn away?
The Father of the prodigal eagerly awaits the return of the son.
Bart Campolo reminds us that 1 Cor. 13 is not a passage about romantic love. It is a passage about GOD! According to 1st John, God IS love! So let's read 1 Cor. 13 as it describes God.
- God is patient
- God is kind
- God does not envy
- God does not boast
- God is not proud
- God is not rude
- God is not self-seeking
- God is not easily angered
- God keeps no record of wrongs
- God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth
- God always protects
- God always trusts
- God always hopes
- God always perseveres
- God NEVER fails
Nope, the but just doesn't fit.