Possibly the most recognized verse in the Bible is John 3:16; “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son; that whoever believes on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (ESV; all emphasis mine)
To expand on this, we go to 1 John 4:7-21. It’s lengthy but worth taking a close look at.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and whoever loves has been born of God, and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God Is Love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. We know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the World.
“Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of Judgment, because as He is, so also are we to this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears not has been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom He has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
While all this may seem a bit overwhelming, verse 19 is a very brief explanation of what God expects of us all; “We love because He first loved us.” Jesus Himself told us the first and great commandment is to love the Lord God with all our hearts, our souls and our minds. The second is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 27:37-39; Luke 10:27).
The world has trouble dealing with a true believer. As our Savior did, and still does, we love everyone for their immortal, eternal souls and desire that they would call out to Jesus and be saved. Most people of this world will not do so; therefore, they face the long line that will be at the White Throne Judgment of Revelation 20:11-15. There, they will learn what their eternal punishment will be. The only unforgivable sin today is to take the last breath on this earth without Jesus as Savior. Otherwise, all can be forgiven.
We intimidate others because even though we love them, we do not have to accept their lifestyles. In fact, loving someone for their soul does not mean we cannot dislike them. Jesus had the most negative issues with the “religious leaders” of His day and didn’t hesitate to let them know He was not happy with them. However, He was always ready to forgive and accept those who reached out to Him.
Matthew was a tax collector, and so was Zacchaeus. Both had faith in the Lord, and their lifestyles changed because of Him. Nicodemus was a Pharisee who, along with Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin, claimed the body of the Savior and placed Him in a grave.
We do not know how many, if any, of the rest of the religious leaders called out to be saved after Jesus was crucified and then was raised from the dead. Any who may have done so fell under Romans 10:13, “All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” That applied then and still applies today.
The ABCs of Salvation are contained in all the above scriptures. A – admit or confess that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. B – Believe that Jesus is Lord and our only way to the Father (John 14:6). C – Call on Jesus to be saved.
Remember 1 John 4:17, which says our love is perfected by the love of God so that we have confidence for our day of judgment. We may receive discipline and possibly lose some rewards, but as true believers, we will still have eternal life with Jesus. In John 10, Jesus tells us He knows His flock, and His flock knows Him. No one takes us from His hand once we receive and accept His precious gift.
All who are of this world are of their leader, Satan. They may believe Jesus exists but do not accept Him as the true Son of God just as the devil and demons do not. The desires and temptations of this world are more important to many than their eternal destiny. Many actually believe Satan’s lies that they can always call out later if they wish.
With that in mind, consider Luke 12:16-21 about a rich man who had a large productive crop and made plans to build bigger barns and have a very comfortable future. One problem was, God demanded his soul that very night, and someone else would have all his wealth. We are not guaranteed another hour on this earth. However, those of us who have Jesus as our Savior do not worry about this. To leave here is to actually become alive for the very first time.
In February 2017, CeCe Winans released a song called “Let Them Fall In Love.”
1.) If they can’t see, how will they turn? If they can’t hear, how will they learn? Touch their eyes; bless their lives; hear this prayer; hear my cry.
R.) Father, let them fall in love with You. Please forgive them too. For they know not what they do; let them fall in love with You.
2.) If hearts are cold, how will they know? If minds are seared, how will they grow? Grant them time, time to find Grace through Faith, Love through Christ.
This fairly well sums up my daily prayers for all of our loved ones, especially those who may not have Jesus in their hearts yet. The time is coming soon when a group of people will be taken up from this earth to meet Jesus in the air. All who will be left behind will have the most miserable time ever experienced on this earth. I don’t even want those who may not like me to go through that.
The love and glory that awaits us cannot fully be put in human terms but is definitely something to look forward to. All who have not received and accepted Jesus as their Savior would be encouraged to do so today; right now wouldn’t be too early. Ours is a God of Love, and He would love for us to be with Him forever. It’s totally up to each person’s choice.
Jesus is ready to prepare a place for you in Heaven (John 14:1-3) for all who will call on Him to be their eternal Savior. Please don’t hesitate; call today; He’s waiting to receive you.