“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works.”
There are many, many verses that demonstrate God’s compassion for us sinful people. I am currently reading through the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah.
There is a lot of trouble that comes to the nation of Israel, but consider how long it took for the Lord to act in anger towards His people; hundreds of years, to be honest. When we take the time to look at the account of the Flood in Genesis 6-9, we will see that there were hundreds of years between the fall of man and the events in Genesis 6 that led to the Flood. And, even after the pronouncement and the judgment that was to come, Noah took 100 years to build the Ark, and the people of the world were able to see the grace of God and experience it. Even if they did not accept it, God knew they would not accept it. He, God, did what God does; He extended His grace. Even down to the very last week or so, God extended grace, Genesis 7:1-5.
“Then the Lord said to Noah, ‘Come into the ark, you and all your household because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation. You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth. For after seven more days I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights, and I will destroy from the face of the earth all living things that I have made.’ And Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded him.”
Even after the 100 years that it took to build the Ark, God still waited another 7 days after it was completed and Noah and his family had entered the Ark before the rain began to fall. God is compassionate, He is patient, He is slow to anger, He is full of lovingkindness, and He extends His goodness to mankind, even when He knows we will refuse it.
We who take prophecy seriously, we who read Matthew 24 and can see the trends coming into place, we who read Revelation and can understand why Russia and China are so prevalent in the fight against the Anti-Christ in the Tribulation, we are seeing the end-time players fall into place and line up to fulfill the prophecies of John and others. We can see the Globalists and the people in their way, like Russia and China drawing lines in the sand that will take us into the Tribulation.
From my understanding of the Bible, it teaches a Pre-Tribulation rapture, but I have many dear Pastor friends who are mid-tribulation people. I think they are wrong, but at least they believe in the Rapture. Lately, I have met some people, not a lot, but some who say there is no rapture. There can be a callousness that comes on us as we understand that the end is getting closer and closer.
We can begin to despise the world around us as we see the fight that is coming our way. We can see the laws that pass, making Biblical speech illegal, laws that pinpoint our children, and how the government is making sin legal. Making what is right legally wrong can make life here very uncomfortable. We can see the persecution of Christians around the world; even here in North America, it’s beginning to take place and becoming more and more intense. The natural urge, the natural tendency, is to say, ‘come quickly, Lord Jesus,’ and I can completely understand that. I mean, who in their right mind wants to suffer at all? I also think of my kids. I do not want my daughters, son, and son-in-law to suffer for Jesus, so come on, Lord, let’s get out of here.
But this is not the God that we serve. He is in no rush to destroy the very people that He sent His Son Jesus to die for. He is gracious, merciful, and slow to anger. We like to hear that when it pertains to us, but not when it pertains to others. Lest you think this is an Old Testament sentiment, we find this verse in 2 Peter 3:9-11,
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness.”
Verses 10-11 assure us that the judgment will come. It will come when the Lord is ready and in His time. But verse 9 reminds us that God’s focus right now is the salvation of mankind. He is longsuffering, patient towards us. He is in no rush to send billions to hell. The price that He had to pay to offer redemption to us was the most expensive ransom ever paid, and He is making sure to extend it to as many people as He can.
This should be a lesson to us. God’s focus is the salvation of souls, the redemption of man, and the building of his Kingdom. He is still sending missionaries, sending preachers, and having the Bible translated into more and more languages. There are more sermons online than ever before, and the Gospel is being sent to the end of the world.
You know, before the whole COVID mess, most of us little conservative churches did not have proficient online ministries. But we had to adapt, and we had to expand our reach to make things work. We are a small church, but we have extended our reach as far as Pakistan. A small Christian group there found our services online, and we connected. They run an orphanage and minster to modern-day slaves that are working in very harsh conditions. We pray for them; we have helped a bit with financial support when we can, and we pray for each other. They are thrilled to have someone, some persons, a local church praying for them. We have had other churches send them materials, and the Gospel is being shared.
Every week on Facebook especially, I see churches posting about salvations and baptisms, and it is thrilling. We are in the right frame of mind, God’s frame of mind, that all men everywhere would repent and trust Jesus. The end will come when God is ready; He does not break promises. But for now, for today, for this time, and with the resources that we have, let us diligently seek the salvation of men and women, boys and girls, everywhere we can.
Why should this be our focus? Because God is a gracious and merciful God. We should be a gracious and merciful people, His people.
Look, let me get down the nitty-gritty. I live in Canada, and we have a corrupt and globalist Prime Minister who needs to go. But as much as I want him gone, I should have an even more intense desire for his salvation. If more of our leaders become children of God through Jesus, they will vote differently and act differently, and just maybe we can hold off God’s wrath for another generation.
As I am reading through Jeremiah and Isaiah, it seems to me that the people of Israel and then Judah in the southern kingdom hurried their destruction because they disobeyed God. This disobedience was led by their political and, sadly, their spiritual leaders. What if the POTUS got saved, the PMs of the world got saved, and on and on we can go? You say, hey Sean, that is a pipedream, and I would say read Daniel 4. If a tyrant like Nebuchadnezzar can be saved, so too can any of our leaders today.
So, are you full of mercy and grace? Are you and the local church that you attend actively praying for the salvation of our political leaders? I can admit that the two churches I serve have not prayed out loud in a public setting for the salvation of our PM in a long time. We should be ashamed; I am ashamed as the leader; God loves him, and Jesus died for his salvation. God is longsuffering to him and wants him to be saved. We should never let our anger at the immediate events take precedent over the eternal view.
Jesus was the evangelist right up to his very death. I know of a dear brother that died almost 3 years ago, and His wife testified that he was witnessing to the nurses as they made his last few days of life comfortable in his own home. He, too, like Jesus, was an evangelist to his last breath. I pray we will all be like this.
This is the heart of God; He longs to be merciful to us sinful people. He longs to see us restored to fellowship with Him, and He longs for us to simply take the free gift of salvation that has been offered, and it’s still being offered. In Noah’s day, all people had to do to live was to walk up the plank to the Ark and go in; no pretense, no fanfare, just a simple walk. Salvation is that simple; stop complicating it and simply get out there and offer it.
In John 4, the woman at the well went and offered salvation to the very city that despised her. Why? She met Jesus, and He extended mercy, grace, kindness, and love. She could have hoarded it like so many of us do, but instead, she went and brought the whole city to meet Jesus. This world hates Christians; that is because they have not met Jesus. Let us bring Jesus to them.
Jesus will come to right the world; He promised He would. Jesus will come to judge sin; He promised He would. Jesus will come, and sadly, many will go to Hell; He promised the judgment. However, our concern is the salvation of men and women all over the world. Our concern is to make Hell as empty as possible and Heaven as full as possible. How will we do this? When we become more compassionate, more merciful, and more gracious, mimicking our Lord and Savior.
God bless you,
Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church
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