I am sad that so many Christians “dis” non-Christians. It’s also sad that non-Christians “dis” others. It’s like we forget what we were, and think that we somehow “fixed” ourselves. Yes, I have personally met Jesus, so I have no choice but to believe He exists and did what is claimed. But why should I look down on someone that has not yet met Jesus? How do you truly KNOW that someone exists unless you meet them in person? That these posts appear on my blog only proves that this blog has an author, but not that it’s me! I want to share the attitude Jesus has towards people!
Didn’t He Come As A Judge?
Let’s start with a verse that most Christians have memorized, even if they have not yet embraced it into their lives:
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”NASV, 1995 (John 3:16-17)
Just as the story about “The Loving Father” has been mis-named “The Prodigal Son”, people misunderstand the verse above. They think it is about Jesus, when it’s about the one who “gave” Jesus to us. It’s about God the Father, and how much He loves us. Who is “us”? Everyone. No really, EVERYONE! Not just the Hebrews, or the Jewish people. (Remember, when Jesus was born, there were no “Christians”!) “Us” is not Christians, Protestants, Mormons, Catholics, Amish or another other “group”. “The World” includes all Muslims (Suni or Shiite), Hindus, Buddhists, Zoroastrians and even … athiests!
The phrase “the world” is not time limited. It’s not about the people who lived at the time, or about those before then, or those between His gift and today. “The World” encompasses all those groups and also everyone who will be in the future! Your neighbor, your co-worker, your fellow student, your favorite teacher or professor and even your least favorite teacher or professor! All people, famous or not, celebrities or not, leaders or not!
What About Those Who Judge?
Since so many Christians fail to realize that God loves everybody, and have failed to do the same, what does Jesus say about them? Are they in deep, deep trouble? Let’s see.
“If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”NASV 1995 (John 12:47)
No, they are not in trouble either. Jesus loves those that don’t listen to Him as much as He loves those that do their best to be a part of God’s continuing work.
Notice that I have said nothing about “universal salvation”, or that 100% of people go to heaven. I don’t have enough evidence to support that, nor do I. There is plenty of reasons to realize that many people will never accept the truth, nor accept God as being active in their life. Many will “dis” God up to their dying breath.
It will be their choice.
As a side note, there is plenty of evidence for the existence of an “unforgivable sin”. After a lot of looking, I finally found it. True to Jewish custom, it is listed twice in scripture, once in each Testament, but that’s a post for another time.
Won’t God Judge Some People?
The short answer is: “No, not yet.” A shorter answer would be: “later”. God absolutely loves the idea of giving people all the opportunities He can to change their minds about God. He is very generous in these opportunities, offering them over and over and over to each one of us. It’s not that God wants you to know that God exists, but that you get to know God, building a relationship with Him. One of mutual respect and love. (Demons know who God and Jesus are, and it does them no good at all.) Only you alone know what you have done about the opportunities you have been given, including this one now!
If you remember your Terminator movies, there is a “Judgment Day” coming. In fact, you can find references to “Judgment Day” in a lot of movies, books, and TV shows. Even the Bible refers to it! The most famous part of the Bible is Revelations, which is not easy to grasp. It’s also mentioned in many other places, both in the Old and New Testaments.
However, until that Day gets here, judgment is delayed. It’s as if the Judge has granted the defense a “continuation” so that the court case is delayed. So far now, God is not about judging us (see above), it’s about God loving us. As we are, and as we will become. No matter what we have done, will do, or don’t ever get around to doing.
How Should We Look at Others?
Judging, “dissing” or refusing to love other people, for whatever reason, is not what God wants us to do. It doesn’t matter who you choose to refuse to give the benefit of the doubt, refuse to help when they need some or just always look away from so that they don’t somehow “stain” you.
I think we are called to love those who love us in return, and to love those that will never love us. How do we show love for other people? Well, for most of us it’s easy to demonstrate our love for those we love, who are close to us. We spend time together, we have fun together, we plan together. We do a lot of things “together”. (That’s what I try to do with God, with some success!)
What about the ones we don’t want to love? Some things are easier than others, here’s a partial list:
- Pray for them to deal with whatever is going on.
- Offer them some comfort when they are struggling.
- If they need food, get some to them, or buy it yourself.
- Realize they have their own set of struggles, and thank God for being there for them.
- (whatever else comes to your mind!)
I remember being told that Hurricane Katrina was God’s way of punishing the people of New Orleans for their wicked ways. The person was serious, and a regular church-goer. As I told them then, I guess God missed a whole bunch of them who were now looting the area. I don’t think it was any form of God “punishing” anyone, but that’s me.
Please comment and/or respond to what you heard inside of you as you read this! Let’s share!