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“...Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3) The LORD God spoke these words to the prophet Jeremiah long ago concerning His love for the nation Israel. God had chosen Israel to be His covenant people, and through them He was going to reveal Himself to an idolatrous world which was worshipping false gods. But Israel also rebelled, fell into idolatry, and became as wicked as the surrounding nations. Still, God was not going to cast off His chosen people, and because of His love for them He sent His prophets to preach to them to turn from their ways and return to the LORD. And although they were neck-deep in sin with judgment looming on the horizon, God reassured Jeremiah that He still loved Israel with an everlasting love and through loving-kindness would draw them back to Himself.
In God’s relationship to Israel we have a picture of God’s love for sinful humanity. Like Israel, we also have fallen into rebellion and have sinned against the LORD. We have chosen our own paths, turned our backs on Jesus Christ, and have fallen in love with the world and its ways, adopting worldly philosophies and desires. “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain.…” (James 4:2) And what is it we desire? Our appetites are such that we hunger for everything else but Jesus. In gluttonous fashion, we regularly feed at the table of self-indulgence and self-ambition, getting spiritually fat off of our sins. “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection [unloving], trucebreakers [unforgiving], false accusers, incontinent [without self-control], fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady [careless], highminded [conceited], lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof…” (2 Timothy 3:2-5) Through our desires and actions we have molded ourselves to the world and have tried to hide this behind a veil of self-righteousness, church services, or some plain old-fashioned excuses: “Everything in moderation is ok”; “I’m not so bad”; “I’m not like the other guy”, etc. etc. And just as sinful Israel refused to admit their offenses against God and the true state they were in, in similar fashion we have done the same. We have become the greatest magicians in the world; we have deceived our own selves. Through sleight of hand we have created the illusion that we are at peace with God and God is at peace with us. Yet in reality we are the enemies of God and our heart’s longing is for the things of this present age. Where is the hunger and thirst to deny ourselves and follow after Jesus Christ? We want to conform our bodies so they look fit and healthy, but where is the desire to have our spirits conformed into the likeness of Jesus? Instead of humbling ourselves we have exalted ourselves and our desires. The world has been magnified in front of our eyes and has eclipsed God so that we have become blinded to how He wants us to conduct our lives. In so doing, we have become His enemies. “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity [opposition] with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)
This is no small matter my friend. Do not belittle this matter which is before you. Do not trick yourself into thinking you can shake hands with the world while at the same time shake hands with God. The deal you have made with the world to follow after it will not stand. It will bring the judgment of God upon you. “…thine iniquity [sin] is marked before me, saith the LORD God. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity [sins]….” (Jeremiah 2:22, Isaiah 26:21) Yet even as the thunder cloud of God’s judgment hovers over you, there is a ray of light shining through...it is God’s love for a lost and fallen world.
“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) What love we see here! What a picture of the everlasting love of God for sinful humanity! God would have been fully justified to let us die in our sins and then upon death sentence us to an eternity in hell. For as He says, “Whosoever hath sinned against Me, him will I blot out of my book. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Exodus 32:33, Revelation 20:15) We all stand guilty before the Supreme Judge of the universe, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Thus, we all deserve to be blotted out of the Book of Life and receive eternal condemnation in hell’s prison. But see how God’s loving hand intervenes: He sends His Son to die for us unmercifully on the cross so He could grant us mercy. Reconciliation with God took place when we were still his enemies, when God looked down from heaven and identified us as sinners and transgressors, worthy only of His judgment instead of His mercy and love. Yet He still gave His Son to die for us. How great a love this is! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Do you see the love God has shown toward you? He put His Son to the cross in your place so you could have a way to His forgiveness and a pardon from His judgment! Yet beware of carelessly thinking that God’s love for you automatically assures you a place in heaven. You must first come to the place where God showed His love for you in your sinful state...
In order to come to Christ, you have to make a decision to change your present course. The cross on which Jesus died stands stationary, so the soul who wants the Savior must come to Him. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out…” (Acts 3:19) Do you want your sins blotted out before God? This can only be accomplished if you draw near to Jesus at the cross. It is only here that His precious blood can flow from His wounds to cleanse you of your sins. His blood drips no further than the foot of the cross. It does not flow out to a world of lost souls which choose to turn away from Him. Yes, He does love you, that is why He died for you. But as much as Christ loves you, He will not save you if you reject that love in refusing to call on Him for salvation. A father may indeed love his child who has fallen into all types of wickedness and has gone far astray from him. And he may put forth his loving hand to offer help, yet his love will never save the child from the consequences of his wickedness if the child refuses to turn from his ways and come to his father for that help. So it is with God’s love for you. But if you want to be forgiven of your sins and the guilt you have brought on yourself before a holy God, then make a decision to turn from your sins and place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ today, and forgiven you will be! “I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity [evil] have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Psalm 32:5, Romans 10:13) Will you do that today? Will you come to Jesus as a lost sinner and confess your sins before Him? Will you turn from those sins and turn to the Risen Savior? Will you call out to Him and receive Him as your Lord and Savior so you will be saved from an eternity in the lake of fire?
For many centuries, God has drawn lost souls back to Himself through His love shown to them in Jesus Christ. What about you? If you have invited Jesus into your life today, then this blessed promise is yours: “...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.” (Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 9:15) O how God loves you with an everlasting love and wants to save you from the eternal fire! Dear friend, won’t you receive this unspeakable gift from Him today?