MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

July 9, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Believe in Christ, earn God’s love

Practically all that is being taught in churches nowadays concerning God is that he is only a God of love. While “God is love” (1 John 4:16), this is not all there is to his character.

He has a general love for all mankind. See Psalm 136:25 and Matthew 5:45, which speak of God’s loving provision of food, rain, etc. for all mankind.

His saving love is reserved only for those whom the scripture term the “elect” (Colossians 3:12). To paraphrase Mattie Ross in the novel “True Grit,” if you are honest with scripture you cannot argue its doctrines of election and predestination. Consider Romans 9. This chapter teaches so plainly that God has mercy on only those whom he will, that students of scripture who deny election and predestination and assert God’s unconditional saving love for all mankind are completely inexcusable. Consider also Romans 8:28-39 and Ephesians 1:3-14.

If any should inquire how they may know if they are one of God’s elect, the answer is, you can only know by coming to God in true repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and by walking with him according to his word. This will make it apparent that you were predestinated by God to salvation.

God is first and foremost a God of justice and holiness. This is apparent from passages such as Isaiah 6:3, Habakkuk 1:13, and indeed, from the entire Bible. Those whose sins Christ did not pay for, will experience only the effects of God’s justice, which will take the form of his unending wrath poured out on them in hell.

Yes, God has wrath for, and indeed hates, those who never believe on his son. Study Romans 9. Unbelievers are termed “vessels of wrath,” and an example of one of these “vessels”, Esau, is said to be hated by God in verse 13. Psalm 5:5 declares that God hates all workers of iniquity and Psalm 7:11 says God is angry with the wicked everyday. This hatred can only be appeased by faith in Christ.

JOSHUA ASHWOOD

Fort Gibson

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