Friday, November 10, 2017

God Wants To Save Rich & Nice People, Also, "For All Have Sinned"

There are some preachers and populists who seem to be jealous of rich people, or of people who try to work hard and live a life of peace and doing what's right (even nice people who think they shall get into heaven just because they try to do everything right). Raging against other people whom God has blessed is not a good thing for any of us to do, but, we need to heed God's warnings about failing to speak God's truth. We all need to get in tune with God's point of view and understand that God's will is that all people should repent and be saved.

First, let's consider Jesus' comments about how difficult it is for rich folks and self-righteous people to repent and trust in God's way of doing things.

Matthew 19:16-26
16  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19  Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20  The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21  Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22  But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
24  And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
25  When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?
26  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Now let's see how Christ's warning and admonition bore the fruit of repentance in the life of Jericho's chief tax collector, who literally put his money where his repentant heart and mind met Christ in truth.

Luke 19:1-10
 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.
2  And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3  And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4  And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5  And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6  And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7  And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8  And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Are you willing, like Zacchaeus, to admit your sin, to turn from sin to Christ, to accept the salvation that Christ offers to you, and to let His Holy Spirit change your life into a godly life that also cares about the eternal destiny of those around you, as well as caring about the fallout from your own sin?

For those who were brought up on the unholy idea of penance (trying to pay for your own sin to save yourself), penance is NOT what God wants from us. Penance is religious misguidance that has nothing to do with godly repentance (calling our sin what God calls it, being sorry that we sin, that we choose sin, and that we are sinners, and then turning away from our sin toward God's Christ). Our repentance is the first thing that God commands of us, and is the first step to allowing God and His Christ to have HIS WAY with our lives, that godly sorrow for our sin leads us to trust ONLY in God's salvation in Christ Jesus. God wants all people to trust in His plan of salvation, but He also knows that not everyone is going to choose Him and His ways, yet, He takes no pleasure in the death of lost sinners who neglect or reject Him and His salvation in Christ. From God's viewpoint, there are only two kinds of people in this world, lost sinners who have not trusted God's salvation, as opposed to saved sinners who trust only in God's salvation through Jesus Christ alone. We CANNOT be saved if we fail to admit that we are morally and spiritually lost and in need of God's Savior.

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