Blessings as we progress through this Advent season, a season
of hope, joy, peace, and love. As Christians we share in the hope of our salvation, the joy of the Lord, the peace that surpasses all understanding and the always abounding immeasurable love of God for each of us. These are the gifts of Advent …gifts freely given to us by the King of kings and the Lord of lords. These are the gifts we in turn should be giving to others whether they are fellow Christians or non-believers.
I was at several Christmas parties this past week and a theme in discussion was whether or not Jesus died for all or for many. Now we know 2 Corinthians 5:15 tells us, “…and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh.” Strong’s Concordance, 3956 translates from the Greek pas for all to mean ….everyone, the whole, as many as…whomsoever. He died for all, for whomsoever believes. In Mark 16:16, after His resurrection, Jesus appears to the eleven and says, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” All have the option to believe or not to believe…through His death for all He gave mankind that option. Not all will believe but He died that all could believe.
2 Peter 3:9 says, “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.” Again we see the word all…He died for all that none should perish. Especially during this season of unlimited hope remember that He died for all…Jew, Gentile, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, rich or poor, the disenfranchised…all. Our prayer should be that all will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Our heart (and it is always a heart issue) should be to carry that saving knowledge and His grace to the all whom we encounter.
This is the season to lay aside human judgment and regard no one according to what we think we know in the flesh. I have heard Christians loudly proclaim that those who sit in a different denomination are not saved. Imagine their thoughts toward non-Christians! My prayer is that we each focus on walking out our own salvation rather than judging someone else’s walk. God alone sees each individual heart and knows the tapestry of each personal relationship with Him that exists within. Again, He died for all. Let us be praying from a place of His abounding love for all without judging what we think we see. For if we truly walk by faith and not by sight we will not be deceived by our natural senses and judgment but will be led by His Holy Spirit and His grace.
As we anticipate the commemoration of the birth of our Savior, let us remember we are also anticipating His Second Coming. Are we ready as individuals? Are the ‘all’ He died for ready? The great commission from Jesus to His followers is: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matthew 28:19. Again, He said to go to all because He died for all. Let us keep ‘all’ in our hearts and prayers that we ‘all’ will be ready when He returns.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. May God richly bless you and your family and may we each rise above our humanity and carry His message of hope to all during this season of hope. God bless our troops and all who serve to keep us free.