Matthew 23:34-35 (God’s Love; Man’s Free Will)

Consider that even after pronouncing seven-plus woes upon the scribes and Pharisees and asking rhetorically how they can escape the sentence of hell, still Jesus says He will continue to send His messengers to warn of their impending judgment.  And although the possibility of them repenting becomes increasingly remote as they continue to harden their hearts so that in likelihood they will continue to reject and even persecute His messengers even unto death and His purpose in sending them becomes that they may fill up the measure of their guilt and become a vessel completely fit for destruction, shall we suppose that God’s gestures to even such hardened sinners are disingenuous, and that He would not pardon and receive them to Himself if they would but turn to Him and be saved?  Cf. Isa 45:22, Eze 18:23.  What does this remind us about His great mercy and love that is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance?  Cf. 1Ti 2:3-4, 2Pe 3:7-9.  What does it also teach us about why a person is ultimately damned: Is it because they commit so much evil that God is no longer willing to forgive?  Or is it because by refusing to repent they are also hardening their hearts against God’s truth and so cutting themselves off from the only thing that is able to save them, so that it only becomes impossible for God to forgive them because it becomes impossible for them to repent with a godly sorrow that has no regret?  See 2Co 7:10; cf. Deut 29:18-20.  What then does this teach us will be the culpability of the lost in the day of judgment?  Will they be able to plead as so many suppose that they didn’t know, that God isn’t fair, or that God didn’t give them a chance?

Because of the Lord’s great mercy and love that He continues to extend to the wicked, shall we then suppose that it is safe to continue in our sins because in His mercy and love He will always receive us back, when all we have to do is turn our hearts back to Him?  Or, is that the “devil in the details”, that as we continue in our sins it becomes increasingly difficult for us to turn our own hearts back to Him, because by rejecting God’s call to repentance we are hardening our hearts against the very truth that alone is able to save us?  Cf. Heb 4:7.  Is it even possible that, as with Esau, there is a “sin unto death”, a “tipping point” past which a person or people may become so hard as to make themselves irredeemable, so that even if someone rose from the dead they would not believe (Luk 16:30-31), and so like Sodom and Gomorrah, or the Amorites, or the scribes and Pharisees, God gives them up to be destroyed?  See Gen 13:13, 15:16, 18:20-21, Lev 18:24-28, Jos 11:20, 1Jo 5:16-17.  Cf. also the example of Esau (Heb 12:15-17), the sons of Eli (1Sa 2:17, 3:11-14), Saul (1Sa 15:10-26), and those whom Moses led out of the land of Egypt (Num 14:1-4,22-23,27-30) as well as Christians for whom they are an example (Rom 15:4, 1Co 10:1-13, Heb 3:12-4:11).  Is it also possible that as with Pharaoh, God may endure with great patience individuals who are already past that point and rather than immediately putting them to death as a vessel of His wrath He may harden them even further by continuing to send them His messengers in order to accomplish His own purposes through the folly of their own hardness?  Cf. Exo 7:3-5, 14:4,17-18, and Psa 18:25-26.  Is it possible He may do the same thing with nations?  See Isa 33:1, Jer 50:23-24, 51:20-26.  Is it possible that we have reached that point of no return as a nation?

C.S._Lewis_Poem

Where “in the track” might America someday “look back” to see its “one false step”, “secure”, past which there was no return?  Although God’s people who remain faithful to Him may be called to remain among such a people or nation as the instrument by which God hardens them and accomplishes His purposes, what must those faithful ones always be prepared to do?  See Mat 24:15-18, Rev 18:1-5; cf. Jer 50:8, 51:6,9,45,50.  Thus, although the United States was in times past a more righteous nation blessed by God and used by Him to advance many good things throughout the world, shall we American Christians suppose that our greater citizenship and allegiance belongs to this temporal nation of the world, or to the eternal kingdom of God?  Is it any different in regard to any other community, state or nation in this world, or even to a church or denomination?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *