Over the years of writing this blog, I have often mentioned that there seem to be Christians who will try to squeeze every bit of Bad News out of the Good News that they can.
In reply to that sort of behaviour, here is another great piece by my friend Mo Thomas:
Dip Your Brush in Reality
“God was in Christ, reconciling the WHOLE WORLD to Himself, not counting men’s sins against them.”
– Either this is blasphemy or ultimate reality.
“In God WE live, move and have our being”
– Many say this only applies to some in a particular setting.
“There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father OF ALL, who is OVER ALL, IN ALL, and living THROUGH ALL.”
– There are reasons people find to limit God as Father of only a select few.
“Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for EVERYONE, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for EVERYONE.”
– Most would argue FOR the universality of Adam when he fell, but AGAINST the universality of Christ when Jesus succeeded.
Years ago, I would have quickly dismissed the startling implications of these and hundreds of other passages with rebuttals like:
1. You must first understand context
2. Many other verses frame a different message
3. All doesn’t mean all in these cases, only those who believe
4. It’s more important to focus on receiving Christ into your heart than on Christ receiving you into His
…and then, I would have proudly carpet bombed my own list of proof verses and used them to bolster my exclusive position.
Premise: the WAY we interpret scripture reveals our heart and exposes the lenses we use to see the world.
Response: Abba, show us how You see the world. By Your Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation, dip Your brush in Reality and paint beautiful portraits of God in our imagination, portraits that don’t require fear or manipulation for people to respond and receive Your Great Love.
– Mo Thomas
As an addendum, Mo also compiled this set of Scripture references:
“I pull these out every once in awhile to remind us that it’s NOT a stretch to see this theme in scripture:
Genesis 12:3 — All peoples on earth will be blessed through Abraham.
Genesis 22:18 — All nations on earth will be blessed through Abraham’s offspring.
Psalms 22:27 — All the ends of the earth and all the families of the nations will acknowledge God.
Psalms 65:2 — All men will come to God.
Psalms 86:9 — All nations will worship and glorify God.
Psalms 103:8-9 — God is compassionate, will not always accuse and will not be angry forever.
Psalms 145:9-10 — The Lord has compassion on all His creation and all He has made will praise Him.
Psalms 145:13 — The Lord loves all His creation.
Psalms 145:14 — The Lord upholds all who fall.
Isaiah 25:6-8 — God will prepare a feast for all people, He will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers up all nations. He will eliminate death, wipe away the tears from all faces and remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth.
Isaiah 45:22-23 — God has sworn an oath that every knee will bow before Him and every tongue will swear by Him.
Isaiah 49:6 — God’s salvation will be brought to the ends of the earth.
Isaiah 54:8 — Although God will hide His face in a surge of anger, He will also have compassion with everlasting kindness.
Isaiah 57:16-18 — God’s anger is not permanent. Although He punishes man, He will heal, guide and restore comfort to him.
Jeremiah 31:33-34 — All men will know God, from the greatest to the least.
Lamentations 3:31-33 — The Lord does not cast off forever. Although He brings grief, he will also be compassionate.
Ezekiel 18:23 — God does not take any pleasure in the death of the wicked. Rather, He is pleased when they repent.
Micah 7:18 — God does not stay angry forever.
Matthew 18:13 — Like the man who owns a hundred sheep and is not willing to lose even one, God is not willing that any one be lost.
Luke 2:10 — The birth of Jesus is good news for all the people.
Luke 3: 5, 6 — John the Baptist quotes Isaiah’s words that all mankind will see God’s salvation.
John 1:29 — Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
John 3:35 — God sent Jesus to save the world.
John 4:42 — God has committed all things to Christ.
John 5:25 — Even the dead will hear the sound of Christ and all who hear will live.
John 6:37 — Everything that God has given to Christ will come to him.
John 12:32 — When Jesus is lifted up from the earth, he will draw all men to himself.
John 12:47 — Jesus came to save the world.
John 17:2 — God granted Christ authority over all people so that Christ may give eternal life to all that God has given him.
Acts 3:20-21 — Jesus must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything.
Romans 3:3-4 — The unbelief of some will not nullify God’s faithfulness.
Romans 5:18 — The act of obedience of one man (Jesus) will bring life for all men.
Romans 8:19-21 — Creation itself will be liberated and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Romans 8:38-39 — Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ.
Romans 11:32 — God made all people imprisoned by disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
1 Corinthians 15:22-28 — All will be made alive in Christ, but each in his own turn and ultimately Christ will subdue all his enemies, eliminate death and God will be all in all.
2 Corinthians 5:15 — Christ died for all.
2 Corinthians 5:19 — Through Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself.
Ephesians 1:11 — God will bring all things under heaven and on earth under Christ.
Ephesians 4:10 — Christ ascended higher then all the heavens to fill the whole universe.
Philippians. 2:9-11 — Every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (In 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul writes that no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit)
Colossians 1: 19-20 — God was pleased to reconcile to Himself, all things on earth and in heaven through the blood of Christ.
1 Timothy 2:4-6 — God wants all men to be saved and to know the truth. Can God’s desire be thwarted?
1 Timothy 4:10 — God is the Saviour of all men, especially (not exclusively) those who believe.
Titus 2:11-12 — God’s grace, which brings salvation has appeared to all men.
Hebrews 2:9 — Jesus tasted death for everyone.
1 John 2:2 — Christ is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only ours but of the sins of the whole world.
1 John 3:8 — Christ appeared to destroy the devil’s works.
1 John 4:14 — Christ is the Saviour of the world.
Revelation 5:13 — Every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, and on the sea will sing praises to him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb (Christ).
Revelation 21:4-5 — God will dwell with men and he will wipe every tear from their eyes, death, mourning, crying, pain and the old order of things will pass and everything will be made new.”