My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins — and not only our sins but the sins of all the world. 1John2:1-2
Think about that. If Christ’s sacrifice on the cross atones for the sins of all the world, then if everybody believed, repented and accepted God’s sacrificial offering for sin by Jesus Christ, then everybody would be saved. Which raises an interesting question: What would we feel about that?
What about abusers, rapists, drug dealers, murderers, mass shooters, and a long list of undesirables? Would I be very happy seeing them in heaven? Obviously, the key to this would be how I see myself. If I match up well with these folks in relationship to my own sin, then there shouldn’t be any problem. I am among fellow saved sinners, and it doesn’t matter what we’ve done; God’s grace is the same for all of us. But if I think of some people as worse sinners than myself and less desirable to have in heaven, then something is going to be askew in my knowledge of God’s grace.
The apostle Paul believed he was the worst of sinners and least desirable of God’s favor and a place in heaven. Does that mean Paul was an exceptionally bad sinner? I don’t think so. I think it means that Paul was so aware of his own sin and so overwhelmed by God’s grace, that he was convinced that no one was more undeserving of God’s kindness than he was, and I believe that this should be a universal feeling for all of us when we truly see our sinfulness and God’s grace.
The other side of this would be the Pharisees whom Jesus derided for standing by the gates of heaven, keeping people out. “For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either” (Matthew 23:13). Self-righteousness is just what it says it is … you keep it to yourself. What a tragedy.
If you think you are the worst of sinners and least deserving of heaven, then if you get in, you will most likely throw the door open to everybody. This is the essence of grace turned outward. Once you have it, you want everyone to have it.
So go ahead, take the grace test. How would you feel if God ended up saving everybody? Your answer might tell you something about how much you understand about God’s grace and grace turned outward.
Reaching out to Jesus is for all of us no matter what the sin or how many he came for everyone and we must never compare ourselves to another no matter how much that person sins or the severity. Each of us have the chance to know him no matter what. Take care, God Bless, and have a great day.
Thanks, I needed that
You really brought up a great subject!!! I thought long and hard about how I feel about people in my life, my family, the people who come in where I work and any others I could bring to my mind. How do I feel about them and is there anything they do or have done that would make me have the attitude that I’d get satisfaction if something bad happened to them or they got what was given to me by them. I have to admit there have been times that my first thought about someone wasn’t what should’ve been but I felt conviction and asked God to forgive me. I live daily, seeing my daughter’s ex not being the dad he needs to be and trying to control and manipulate the 2 who are still at home and trying to make life miserable for my daughter and I’m sure there are people who would say I was justified in wanting him to get back what he’s given. But I honestly can say I don’t feel that way. I pray for him and ask God to change his heart. You see, I only had my dad for 10 1/2 short years before he died and I still miss him to this day, almost 66 years later!!! I knew my dad loved me and wanted to spend time with me, do all the things a father who loves his child does. Was my dad perfect? No. He made mistakes but I’ve been assured by God that he’s in Heaven and I’ll see him one day!!!! I don’t know that about my daughter’s ex. The oldest 2 haven’t had anything to do with him since they turned 18 and the 2 still at home are counting the years until they are free to not have anything to do with him. To me, that’s one of the saddest things I can think of and that’s what makes me look at people differently!! I ask God to help me see them through His eyes every day and sometimes it’s a challenge but He wins!!!