John 8:48-59; 2 Chronicles 5:2-14; Malachi 2:10-4:7
How many times have we heard people say that all religions are the same and all that’s important is that people believe something? If that’s true, that makes those ancient religions that practiced human sacrifice the equivalent of following Christ. That puts those who are killing in the name of their god today at an equal level with Christian martyrs who die because of their faith. What we believe should make a difference in the kind of person we become. In truth, this idea that because God loves everyone that there is no difference what you believe and how you act based on your belief is wearying to God. “You have wearied the Lord with your words; Yet you say, ‘In what way have we wearied Him?’ In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the Lord, And He delights in them,’ Or, ‘Where is the God of justice?’” (Malachi 2:17) While everyone who does evil is loved by God – and that’s difficult to believe – there is no way that we can say that God delights in those who do evil. There is a right and a wrong. What’s right and wrong is not subject to the whims of public opinion polls; it’s established in God’s word. God is wearied, exhausted even, by those who would continue to act contrary to God’s ways. He is wearied by those who would celebrate a religious diversity that accepts evil behavior as good. There is a difference between loving people and accepting their behavior that is contrary to God’s plan. We must love and pray for all people no matter what circumstances they may be in. At the same time, we may never accept and condone behavior that is contrary to God’s word. Without that objective standard, life disintegrates into a world where everyone does what is right in their own eyes.
Oh Lord, help me to love others as You love them. Help me to remember that Jesus went to the cross because You loved all people and wanted them to have a relationship with You. At the same time, remind me that Jesus went to the cross to pay the price for the sins of the world.