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Topic: The Love of God

Setting Priorities

by Darrel Cline

In a related article (136) we said that God loves humanity enough to set it free to make its choices. This means evil is always possible; in these days it goes beyond possibility to extreme probability. Even those who claim they know of the grace of God make daily choices to ignore Him and do evil. They think selfish thoughts; they choose to ignore His agenda in this world so they can pursue their own wealth and physical pleasure; and they self-righteously criticize others for their faults. And, if those who have heard of the grace of God act this way, it is more than possible that the rest of the world will choose evil over good. It is inescapable. Therefore, evil is a present inevitability.

Does this negate the love of God?

Of course not. The very definition of love is that God places values upon certain entities in some sort of arranged order. We call it setting priorities; God calls it acting by love. Whatever we set as first is what we love the most. Whatever we set as last is what we love the least. But the fact remains that we love everything that we set a priority on. God does too.

In making human beings God had to decide which of the priorities were the most important. Is it more important to keep evil and pain out of the creation; or is it more important for man to learn how to choose good over evil? This is a fundamental question of love (priorities). For God to decide to block all evil would have been for Him to decide not to create personalities. Thus, for any human personalities to be able to inherit heaven, the creation of them had to take place. But, with their creation came the potential for a choice to embrace evil. Obviously (from the fact that this is the way it is at present) God chose humanity over the preservation of complete holiness.

Therefore, we face the facts today that God loves men more than He loves the elimination of evil and pain. This is the way it is.

But, it will not always be so. There is coming a time when God will have accomplished His intent to bring many human beings past the critical point of choice to embrace good and reject evil. When this intent has been accomplished, woe be to those who have determined to pursue their own way at the expense of others. There is a heaven awaiting those who genuinely repent; there is a hell awaiting all of those who use whatever excuse is most handy to refuse to repent.

The excuses are legion; but none are legitimate. The excuses work in our minds and hearts to keep God at a distance, but they don't work with God. We use excuses as reasons to justify our decisions; God sees excuses as curtains to hide our dark motives and selfishness.

The fact is that God loves us. He sent His Son to Calvary to die in our place: to pay the penalty for our sin. But, He is only going to give eternal life to those who repent of their unbelief and turn to the Son of God for forgiveness and cleansing. The rest He will deal with when the time comes that He loves righteousness more than this fallen world.

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This is article #137.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.