“Since Israel is stubborn like a stubborn heifer,can the LORD now pasture themlike a lamb in a large field?” – Hosea 4:16
Why are so many people going to hell? Though all men are God’s creation, He doesn’t intend to save them all. Why has God devised a means of salvation that won’t save everyone? Why couldn’t God come up with a system to appeal to every soul? The answer is that no matter how tailored the plan is to each man, the majority won’t submit to anything.
“18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God 19 For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever I will set aside. 20 Where is the wise man? Where is the Scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” 1 Cor. 1:18-21.
Does God desire that all be saved and has God even provided that all can be saved, 1 Tim 2:4; Heb 2:9,10? Certainly, but most men have a problem with God.
A worldly man, the man of the world, the one brought up to value human intellect will reject God through his faulty and empty thinking. Such a man will reject the message of Jesus Christ and His cross.
Do we feel bad for those wise souls who shake their fists at God and who curse the very idea of an Almighty? Well such people are in a terrible predicament, for sure. But it is their own doing. Their trespass is not much different than every other crime committed since the beginning of time. Sin is sin. The devil himself turned against his Maker and I wouldn’t say I feel sympathy for the devil. The fallen angel personally knew the glory of Yahweh and still he rebelled. So I do wish that all would repent and know God’s salvation, but they are rebellious enemies of Christ on whom the righteous judgment of God will fall.
Some might say, “But if God really wanted to save the wise of this age, couldn’t He just as easily have spoken to their pride and vanity? Couldn’t God have spoken to the lusts of other men?” The answer is no, God couldn’t do that without making Himself no God at all. To devise a salvation that catered to one man’s vanity and to another man’s carnal appetite would require God change His very nature. To do so, He would cease to be God. To appease the carnal and wise of this world, God would have had to compromise His own just and good nature. To satisfy the hater, God would have had to make Himself less than God.
And still men would reject Him. If God could have planned a salvation that even the vilest and most rebellious sinner would have liked, most sinners would still have rejected it. See, God can’t change who He is and it is this that the rebellious spirit hates. As in the days of Hosea, who said, “So My people are bent on turning from Me.“,so most men are disposed to do the opposite of what God says, Hos. 11:7. The rebel, even if given the key to heaven with no strings attached, would still spit in God’s face and demand that he be allowed to rule on the heavenly throne. This rebellion is their defect and it will send them to hell.
“4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,” Rom 2:4,5.
The wise Scribes and debaters of the age have so exalted themselves that they would find fault with any overture from God. God could come down wearing a Dallas Cowboys football jersey, yelling “Cowboys first, Me second”, and the rebellious would be saying, “Cowboys first, You last!” God could have shown kindness in a million ways and the rebel spirit would find fault and take the gifts without a thank you. God could make concessions for every objection and the rebel would see these as a reason to reject Him. It’s hard to feel sorry for the person who won’t show appreciation for what he’s been given every day.
The Cross is the greatest peace offering to all sinners that none could ever surpass it. “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him. 20 And through Him to reconcile all things to Himself.” Col 1:19,20. Do you see what God did? God offered the peace offering Himself and all that God requires is for sinners to accept it and turn away from their sinful lifestyles. The rebel sinner knows deep in his soul he’s not alone and that the Maker is real. But like the devil, he simply will not be told what do and or what to believe.
“God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble“, Jas 4:6.
Knowing that the obstinate and stubborn man will not listen, we should preach the cross to those who haven’t rejected the possibility of God. For these type who are truth seekers, Jesus puts a beautiful face on God. Looking at Jesus, the sinner sees the very glory of God, Jn 1:14; 14:9. To know Jesus is to know the Father, and to know the Father is eternal life, Jn 17:3. The man who accepts the reality of God, accepts there is knowledge beyond what the wise, debating Scribe of any age can offer.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is right here before you. The truth comes from the Sovereign Lord and it says for sinners to turn from sin and be holy in all of their behavior. This is the only way to be saved. Without His sacrifice and atoning power in His blood, you will stay in your sins. Without obedience to Him, the sinner cannot take hold of God’s kind and generous gift. Anyone who rebels against God’s grace will meet God in his rebellious condition and he will have no defense in the judgment. There won’t be any pity for the sinner who rejected God’s kindness a million times in his lifetime. There will only be justice with a verdict of guilty for the one that does not believe, 2 Thess 1:6-9. The angels in heaven will say ‘amen’ to God’s justice. And the wise debater of this age will only suffer with eternal regrets.
The story is a happy one for the souls that refused to believe the lies that this is all there is to life. It is going to be a happy story for the souls who have trembled at the cross after learning of both God’s justice and love demonstrated there. For the person who looks by faith, its not a burden to repent and follow Jesus. For a truth seeker, the rebel spirit seems foolish, Ps. 14:1 (look it up). For the person who didn’t buy the debating lies of professors and philosophers, he will think it quite a gift to be forgiven and have the chance to walk daily in the light of God’s grace.
God is well-pleased to save you if you believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, who died on the cross and was raised from the grave on the third day. Jesus, the Lord, lives so that you can live. And you will live if you believe the wisdom of God in the cross. It is before the cross that you learn to turn from sin. At the cross you learn to confess that it’s good news. You won’t hold your tongue. And at the cross, you learn that you too must die, be buried and be raised in baptism for the remission of your sins, Colossians 2:12,13.
“3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,” Rom 6:3-5.
God’s salvation is offered to all who seek it. But rebellious men won’t be saved; they simply won’t accept it. God’s love they hate, and God’s judgment they despise, and so they go to hell.
I say this in love. Dan Mayfield
1 Sam 15:23ff says “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, He has also rejected you from being king.”“