2008-01-17 - God Desires
1 Tim 2:1-4 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (NASB)
I find the point that God desires fascinating. Not just the fact that God specifically desires that all people should come to understand the truth and accept His offer of salvation, but that an all-knowing God, Who knows the end from the beginning, has an earnest want to see something happen in a particular way or to a particular end.
Out of the eternal darkness God said, "Let there be light." Light had not existed before this, at least in this creation, and that energy was created ex nihilo (latin) - literally "out of nothing". A being with this unspeakable power could dictate that anything would happen as He desired it to occur. Salvation is only required because of the rebellion of mankind in Adam and Eve that went against the desire of God for fellowship. The fellowship between Adam and Eve and God was broken by the act of breaking the one rule that God had given them. For our own protection as a race, we were thrown out of paradise. Adam and Eve had eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and were now aware of their guilt. If they would have eaten from the tree of life, they would have lived forever in that fallen state. God's desire for fellowship had been denied, at least for a period of time. That temporary time may be measured by us in millennia, but it is temporary when we look at the end of the Revelation and see the faithful worshiping the Lamb in the New Jerusalem. With all this power, God left us with a free will to accept His rules or to rebel against them so that our fellowship would be our choice instead of robots serving Him.
The common question is offered, "How can a God of love send people to Hell?" God desires otherwise. The evidence that He desires the complete opposite stands clearly before us. God the Father did not withhold even His own Son, Jesus, in an effort to open the doorway to the human race to eternity with Him. Did not the all-knowing God foresee that Adam and Eve would fall and that each of us in turn would be affected, born with sinful natures? If He is all-knowing, the question is rhetorical. But that does not change the fact that we have a free will we chose to do the things we do in spite of the knowledge that what we do is wrong. We are accountable for our actions.
Even here the desire of God is that "all men" and women come to know the desire of God's heart, that He has made a way, through His Son Jesus, that we may be forgiven and live forever with Him in the fellowship He has desired since before Adam and Eve were created. This has been the heart of God since the time when there were only Adam and Eve. He loved them enough to sacrifice lambs for them to cover their sins temporarily, until the seed (Jesus) of the woman (Eve) would be born and die as the perfect sacrificial lamb for the sins of mankind. So, if God would do this for these two, I argue that he would do the same for just you, or just me - if you or I were the only person on this Earth.
Think about the desire of God toward the human race - and toward us as His creation, that He desires to have fellowship with for all time and eternity.
And this is love;
Rom 5:8-11 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (NASB)
Grace & Peace,