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BULLETIN One Hundred and Twelve
LOVE, PREDESTINATION AND THE LOST
The Look of Divine Love
That is the absurdity of the position, other than just contradicting origins, and just begging the question and putting it there without explanation, source or means. Tangles of words do not alter the logical impasse. Trying to get something out of nothing is much more ludicrous than trying to get blood out of stone! Who does the trying ? a product of nothing, which has NO future or potential ?
It is the same in predestination. Trying to make sovereignty to be at war with the love of God is a ludicrous task. As we will see shortly, the divine revelation concerning love, and His love as foundational to all in particular, is entirely clear in the Bible, and the hatred of the self-excluded who even foreknown as such before creation, even in the presence of the wonderful love of God (Ephesians 1:4) is the residual state of what not come to Him without whom it has neither purpose nor mission nor point nor meaning - a failed equation. It is the application of sorrowing love that finds for self-imposed spiritual foundlings, the abyss from all help, love, creativity, hope in an enduring approach which is always to other things. HE did all that love in its liberty could, more than any creation could ever expect. Reciprocity however is not the forte of irreverent unrepentance.
Let us then proceed with our overview.
In considering the revelation divine love, as found in discovery fields such as John 4:7ff., Matthew 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff., Isaiah 48:16ff., Ephesians 3:14-11, Isaiah 50, 51:20-55:13, 49:6,42:6-8, we find glorious results. He desires all, even to be reconciled to Himself, even in heaven or on earth, so comprehensive is His enthralling desire. He loved the world, not a mere part of it (as if saying, God so loved a part of the world, that He gave His only begotten Son so that anyone believing in Him from that part of the world should not perish …)
That would be an entirely different God. He is expansive in the field of love to the uttermost, but will neither utilise any mere force (and so pollute love into an unrecognisable parody as if to find and shanghai sailors for the navy in England of old), nor deploy psychological deception. He KNOWS, and He foreknows them as well, even before the foundation of the world, and hence of the sin in it, and thus also, man’s deplorable, rebellious position in it. That is the revelation concerning His love which, flowing into predestination, applies the results of foreknowing, and this, with precisely the love which Christ showed towards Jerusalem when He cried, HOW OFTEN I would have gather to you, yes as a hen to His chicks, He would have brought them. YET they would not.
Such love from such a personal Being, who had made man free as the test and challenge to Adam and Eve, was sure and steadfast, and as He is, so this is; but it did not in the least defile liberty, and hence its own reality. Even after man fell, His same image-bearing self was answerable, known before even creation, and God was not stifled by the smell of rot. Indeed, not only did He know before sin came to man or man to this world, but when GOD acts all natural barriers are stripped away according to His good pleasure, whether in astronomy, or psychology, or mind or spirit. THIS is not to stupefy but to bring to the truth, which His dynamic disrupts just as it disrupted death.
It is not at all therefore like a magnet which by its constructed nature, attracts some things and not others. Rather, as portrayed both in work, examples, principles and procedures, it is
Penetrating in discernment
Accurate in depiction
Honourable in choice
Passionate in seeking, having done all (Colossians 1:19ff.)
Weeping not for the cost of the atonement,
but for the justly redeemable,
those who might but will not come
(Proverbs 1, Isaiah 48:16ff, Matthew 23:37ff., Jeremiah 48:35-36),
even to glorious and divine site where truth, mercy and love meet
(Psalm 85:8-10, 89:14)
in inextinguishable harmony.
Repentance, realisation leading to faith (John 3:3-8), redemption (Matthew 20:28, II Corinthians 5:20-21), hence remedy in effectual pardon and apt peace, with power in the presence of the Lord (Ephesians 3:16-20), that sees in Him fellowship for ever, these are steps on the way. If however you will not enter by Him, saved from sin through His payment inserted like an injection into those who receive Him, then it is like barren steppes, with no step in them.
Put differently, repentance is the first part of the realisation of reality (Luke 13:1ff.), and redemption with it the next, regeneration of the heart allowing free communion and communication the Lord, through the good offices of the everlasting Redeemer, who surrounds, Jesus Christ, who came into the world to save sinners and give age-long entry to God (I Timothy 1:15, Revelation 13:8, Isaiah 43:10-11) in the pinnacle of pardon and the place of peace..
The Extended Hand of GOD
Amid such an aura of majestic ardour, we still might want to see it from a slightly different aspect. What prompted Christ to go to the cross and endure it, is what moved Paul to persuade many with deprivations in abundance, passion and lively loyalty. The heart of deity faithfully expressed in God’s eternal word, His who became flesh, provided inspiration and strength in heart and spirit of the apostle. He thus became an agent of reconciliation: Christ its payment, provision and ground, Paul taking off on flights of quest for the souls of men for Christ, this in 'journeyings often'. Paul. In his zestful application, the apostle for one, became almost like one of the fingers of God; for he was constrained, moved, led (cf. Acts 18:9-10), surging on with the task, forwarding it in whatever way God should direct, as His whole working is thrust on and wrought in whatever way He signifies, desires and designs.
Love is like that; it stops nowhere and at nothing, short of insincerity, dishonesty or force, to achieve its blessed objective.
But what of those
too unloving to search (contrast Luke 19:10),
too unconcerned to care deeply,
too unparticipatory to act ?
Here to the saved, there appears a short-circuit of the love of God in the stricken fields of sin. What horror (as in II Corinthians 5:11) of the infestation to alert those delivered already, as if the sight were a field of yours abounding in disease, about to move into wild sprees of pollution. In this or that popular mode, with variants for the more learned, evil flounces and flows. Though some may be delivered in due time amid this spiritual terror and terrorising, in this place or that, what sheer horror is their plight, like those already burning in the midst of radioactive matter.
So subversion seeks to strike like fighter planes, into every horror, exploding with hapless devil-dealing rampancy. Alas such is increasingly the scene in abuse of the young in this country (Australia is beginning, in its new found blatancy, to remind of this condition, despite many quite excellent things remaining from the heart and ethics of its Christian past)!
You may say, The Council will attend to all this in the end; but what does love do before the years of accelerating horror descend and torture their captives, whether with gross sins against the moral, physical or spiritual well-being of those still lost! or those tortured for faithfulness, plundered by pollution; and where are those growing but amid the very scorch of the fiery glow of God-defiance, or His ignoring, dismissal, or bypass in foolish imaginings, as One set firmly to one side.
Indeed, the Lord may be sending this or that servant of His one to help find the ensnared lost; and one refusing to go can become ground for a call to another just as, in the office of regality, Edward VIII’s abdication led to the sudden call of the Prince who became King George V ... and to what amplifying feats was he called!
The essence of the glory of the divine love is seen in Psalm 40 where it reveals Christ declaring this.
“Sacrifice and offering, You did not desire, My ears You have opened,
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
Then I said, Behold I come;
In the scroll of the book, it is written of Me.
I delight to do Your will, O My God,
And Your law is within My heart.”
is no employee who thus speaks but the Saviour,
and His zest reeks unaffronted at the horror and ruin afar off,
love acting in truth without other inducement, where ruin yaws in diminishing space,
and sin seeks to turn a comely field into a coal mine, with decreasing air.