OBJECTORS>> BUT YA GOTTA ACCEPT IT!
ME>> Friends, consider these questions:
WHAT "IT" DO WE HAVE TO ACCEPT?
What is the "IT" that we must accept in order to be a Christian? If I hear correctly, many are saying that we must accept Jesus' offer of forgiveness in order to be forgiven. However, there is a fundamental difference in the "IT" that must be accepted. This understanding of "IT" is not true to grace and instead is a condition to God's unconditional love. Instead, to become a believer, to become a Christian, one must accept that Jesus has already paid for our sins and has already forgiven us from the cross. What is the "IT" that we must accept? We must accept that God loved us before we loved him and fully paid for our sins and forgave us while we were yet his enemies. Are we willing to repent of all our self-righteousness and from every man-made condition to instead receive God's unconditional love? The history of his cross is proof of this very fact! Read the account yourself. Mankind did not accept Jesus, but crucified him, while he forgave us. But are we willing instead to accept that God loves us and ALL his people unconditionally and that Jesus has already forgiven all mankind from the cross before the asking? Or are we like ignorant Peter saying, "You will never wash my feet"? Join believing Peter and say, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3 WEB). Friend, the truth of God's forgiveness given to all mankind is plain to see. Only blindness could obscure our vision. Only a radical new birth through the Holy Spirit can open our eyes.
WHY DO WE HAVE TO ACCEPT "IT"?
When they say "But ya gotta accept it," what is the reason that we must accept "IT"? What is the purpose, the goal, the end of this accepting? If I hear correctly they are saying that we must accept the offer of forgiveness in order to be forgiven and thus to escape the Lake of Fire. Fire insurance is their goal. Again there is a fundamental difference in the reason that we must accept Christ. Their understanding of the reason is not true to grace and instead illustrates the addition of a condition to God's unconditional love. Their understanding falls short of accepting that the elect of God have never and will never be in danger of eternal damnation. Their understanding misses God's great purpose in salvation. Though they may quickly object, asking then, what is the purpose of Christian salvation anyway? Why do we examine ourselves to see if we are of the faith? Why do we sacrifice time and money to tell others about Christ? Certainly neither time, nor money, nor all the persuasive speech in the entire world, nor any human condition, can add someone's name to the Lamb's Book of Life! Predestination teaches us that elect mankind's sin has been paid from before the foundation of the world. So then why do we have to accept that Jesus loves us and has already forgiven us if we are already forgiven?
We need to be saved from our corrupt and self-righteous hearts in order to know God as our loving Heavenly Father and begin to fellowship with him! Our hearts need to be changed toward God because God wants to be our friend. God's heart does not need to be changed toward us. He is resolute in his love! Jesus is bringing lost sheep into his fold. We also need the indwelling Holy Spirit to fight against destructive sin in our lives. Furthermore, if our hearts are not changed we will not escape punishment in Hades, nor will we even want to be in Paradise worshiping Christ until we are changed. Are we still like Adam and Eve hiding in the garden behind religion, atheism, or agnosticism? Why not hear God's voice of forgiveness calling our names? Friends, simple confidence that God has already forgiven us and all mankind from the cross will change our hearts and prepare us for joy with Christ and ALL his people. We must accept his unconditional love to have a changed heart, to repent of our hypocrisy, to begin fellowship with Christ, and to escape punishment in Hades. Why wait? Yet unbelievers must be warned that even if they waste their lives with religion, destroy their lives with sin, and suffer an age in Hades resisting grace until the very threshold of eternal damnation, even so, not they or any human being for whom Christ died will ever enter the Lake of Fire which is prepared for... the Devil and his angels.
The religious Jews who crucified Christ did so because they hated him. Christ rejected their religion and the Jews hated him for that. Christ also befriended the Gentiles and told them they didn't need the Jewish religion and the Jews hated him for that. Friends, are we modern day "Jews" who have made a religion out of "Christ?" The gentiles likewise joined in hatred toward Christ for his claim to be the only way to God. Are we modern day "Gentiles" whose open minds are closed to the grace of God given only through his Son Jesus Christ? Yes, the name of "Jesus" is on our lips and maybe in our worship songs, but have we restricted the love of God from all mankind? Have we said God does not love all mankind along with the Calvinist? Have we added human condition to the grace of God? Have we said God only forgives those who accept Jesus along with the Arminian? If so we crucify Christ all over again no matter how much we praise Christ's name!