Years ago, I would have back and forth casual debates with my non-Christian acquaintance. I would share my beliefs, and she would share hers, and we'd never come close to convincing the other of our points. I have no doubt in my mind that she fully understood the gospel, but she chose to reject it. One day, I'll never forget, she stated this: "You know why I don't believe in your God? Because why would the God of the universe die for us? We are ants. We wouldn't die for an ant, so why would God?"
This lady understood how undeserving we are of God. The state of being we are born into is not one that we're just "ants" as she put it, it's that we are actively in a state of rebellion against God.
"The heart is more deceitful than all else and desperately sick; Who can understand it?" —Jeremiah 17:9
"As it is written, 'There is none righteous, not even one; There is none who understands, There is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside, together they have become useless; There is none who does good, there is not even one." —Romans 3:10-12
From birth, sin has stained us inside and out. There is nothing "good" about us. We are wretched, and sometimes we don't even know it.
Right now, you may be asking yourself that question (or some variance of it). Many a broken soul, shattered at their state of being has asked this question. The answer is boiled down into three breathtaking words: God is love.
"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." —1 John 4:8
"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love of God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." —1 John 4:15-16
God is 100% of His every attribute (His characteristics; what makes God who He is). Therefore God is not 10% a jealous God, 20% a merciful God and 70% a loving God. He is 100% love, and 100% of every other attribute too. Being 100% love means His very being is love.
God chooses to demonstrate His love by lavishing it on us, undeserving people who are in active rebellion against Him. Now, to clarify, God's love is not a romantic love. It is an agape love—self-sacrificing love. True love is not based on emotions or feelings, or a moving soundtrack, but in choosing what is best for another person every day.
God chose to show His love by sending His Son to the cross to pay for our sins, (1 John 4:10), by drawing us to Himself (John 6:44) and sending His Holy Spirit to dwell within us giving us the ability to love as He loves. None of this was because we deserved it or He felt sorry for us but because He loves us because He is love.
"But God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." —Romans 5:8
God loves you individually, just as He loves me individually. His love is not conditional, nor has a beginning or an end. You cannot mess up so bad that He will stop loving you. My acquaintance didn't understand God's love. She saw the gap between us and an almighty God, but she didn't see how that gap could ever be bridged. And it's true, we could never bridge that gap apart from God's love. Fortunately for us, since God is love and because He is love, He loves us.
From birth, sin has stained us inside and out. There is nothing "good" about us. We are wretched, and sometimes we don't even know it. Yet God chooses to show His love by lavishing it on us, undeserving people who are in active rebellion against Him. He sacrificed the life of His Son to pay YOUR debt for your sins, (1 John 4:10), He calls you to Him (John 6:44) and He gave you the Holy Spirit as helper in life. None of this was because we deserved it or He felt sorry for us but because He loves us because He is not only the source of love, but He IS love (Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8).
Heidi Joelle is an executive assistant by day and a writer, editor, and reader by night. She can be coaxed from the house by the sound of a good adventure or traveling somewhere new. Her sidekick Smokey the Saint Bernard is rarely far off, usually pretending he's asleep.