The Christian seeks to please God. He wants to be like Jesus who heard the Father speak over him, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased? (Matthew 3:17 NET). So he takes to heart Jesus’ words, “I always do the things that are pleasing to him” (John 8:29). The disciple wants to hear the Creator’s praise, as he himself seeks to bring him glory.
Considering the opposite side of pleasing God can be instructive. Paul charged that the Jews were “displeasing to God” (1 Thessalonians 2:15). Their displeasing attitudes appeared in their opposition to all peoples “because they hinder us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved” (v. 16).
More than anything, God wants all of us to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3-4). So anything or anyone who stands in the way of another’s salvation incurs not only his displeasure but even his wrath.
In the first centuries of Christianity, the Roman historian Tacitus wrote that the disciples were charged with “hatred of mankind.” Their intense love for mankind was misinterpreted, because they, in wanting to please God, sought the salvation of all. Even though many did not want to be saved.
Some today would charge us with hatred of mankind since we refuse to bend the commandments of God bring people to Christ. We are willing to make every effort, tear down every barrier, remove every obstacle, that people might be saved. Except disregard the will of God. Because above all we want to please him and that also means keeping his commandments.
“[W]hatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him” (1 John 3:22 ESV).
We pray for the salvation of many, we preach and teach that the nations may be saved, we strictly keep the commandments of God, we seek to please him.
Those who ditch God’s commandments as an effort to win more people are the ones who displease God. And, in the end, they are the haters of mankind, because they offer a false gospel and a false hope which leads to the wrath of God.
We preach “repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 24:42). The grace and ministry we have received is designed to “bring about the obedience of faith” among the nations (Romans 1:5). We teach all the obedience which leads to righteousness (Romans 6:16).
To do otherwise is to displease God and erect even more barriers to the way of salvation.
Knowing what displeases God instructs us to avoid those things and please him.