A sobering implication of God’s universal love

That God sends rain on the righteous and the wicked is obvious. Jesus taught this truth to emphasize God’s love toward all. Yet, have we considered what this means about the conclusions we might draw regarding our human experiences?

Let’s start at the beginning. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught the crowds that they should love all people, even their enemies. By doing this they would reflect God’s character for he does not discriminate between people’s spiritual state when sending sunshine and rain (Matthew 5:44-45). God pours out these blessings upon all.

Is it just sunshine and rain that God provides to all? I think we would agree that God loves all people in a great variety of ways, not just with sunshine and rain. Our minds immediately gravitate to God’s greatest gift of love given for all people – Jesus.

Years earlier Israel had felt that God’s concern was limited to them. God reminded them that they were not the only people whom he had moved from one location to another (Amos 9:7).

In the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus pointed to God’s outpouring of love upon all people, he underscored two examples of God’s love, not the limit of his love. Therefore would it not be reasonable to understand that God will enable both a saint and a sinner to be at the right place at the right time to receive some blessing?

Is it only upon the righteous that God’s love provides opportunities, healing, resources and the workings of his marvelous care? It would appear not.

To be sure, a day of judgment is coming when God will set everything to right. Also, even now people can reap what they sow. Yet, this does not negate that God can provide the wicked with water and light.

Why spill so much ink over God’s love toward all? It is because sometimes people might assume favorable experiences prove one’s relationship with God.

How many times have people credited God with doing some marvelous unanticipated thing in their life and then assumed this confirms their relationship with God? I hope God does recognize him or her as belonging to him.

Nevertheless, such experiences do not prove one’s relationship with God if in fact God also sends sunshine and rain upon those far from him. It would be tragic if someone were to rely upon their experiences as evidence they belong to God, when in fact God does not recognize them as his.

To be confident in our relationship with God requires more than just a string of highly improbable and favorable experiences. God sends sunshine and rain upon the lost. We need a solid foundation for confidence.

Within scripture we learn that God adds gospel respondents to those being saved (Acts 2:47). Since those who are added are those who accept the good news about Jesus by being baptized (Acts 2:41), how appropriate for Paul to describe the Spirit’s placement of individuals into Christ’s one body as  baptizing them into his body (1 Corinthians 12:13).

In various ways we have all experienced God’s love. God is worthy of praise for his wonderful love he generously extends toward all.

We should not assume that receiving such love proves we belong to God. Rather, we need to hear from scripture the same message that those outside of Christ heard long ago in order that we too might come to trust in Jesus and be added by God.

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