If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person
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But ultimately I think these two pastors take the more honest approach. The love of God and the love of our neighbor are the two principles by which any other principle is to be judged, and even scripture must bow to the principle of love.
I had rejected the image of a wrathful, powerful God anxious to punish the wicked in the fires of hell, but I was left with a benevolent but feeble God who had no choice but to destroy the ones he loved. Hell was another Holocaust, where once again millions would be thrown into the furnaces while God stood by powerless and defeated. When confronted with the inconsistency of an all-powerful God incapable of accomplishing his desire, I drew a careful distinction between what God wanted to do and what God was able to do.
God was not free. Acknowledged that God can have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and compassion on whom he will have compassion, but I quickly defined the persons and situations in which God could be merciful and compassionate.
My God was shackled, powerless to act. Simply put, this is a wonderful book, for anyone who is ready for it. Universalism makes the gospel into the really good news, and alters our view of everything around us — for the better. The 8-Minute Organizer — Regina Leeds. Her dreams withered away as she struggled to survive. All her life she'd been neglected, and now she began to neglect herself. Like dominoes falling, bad jobs were followed by worse ones; a poor husband was replaced by abusive boyfriends.
Alcohol and drugs sped her descent. When the last domino toppled, Sally was thirty-two years old, the mother of five, unemployed, and living off the leftovers of neighbors and relatives. That domino tumbled the day she slept in with a hangover and woke to find her youngest daughter drowned in the pool next door.
When her son came and through his tears told me the news, I could barely contain my rage. Unaware of Sally's sad past, I saw only a mother who had failed her child, and I despised her. It was with great difficulty that I preached her daughter's funeral.
If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person | Grace Evangelical Society
Before the funeral, Sally told me she'd been abandoned by God. I assured her God hadn't forsaken her. I told her, "God loves you. He knows your pain. You're not alone. After the funeral Sally stood by her daughter's casket, clutching a wad of tissue and crying. The last five years of Sally's life were her happiest. That's what everyone said at Sally's funeral. That's what her children said, what her mother said, what her friends said -- Sally's last five years were her best.
In the days after her daughter's death, Sally repented. Now by repentance , I don't mean she fell to her knees at a church altar and confessed her sins aloud.
I don't mean she affirmed a set of spiritual laws or accepted a Lord and Savior. By repentance , I simply mean what the word itself means -- Sally turned. She turned from thoughts of suicide. She turned from crippling self-pity. She turned from despair. She turned. Sally moved to a small town. She found a job. Then she found a better one.
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She bought a car. She bought a house. She planted flowers. She even planted a tree.
She made friends, not acquaintances. She made peace with her family. Life wasn't perfect, but she'd turned from despair. A month before her death, she told her son of a new and surprising desire. The day before Sally's funeral, her son revealed her confession to me. It was the memory that comforted him the most.
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His mother had simply confided, "I think I'm going to look for a church. The woman I'd so easily disregarded while she lived had become a dilemma in her death. I sat in my office, reflecting on all I had learned and struggling with the words I should speak at Sally's funeral. To many Christians, Sally's destiny was an easy judgment. Having never accepted Christ, Christ wouldn't accept her. She was doomed to hell.
I grew up believing we were destined for either heaven or hell. I was taught that only those who confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their Savior before they died would live with God forever. All the rest would suffer hell's eternal torment. As a child, I'd never questioned this formula. It was simple and clear.
As an adult, I'd held on to this belief despite life's complexities. Now Sally's life and death had unsettled what was once a sure conviction. In clear response to our prayers, she had been drawing close to God. She'd turned from the path of destruction. She'd been asking, seeking, and knocking. I couldn't believe God would invite Sally to his home, then slam the door as she stood at the threshold. It seemed a cruel joke See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book!
Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. About the Author. Let me tell you about Sally.