Monday, March 6, 2017

Acts 3:17-26

Acts 3:17-26
English Standard Version (ESV)

  When I lived in Atlanta, there was a man who stood on a popular intersection with a microphone in one hand.  The other end of the microphone wire was plugged into a speaker, which sat in a stroller that faced the traffic, so passing cars could listen to threats of hell and damnation as they waited for the light to turn.  The scene was always somewhere between amusing and sad, because some people paint a picture of God that makes him sound eager to condemn.  Now, I do believe that hell is a real place, but the testimony of much of the New Testament proclaims a God whose mission is to gather as many people as possible into the grace of God, saving us from sin.  God sends warning after warning, displaying incredible patience with a people reluctant to heed the call to repentance.   God wants us all to turn back from sin and receive the free gift of grace.
  Of course, it's hard to repent.  I hate admitting that I'm wrong.  I'd much rather ignore the facts and let my pride win out.  Stubbornness isn't going to help, however -- I don't think God is going to admit that I'm right!
  No, the wiser path is to admit that we are wrong, that we are sinful, and that we are in need of grace.  God wants to restore us to life, and may we receive it joyfully, trusting that our sins are cast into the depths of the oceans, never to be remembered in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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