Does “Everyone” Include Satan?

July 21, 2017 at 10:01 am | Posted in Q&A | Leave a comment
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Question: We were telling our children that God loves everyone, but then they asked, “Does God love the devil?” What should I tell them?

Answer: First of all, you are correct in telling them that God loves everyone “in the world” (John 3:16). Of course, we also need to let our children know that God loves in greater ways than we do, and that God is so much greater than, and different from us, that it is possible for Him to harmonize His will and His feelings in ways that are not possible for us. In other words, God’s feelings are perfectly controlled, and are more holy than ours, so it is possible for Him to love His enemies (Romans 5:8) and hate His enemies (Psalm 5:5, 11:5) at the same time.

When it comes to the devil (and the angels for that matter), the Bible does not give us specific information on God’s “feelings” about them. He created them, and the angels obey Him, which must please Him, and He is love (I John 4:8), so it is possible that He loves them, but the Bible never really emphasizes that, as far as I know. Satan and his demons, on the other hand, disobeyed Him, and He cast them out, and He has not devised a plan of redemption for them the way that He has for us fallen human beings, so it is probably reasonable to say that God does not love them in the same way that He loves us (if He loves them at all).

What I would emphasize to children is that the devil made a horrible choice in trying to make himself equal to God (Isaiah 14:12-14) and he paid for it. Still, he does not want to be forgiven. He hated God first without a cause, and that will never change. Our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, committed the same sin: disobedience and self-idolatry (and, sadly, we still do it too, every day). But the fact that God was still willing to die for us, and forgive us, shows how great His love for us truly is. Meanwhile, no matter what His feelings toward Satan are, because He loves us, He will one day imprison Satan forever and ever in order to protect us from him (Revelation 20:3-10).

Catechism Question 9

July 18, 2014 at 9:40 am | Posted in Children's Bible Catechism | 3 Comments
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Question 6: What is wrong with you?
Answer: I was born a sinner, and I have sinned against God.
Prove it.
Psalm 51:5

Question 7: What is sin?
Answer: Sin is violating God’s law.
Prove it.
I John 3:4

Question 8: What is the punishment for sin?
Answer: The punishment for sin is death.
Prove it.
Ezekiel 18:4

Question 9: Since you are a sinner, how does God feel about you?
Answer: Even though I am a sinner, God loves me.
Prove it.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

When you ask question nine to your child, what you are hoping for here is an amazement – almost an incredulity that God could love a wicked sinner like me. You want your child to think or ask, “How can He forgive me when He has promised to punish all who sin?” You know you’re on the right track if you are getting those kinds of questions.

Do not gloss over the wickedness of sin. HOWEVER, you must not gloss over the richness of God’s love, either. Dwell on it here.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

II Peter 3:9

Careless Love – Part 2 (Divine Rapid Heart Rate)

April 14, 2010 at 10:22 am | Posted in Bible Studies | 7 Comments
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It might be hard to believe, but Christ Himself, the all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect, and righteous King over all creation, is smitten with love for an often-rebellious, -scornful, and –lukewarm bride.

Song of Solomon is the book of the Bible which beautifully and poetically sings the praises, not only of the love between a husband and wife, but also of the love of Christ for His bride, the Church.

Song of Solomon 4:9 says, “Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse; thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.”

How little we understand of Christ’s love! The word “ravish” means “to capture someone’s heart” – to make them come alive with desire – literally, “to cause the heartbeat to speed up.”

All day long Christians are going here, going there, trying to do this, to do that, to make money, to fulfill worldly obligations, to pursue entertainment, to try to keep track of the scores of things we think we have to do. Therefore, we sometimes let hours at a time go by without giving a single thought to our loving Lord.

Then, perhaps, in a moment of realization, we just cast an eye upward in prayer – maybe only for a quick, almost-heartless, almost-unfeeling prayer… and what happens?

Christ’s heart races! If we applied our finite understanding of “fairness,” we would have to say that His heart should not race – He should be angry and cold toward us for ignoring Him – but it does race. Such is the limitless, unsearchable love of God! His love is not a deserved love. It is the undeserved love of grace.

Men Rise and Fall, but the Lord Reigns Forever

January 14, 2010 at 9:24 am | Posted in Genesis | 3 Comments
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Few Bible patriarchs can match the sheer magnitude of Noah’s heroism. When every thought and imagination of all the men in the world was only evil continually, Noah alone found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Genesis 6:5-8). Our highest praise is not given to Noah, whose righteousness saved the human race. Our highest praise is reserved for God, Who, by grace, created a righteousness in Noah that allowed him to be used by God.

The years that followed were tough for Noah. Certainly he was ridiculed and ostracized as he and his sons labored to build an ark. Surely he experienced some moments of fear and doubt as God ripped open the crust of the earth and released the flood waters beneath, while also pouring down torrents from above. It would not be a stretch to suppose that Noah felt anxiety at times as he and his family and the animals were shut up in the ark for well over a year while God purged the world of external wickedness.

We might even imagine that Noah, seeing all the promises of God come true, and being the ultimate obedient survivor of the world’s greatest catastrophe, would have gone on to live victoriously, never failing to wait upon the Lord, nor to do His will. We know from Genesis Chapter Nine, however, that this was not the case.

And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.

Genesis 9:20-22

Men who are in danger, and are totally dependent upon God’s grace and mercy every moment, tend to have an easier time resisting sin. It is when a man begins to think that he is mighty – and that his past service to the Lord has earned him a special license to serve the flesh – that he is most prone to fall. Beware of the notion that God, just because He has decided to use you in a great way, will allow you to sin successfully.

Perfect Unbreakable Love

November 20, 2009 at 10:52 am | Posted in Eternity | 3 Comments
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True Christianity is so difficult for the unregenerate person to comprehend. People are born with an innate understanding that there is a God, and that, because of the hidden wickedness of their own hearts, they are not righteous before this God. So far, so good. But here is where the problem appears. Unregenerate sinners are blind to spiritual truth. Therefore, they grope about in the dark, and come up with this plan: “I will do enough good things to make up for my bad things, and God will be pleased.”

This flies right in the face of God’s revealed truth, which is found in the pages of the Holy Bible (Ephesians 2:9), but it makes a certain type of worldly, humanistic sense. After all, are not people supposed to do good things? The answer is that people are supposed to do good things, but not as a way to make God our debtor. Instead, God, in His grace and mercy, and for Christ’s sake (Ephesians 4:32), forgives us our sins when we trust in Him, and that motivates and empowers us to do good things.

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Colossians 3:13

Notice what comes first in that verse. Christ forgives me first, then I am able to forgive others. Not the other way around: I do not earn Christ’s forgiveness by first forgiving others. The following verses shed even more light:

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

Colossians 3:14

Charity (self-sacrificing, giving, Christian love) is first the act of God. And it is the bond of perfectness. We are to love others because Christ loved us first, and gave Himself for us (Ephesians 5:2). Christ’s love is so perfect and its bond is so unbreakable that the natural result is for me to want to emulate it after I have experienced it. However, even when my love fails, Christ’s love is still effectual. For Christ to reject the regenerate would make His love less than perfect, and His bond weak and breakable. These things simply cannot be.

Falling Out Before Men? Or Falling Down Before God?

November 10, 2009 at 11:11 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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The sinful mixing of a little good with something bad to corrupt the truth of God is not something that is new. In the days in which the Holy Spirit was inspiring the Words which make up the New Testament, an “antichrist” spirit was at work spreading falsehoods (I John 4:3).

For example, “good works” are, Scripturally, good things (Ephesians 2:10), but they do not save souls (Ephesians 2:8-9). Angels are worthy of respect (Jude v. 8), but they are not to be worshiped (Colossians 2:18). Likewise, it is a good thing to be a “saint” (Philippians 4:21-22), but we should never pray to them (I Timothy 2:5).

The devil, throughout history, has found fertile ground in subtly substituting man-based theories of righteousness for the God-centered Truth of Scripture. Even today, there are those who stand on proclamations of faith while invoking praises to themselves among their followers. These are those who shake out their coats, causing audience-members to swoon and faint as if overcome with the power of God. Some call down “healing” on the same followers week after week for the amusement of the crowds. Among such, the ability to raise the dead is thought to be proof of the highest level of faith.

Certainly Christ Himself has this power. However, the true measurement of faith is not an ability to impress men with spiritual gifts. It is the realization of our sin, compared to God’s holiness, while somehow yet receiving by faith the fact that He loves His true children unconditionally. The following passage of Scripture shows the attitude of the apostle Peter when he encountered Jesus Christ:

And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

Luke 5:5-8

And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Luke 5:11

Righteous Jealousy

September 30, 2009 at 8:42 am | Posted in Biblical Violence | 21 Comments
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A currently popular television talk show host grew up attending traditional Christian churches, holding to fundamental Biblical teaching and preaching. She recently explained her rejection of these beliefs by referring to something, at the age of 28, she heard preached in church: The God of the Bible is a jealous God. This struck her as very strange. How could God, Who is all-powerful, and Who owns everything, be jealous of human beings? What a tragic misunderstanding, and what a shallow view of Scripture.

Oh, God is jealous, alright.

God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.

Nahum 1:2

But He is not jealous of what people have or what they are able to do. He is jealous because of the love He has for his Own people. We might say He is jealous over His people, not of His people – the way a loving and faithful husband would be jealous over anything that would tend to steal his wife’s affection away from him.

God loves His people very much. And although we would rather hear about the love of God, we must not ignore the fact that God reserves wrath for the enemies of His people. Did you know that, even though God is love (I John 4:8), He also hates (Psalm 11:5)?

Recently, my wife and I visited California. On the flight I was reading Nahum Chapter 1, and looking down at the tops of the clouds, which the Bible calls “the dust of his feet,” and I got to thinking about some of the ways the Lord shows His righteous anger, and His power over His creation.

The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Nahum 1:3 (tornadoes, hurricanes, and storms)

He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.

Nahum 1:4 (droughts)

The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein.

Nahum 1:5 (earthquakes, mudslides, and forest fires)

Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him.

Nahum 1:6 (volcanoes, avalanches)

But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

Nahum 1:8 (floods)

Most people, when asked to quickly name the opposite of “love,” will blurt out, “hate.” But this is incorrect. The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference. And our loving and just and jealous God is anything but indifferent.

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Programming to Bring You this Important Announcement

June 5, 2009 at 10:45 am | Posted in Salvation | 2 Comments
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Please read this important message from the Bible: God loves you more than anyone else ever has or ever could. (John 3:16) You have sinned against Him. (Romans 3:23) There is a price that must be paid for your sins, and that price is death. (Romans 6:23) You could never pay that price yourself, but God’s Son, Jesus Christ, paid it for you. (Romans 5:8) To escape the punishment for your sins, you must know God’s Son, Jesus Christ, personally, as your Savior. (Romans 10:13).

Please take the time to look up these Bible verses and prayerfully consider what they mean.

God the Father; Grace the Mother

February 9, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Posted in Quotes | 3 Comments
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Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin.

-Charles H. Spurgeon

We must be thankful that God loves His children enough to chasten them. A father who indulges his children, even in the things that harm them, cannot be said to truly love them. The love of God for His children, however, is a perfect love. The evidence of that love is both kindness and chastening.

-Ministry Addict


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