YOU HAVE HEARD THAT IT WAS SAID – Kenneth Larsen
“You hear that it was declared, ‘You shall be loving your associate’ and you shall be hating your enemy. Yet I am saying to you, Love your enemies, and pray for those who are persecuting you, so that you may become sons of your Father Who is in the heavens, for He causes His sun to rise on the wicked and the good, and makes it rain on the just and the unjust. For if ever you should love those who are loving you, what wages have you? Are not the tribute collectors also doing the same? And if ever you should greet your brothers only, what are you doing that is excessive? Are not those of the nations also doing the same? You, then, shall be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matt. 5:43-48.
You have heard that it was said, “God hates those people so much He’s going to torment them in the flames.”
But God says, “To no one render evil for evil; rather, conquer evil with good. In doing this, you will be heaping embers of fire on his head.” Ro. 12:17-21.
You have heard that it was said, “God offers salvation to all mankind, but only saves those who believe before they die.” But God says, “I AM the living God, the Savior of all mankind, especially of believers. These things be charging and teaching.” 1 Timothy 4:10, 11.
You have heard that it was said, “Some people are impossible to save; their stubborn will is just too strong!”
But God says, “With Me nothing is impossible; no one is stronger than Me!” Matt. 19:25, 26; 1 Cor. 10:22.
You have heard that it was said, “God wishes He could reconcile all the estranged on earth and in the heavens, but He has to have cooperation from those on earth; He can’t do it alone. As for those estranged in the heavens, they’re hopeless.” But God says, “Through Christ I will reconcile all to Myself (making peace through the blood of His cross), through Him, whether those on the earth or those in the heavens.” Colossians 1:20, 21.
You have heard that it was said, “For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, all those who are in Christ shall be vivified.” But God says, “For even as, in Adam, all are dying, thus also, in Christ, shall all be vivified.” 1 Cor. 15:22.
You have heard that it was said, “Seek God and you’ll be saved. Your salvation depends on how you exercise your free will. If you’re lost, it will be your own fault.” But God says, “No one is seeking Me. All avoid Me. Consequently, then, it is not of him who is willing, nor of him who is racing, but of My mercy.” Romans 3:11, 12; 9:16.
You have heard that it was said, “The second death will be eternal; there’s no escaping the lake of fire.”
But God says, “The last enemy is being abolished: death.” 1 Corinthians 15:26.
You have heard that it was said, “When God doesn’t give the person the chance to hear the Gospel, it’s because He knows they would have rejected it anyway.” But God says, “My saving grace makes its advent to all humanity. Jesus enlightens every soul who enters the world, and He will draw all to Himself.” Titus 2:11; Jn. 1:9; 12:32.
You have heard that it was said, “The subjection of all to Christ will, in many cases, involve compulsion, rather than the reception of a body of glory.” But God says, “Christ will transfigure the body of humiliation, to conform it to the body of His glory, in accord with the operation which enables Him even to subject all to Himself. Every tongue will acclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord, by Holy Spirit.” 1 Cor. 12:3; Phil. 2:9-11; 3:21.
You have heard that it was said, “All mankind is condemned in Adam, but only some of them will receive justification in Christ.” But God says, “Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through one just award for all mankind for life’s justifying. For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted just.” Romans 5:18, 19.
You have heard that it was said, “God wills all mankind be saved, but that’s really just wishful thinking.”
But God says, “The Lamb of God takes away the sin of the world, annulling the acts of the Adversary! My will is to save all, and I operate all in accord with the counsel of My will.” John 1:29; 1 Jn. 3:8; 1 Tim. 2:1-6; Eph. 1:11.
You have heard that it was said, “God expects something from us (to exercise our free will) before His grace will be of any benefit to us. God loves His enemies, and will give the most ungrateful and wicked among them the wages of sin (death) forever.” But God says, “And if you are loving those loving you, what thanks [grace] is it to you? For sinners also are loving those loving them. And if you should be doing good to those doing good to you, what thanks [grace] is it to you? For sinners also are doing the same. And if you should ever be lending to those from whom you are expecting to get back, what thanks [grace] is it to you? For sinners also are lending to sinners, that they may get back the equivalent. Moreover, be loving your enemies, and be doing good, and be lending, expecting nothing from them, and your wages will be vast in the heavens, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” Luke 6:32-35.