Let’s View Unsaved People As Loved By God
Over sixty years ago, Dr. Bill Bright shook up the accepted Christian thinking of his time by creating a tract that didn’t start with people being sinners. Instead his tract started with God’s love for people. Dr. Bright’s contemporaries thought he was hiding the truth of people being sinners in need of a savior by burying it as the second point.
While most of us nowadays will not have a problem with this order, I will would still like to support how it was the way Jesus treated people. Although accused of it many times, Jesus never condoned sin. However He always expressed His concern for the person before telling them not to sin – healing the invalid first (John 5:1-15) and first forgiving the adulterous woman (John 8:3-11). Jesus wants us to know the love of God before focusing on our sin.
I Have a Problem With the Four Spiritual Laws
I do, however, have a disagreement with the Four Spiritual Laws, and it’s not one that I’ve seen many others have. In fact, I know I am verging on unsafe ground that is not normal Christian thought, so feel free to disagree and offer your thoughts in the comments. Before I continue, let me say I love Dr. Bright and believe in the effectiveness of the Four Spiritual Laws.
With these basis covered, I hope I’m now among friends… I don’t believe man is separated from God and therefore cannot experience God’s love for him.
This does not mean that we don’t need to confess the name of Jesus. It also doesn’t mean that nobody will go to hell. I do believe we are sinful without Christ and Jesus is God’s only provision for man’s sin. What I believe that is different is that everybody has open access to God. At the cross God removed everything that separated us from Him. We can all experience the love of God.
There is Now No Separation Between Us and God
When Jesus gave up the spirit on the cross, the curtain at the temple was torn in two (Matthew 27:50-51). This curtain was what separated the holy God from sinful people. No longer is there any separation.
It is His kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). Without God freely loving us, we cannot turn from our sins to live for God. With the separation removed, God freely loves sinners to woo them to Himself.
Jesus spend most of His ministry on earth hanging out with the prostitutes and tax collectors, the sinners of His day. He freely loved them. He picks out Zacchaeus house to eat dinner. Zacchaeus responds by giving back to those he stole from and giving half of his possessions to the poor (Luke 19:1-10). When we experience the love of God, we more naturally respond to God.
How Does God View Unsaved People?
I recently started thinking about all this while reading 2 Corinthians 5.
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Having been reconciled, we have now been given the ministry of reconciliation. This ministry is not warning people about God’s judgment of our sins. The punishment of sin has been taken away from us and put on Jesus. The ministry of reconciliation is telling people about how much God loves them and allowing them to experience that love. Let’s stop scaring people into the kingdom. There is no room for fear in a kingdom ruled by love. Let’s allow people to fall in love with Jesus and allow that love affair to make all the difference in the world for them.
God no longer views unsaved people as sinners. He is not counting people’s sins against them (2 Corinthians 5:19). Therefore, from now on we also should not regard anyone from that point of view (2 Corinthians 5:16). Unsaved people are blinded by the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:4). They do not know what is freely available for them. If they could only hear how much they are loved and experience more of that love, they would run to God’s arms to find new life.