Summary: The text for this message is 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as come people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.”
ALL PEOPLE MATTER TO GOD
2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise to return, as come people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.”
Jesus told three parables in Luke 14-15 that teach all people matter to God.
In Luke 14:15-24 Jesus told the story of the “Great Feast.” A man threw a great party and invited many friends. He sent out his messengers to give personal invitations to his friends to come to his party. His servants reported back to their master that everyone he invited had excuses and refused to come.
The master told his servants “Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the city and invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.” Luke 14:21 - The servant came back and said there is still more room in the banquet hall. The servant’s master then said, “Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full.” Luke 14:23
Jesus was teaching in the parable of the “Great Feast” that all people matter to God. There is room in God’s Kingdom for all who will accept God’s invitation. To become part of God’s Kingdom requires a positive response to come to the table of God’s love and grace.
In Luke 15 Jesus tells the story of lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son. Jesus said a Shepherd counts his 100 sheep at the end of the day and if one is missing will go out and search until he finds the lost sheep. Jesus said: “In the same way, heaven will be happier over one lost sinner who returns to God than over ninety nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!” Luke 15:7
Jesus then told the parable of a woman who had ten silver coins. The ten coins represented her fidelity in her marriage. One coin was missing and she was desperate to find it and continue to receive honor from her husband. She searched in desperation until she found the one lost coin. When she finds the coin she throws a party for all her friends and neighbors to celebrate the fact that she found the coin and proved her integrity in marriage. Jesus said, “In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
The parable of the lost son demonstrated the love of God for all lost people. God never gives up on anyone. As long as a person has breath God waits patiently for the person to turn around and come back home.
God’s Word teaches that
I. God Does Not Show Favoritism
All People Matter to God – God in His Divine wisdom does not limit His love only to those He believes are worthy of His salvation.
Jesus and the disciples did not teach that only Jews can be saved. They did not teach that Jesus was a Jew and came to provide salvation only to Jews. Jesus said: “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life.” John 3:16 - God so loved the world, the world includes Jesus and Gentiles.
When Jesus died on the cross He did not limit His atonement for just a few people to receive His forgiveness and salvation. God’s grace reaches out to all: Jew, Gentile, Red, Yellow, Black and White people matter to God.
God does not say, “I will determine who will be saved and those who will be lost.” God reaches out in His love to all. The Apostle Peter declared: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promises as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 All have the privilege of coming to Jesus.
Jesus reaches out to all people. Jesus associated with a wide range of people. He ate with the disciples, with tax collectors and sinners, with Pharisees and publicans, with outcasts, and with a well know notorious cheat named Zacchaeus. All people regardless of their socio-economic or cultural background were invited by Jesus to become part of His Kingdom.
Today Jesus doesn’t say, “You better be white, or black, or pro-life, or liberal, or Democratic, or republican, or young, or old, or single, or rich.” Jesus is for all people who are missing from being participants in His Kingdom.
Jesus taught that God does not show favoritism. Jesus also taught that
II. God’s Grace is not Limited.
Jewish leaders taught with strong conviction that only Jews could experience the Love of God. Only Jews who were circumcised could have the assurance of God’s forgiveness and salvation.