Summary: God has a wonderfully divine plan for all mankind.
A Gospel message has multiple purposes: To draw the lost their savior; to strengthen and encourage the saints.
A Gospel message is important to “all” and very important to “someone” in particular.
(These few words seem to sum-up the purpose of the Word of God and the will of God for the entire world).
“That none should perish” – Aren’t you glad His plan (salvation) includes you? I know that I am thankful.
“Whosoever will, come” – God doesn’t delight in the death of any sinner; for His desire is for all to come unto Him, that none should be lost.
It is obvious from the Word of God that God knew from the beginning that not all receive His free-will offer of salvation; yet He made a plan and enacted it that would give every human being to ever exist to have eternal life if they so choose.
Jesus the Christ didn’t come to condemned the world – Nevertheless –
All who do not have the shed blood of Calvary on their life are condemned already.
The world in general seems to be ignorant of the Word of God and sadly many Christians are not students of the Word. “Study to show thyself approved of God, rightly dividing the Word of God.”
Even sadder than those who don’t know Him/His Word are those who do and backslidden and drowning in rebellion and sin.
(Tell of a backslider in such a state that she was so high she caught herself on fire and was passed out smoldering and her young son put her out.)
Thank God for preaching, preachers and good God fearing Christians.
For “By the foolishness of preaching” – not foolish preaching we are brought before the saving grace of Christ.
Let’s breakdown Psalm 67:1 from our text for in it is a God given three-fold understanding of how the world is going to know Him.
1) God be merciful unto us
2) And bless us
3) And cause His face to shine upon us
And the purpose of these three is: That thy way may be known upon the earth!
Now let’s look at each one of these:
1) God be merciful unto us:
This would seem to be where each of our relationships with Lord really gets going as we all come to Him laden with the sin nature we were born with and the abundance of sins we have harvested from that nature.
I dare say that if we could hear some of the testimonies (sad stories) from folks in the sanctuary today… “oh my”.
We would hear of the sad condition we were in when we were exposed to the love of Christ… addicts, cheats and liars, drunkards and brawlers, sick and depressed, broken and full of heart ache and loneliness, sinners – lost without God.
Sadly more-often-than-not we must hit bottom before we look up to Christ.
For we tend to not have much time for the Lord or the things of God when we seem to be doing well in this old world.
But when we hit bottom and everything is going wrong… that’s when we start looking for help.
Our first relationship with Jesus is “mercifulness”.
We throw ourselves upon His mercy: “Have mercy on me a sinner”
And thanks be-to God that He always answers that prayer!
When the grace of God comes into a life and His mercy is felt, it is like a ton of bricks being removed from off you back.
You heart is lightened.
“Come unto me all who are labored and have laden… I will give you rest.”
2) Bless us:
Being blessed of God means to be found in His favor.
That is to say: to make us joyful.
Being blessed of the Lord makes one feel content, peaceful.
3) Let your face shine on us:
The word here translated “shine” in Psalm 67:1 is only used 4 times in the Old Testament.
It is used in Psalm 80:1
Webster’s says “shine” means: to emit light.
In Hebrew it means: To glow like the break of the day in the East.
In Old Testament times one could not feel the very presence of God the way we can today.
For only the High Priest could enter into the very presence of God through the veil but once a year.
And here we are today in this place so very blessed because we can enter at will though the veil of Jesus’ flesh into the very presence of God.
When you are in love with someone, you want to spend time with them; not unload fire wood.
When it says, “shine upon us” I think one thing it is saying is “fall in love with us”.
Lord, let your light so shine.