Summary: The good news of God's Great love is that He wants us to live forever with Him. In a combined partnership between man and God, God will work with and through our faithfulness to Him to preserve us for eternity.
THE GOOD NEWS OF GOD’S GREAT LOVE
I. THE GOOD NEWS OF GOD’S GREAT LOVE IS OFFERED TO ALL MANKIND.
1.) The message of God’s great love was originally given Abraham, and to his descendants – the Jewish people
A.) Gen. 12:2
B.) From that time on, the descendants of Abraham felt that was a promise of God exclusively given to them.
C.) For many generations, most of the Jewish people believed that they, and they alone had exclusive rights to the benefits of God’s Messiah for mankind.
2.) The Good news of God’s love is that it was always intended for all of mankind.
A.) Gen. 12:3
B.)God said “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
ba.) This meant God’s salvation and Messiah would be given and offered to the Jewish people, but also to all peoples of the world.
C.) More than once, God had to remind the Jewish people of that truth.
ca.) Is. 42:6
cb.) Acts 1:8
cba.) Jerusalem/Judea – Pure Jewish
cbb.) Samaria -- Jewish halfbreeds who had intermarried with Gentiles.
cbc.)All the world -- Gentiles.
cc.) Acts 10 & 11 The Apostle Peter received a vision to go to the Gentiles.
cca.) He obeyed, but was quickly called to account for his actions afterward.
cd.) In the first century of the church, the greatest persecution of the church was because of Jewish Christians having trouble with the Gentiles receiving the benefits and blessings that God had given to the Jewish people, but it had always been part of God’s plan.
3.) When Jesus came into this world, He came as a Saviour for all of mankind.
A.) That is the message of John 3:16 God’s Great love is for the whole world.
B.) That message of God’s love for the entire world that was preached by the first century church is the same message that God had given to Abraham which we looked at in Gen. 12:3
II. THE BLESSINGS OF GOD’S GREAT LOVE ARE ONLY RECEIVED BY THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO LOVE GOD.
1.) A very real truth of Scripture and the Love of God is that God will not force His love on anyone.
A.) I am reminded of the words with which Joshua challenged the backsliding Israelites.
aa.) Josh. 24:15
15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
B.) The choice has always been given and left with man if he will follow or reject Jesus Christ.
ba.) God loves the world enough that He sent His only Son to die for us that we could come to Him.
baa.) When I think of that, it sounds like a love that is greater than what I could ever imagine.
bb.) Yet as great as the Love is, and as wonderful as His offer to us is, God loves us even more than that.
bba.) Even though God knows that his offer is greater than anything we could match or want, that He also loves us enough to not force His offer on any of us.
bbb.) Though it must really break the heart of God, he loves us so much that he gives us the freedom to accept or to reject the offer he has made for us, even knowing the risk and that we may not choose what is best or right.
2.) The Love of God is only enjoyed by those who have chosen to receive and enjoy it.
A.) When we initially come to Jesus Christ it is our choice to do so.
B.) Once we come to a saving relationship with Jesus
Christ, we still have the choice to enjoy that
relationship with Christ, or to reject Him, and all
that He offers to us.
ba.) This portion of Scripture in Romans 8 is a passage that many will use to teach (what I would consider the false doctrine of once saved, always saved.)
baa.) I want us to look at one verse of Scritpture from this passage that is usually overlooked when using this as a text to justify once saved always saved.
baa-1.) Rom. 8:28
baa-2.) Notice the object of those to whom these blessings of God are given: “to those who love God.”
baa-2i.) These blessings are conditioned by our own freewill love to God.
baa-2ii.) These blessings do not apply to those who choose to no longer follow, love, or serve God.
bab.) Today there are many churches that would hold to this teaching that had been brought into the church over the past few hundred years by a man named John Calvin.