Summary: God is the One who has the right to decide what we do when we choose to accept Him as our personal Savior.
"It’s not about me…It’s all about Him!"
Revelation 4:11 & Revelation 3:20- "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were" "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Have you ever thought about Christ’s death on the cross, and why He had to do so; or about the seeming contradiction that if God so loved the world, why does He still send those who do not accept Him as Savior to Hell; or about why He doesn’t just get rid of all the sin in the world: so that we don’t have to worry about falling into temptation; or about why He doesn’t just take us to heaven now: so that we can avoid the trials and tribulations that are a very real part of our lives?
Well, even though there are literally hundreds of questions that we could ask concerning God and His purpose for our lives, there is one basic flaw in all of them: God is not at the center of them - man is! In other words, what we are really asking is: "Why doesn’t God conform to my wishes?" Well, contrary to what you might think, we were not created to live our own lives, or to do things our way, we were created in order to have a loving relationship with God: our Creator.
Revelation 4:11 tells us that "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." And in Philippians 2:13 Paul tells us that "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." In other words, it’s not our responsibility to decide what our purpose on earth should be, it’s God’s! God doesn’t need to alter His plan for our lives; we need to yield ours to Him!
You see, God did not create us as robots: God does not force us to love Him! And why is this? Well, if we were forced to love God, then it would not be love at all. The Bible tells us that man is the crown of all of God’s creations; simply because we are created in His image. And because we were, we were given the capacity to choose whether or not to love Him.
Therefore, the entire focus of God’s love for us, and for the death of His only begotten Son on Calvary’s cross, is not to keep us out of hell by forcing us to love Him; it’s to provide a way in which those who do believe in Him can restore that face-to-face relationship with God that was lost when Adam sinned.
Now, why would God send anyone to hell? Why would He send a person to Hell, simply because they did not want to love, or have a relationship with Him? Well, in order to answer that question, let me begin by making an observation - one that you may have never thought about: Old Testament believers were not saved by keeping the law, they were also saved through the cross of Jesus Christ!
Yes, that’s true! The purpose of the law was not to create a way in which people could be saved; it was to prepare their hearts for the coming Christ. In other words, people who lived in Old Testament days kept the law out of faith in God’s promised provision for sin: they didn’t trust in God’s law to save them, they looked ahead to the coming Messiah…they obeyed God out of faith.
Look at Romans 3:19, 20: "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin."
Now, just like people in the Old Testament were not saved by any works of righteousness that they did, we aren’t saved by what we do either. For just as they accepted Christ by looking "forward" to the coming Christ, we accept Christ by looking "backward" at the finished work on the cross. Ephesians 2:8-9 says: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." In other words, it is not, and never has been, works of righteousness that justified anyone. It is, and always has been, nothing more than obedience through faith.