Hello and welcome to episode 100 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklēsian House.  I am so glad that we made it to 100, I’m so glad that you’re here with us. We’re going to push on through this thing, this is monumental.  This is the sequel to God’s Conditional Love, it’s called, “Christ Met Those Conditions.”

 

We spent the whole last episode establishing that Love is a verb that requires action and for God it became impossible for Him to take action in Love, number one due to his Holy nature and our fallen nature, and number two because He had given His word that humanity was the authority over the Earth and themselves.  For God to violate either of these things He would no longer be God.

 

In episode 98 we read through Hebrews 10 and I tagged on to the end of the episode that while the chapter itself sounds like Paul is preaching universalism that this is far from the case.  There have been some great universalists out there, C.S. Lewis, the author of “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” is among the most popular of the universalists. However, I find the idea that Christ did away with Hell and faith in Christ isn’t necessary for salvation to be at odds with most of the writings of the New Testament authors.  I have been labeled a universalist because of my views on God’s love, but as previously stated, I don’t adhere to that belief structure. Christ having met the conditions for God’s Love once for all does not give everyone a get out of Hell free pass, so to speak. So I’m going to share a short anecdote and then we’ll consider a very similar analogy that might help.

 

A very religious man was once caught in rising floodwaters.  He climbed onto the roof of his house and trusted God to rescue him.  A neighbor came by in a canoe and said, “The waters will soon be above your house.  Hop in and we’ll paddle to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man.  “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A short time later the police boat came by.  “The waters will soon be above your house. Hop in and we’ll take you to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man.  “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

A little time later a rescue services helicopter hovered overhead, let down a rope ladder and said.  “The waters will soon be above your house. Climb the ladder and we’ll fly you to safety.”

“No thanks” replied the religious man.  “I’ve prayed to God and I’m sure he will save me”

All this time the floodwaters continued to rise until soon they reached above the roof and the religious man drowned.  When he arrived at the judgment seat he demanded to be heard. He ended up waiting for his turn and finally when it was time he asked, “Lord, why didn’t you save me from drowning in that flood?  I prayed for you to save me, I trusted you to save me and I still died.”

“Yes you did,” replied the Lord. “And I sent you a canoe, a boat, and a helicopter. But you never got in.”

 

Now imagine it’s you.  You live in New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina is on its way.  Did you create the hurricane? No. Are you still subject to its wrath?  Yes. This is sin. Did you and I create sin? Did we create the hurricane?  No, but we’re still victims to it. So the hurricane hits and by some miracle your house isn’t destroyed, but the flooding is preventing you from escaping to safety.  Again, by some miracle, the flooding doesn’t destroy your house and you make it up onto the roof. Water is rushing past your house faster than you can swim, if you even try to enter the water you’ll be swept away and die.  You can’t dip your toe into, you can’t scoop some of it up to enjoy, it will seep you away and you will die. Remember the hurricane and the rising water here are sin. The water is continuing to rise and you are going to be consumed by something that isn’t your fault.  It happened to you, but you're still subject to it.

 

Then you see that the Coast Guard is picking people up off of the other roofs.  That is salvation. Because salvation exists, because the Coast Guard is saving people off of their roofs, that means you’re automatically saved, right?  The flood waters don’t affect you anymore, you’re not going to be swept away. Of course not. What happens if the Coast Guard gets to your roof and you say, “Nope, I didn’t create this hurricane, and all this water isn’t my fault.”  And you refuse their help sending them on their way? The water keeps rising and you're swept away, right? But, if you grab their rope. If you’ll put on that life preserver. Then when the water overtakes your roof, instead of being swept away, you’ll be saved.

 

This is the issue at hand, we’re here living our lives on our roofs with the water rising. God has found a way to fix the problem of sin.  A way that doesn’t violate His nature, a way that God can still be God and keep His word. We have a problem you and I didn’t create, but that exists all the same.  Either you reach out and take that lifeline so the water doesn’t carry you away, or you’re swept away into Hell. Just because God’s created a lifeline doesn’t mean you don’t have to grab it to be saved.  You still have to grab the lifeline. This is God’s love that He made a way to create the lifeline. But, the existance of the lifeline does not mean that you are automatically saved.

 

So, is God’s love conditional?  My response is that God’s love has always been conditional, Jesus met those conditions once for all.  This is the good news of the Gospel, not that we loved God so He responded. But that God loved us and proved that love by finding a way without violating His word or nature to meet the conditions of His love once for all.  This love is what we are responding to in salvation. It is by grabbing that lifeline, by believing in your heart, and by holding tight to that lifeline as it drags you out of the water, confessing with your mouth, that we are saved.

 

My final thoughts are pretty well summed up by Paul in Hebrews 6:1-3, and some of this will be a paraphrase because we don’t have time to go into what each of these phrases means here.  “Therefore let us leave the elementary teaching about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from sin, faith in God, teaching about water baptism, laying of on hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.  And we will do this, if God permits.”

 

This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”

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