ASK Commentary
September 30, 2003 

Reconciliation and Forgiveness

Commentary for September 30, 2003 — Reconciliation to God and Evil in the World

The two articles for the month of October are on the ASK Website. They are serious subjects that God deals with completely in His work through Christ, which Dr. Martin explains beautifully and which I expand upon. Please, read the “Newsletter” before reading the articles. Few people are aware of this wonderful information; few people in the world realize what God has done for them. Most people in the world either deny God, ignore God, or hate God. This is because,

1. God ignores them (even though the universe was created and is sustained by His Word,
    Colossians 1:16–17); or because
2. God has done evil or injury to them (real or imagined), or because
3. God has allowed evil and suffering to overtake them or their loved ones
God has chosen to reveal Himself throughout history only to a small group of people. The rest of humanity only have a vague idea that God is real. That is God’s plan. Things will change soon when God reveals His reality to the world.
God’s Love

In spite of humanity’s ignorance about God, it is clear in Scripture that God loves all human beings, as evidenced by the fact that,

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting [eonian] life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

John 3:16–17

Look at this passage and note two things. First, know that for the apostle John the incarnation of the Son was the means (and continues to the present!) whereby God shows His love for the world. This calls the world to a response. Second, the incarnation of Jesus Christ in his followers since Pentecost (“Christ in you, the hope of glory,” Colossians 1:27) is the means by which God continues to love the world. The process progressed with His death on the tree of crucifixion as Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me (John 12:32). All this was done according to God’s timetable.
Resentment and Hatred

Some are so full of despair that they feel they would rather die than live. While this may be an attempt by some people to get God’s attention, it is certainly unfortunate and mistaken. God can be influenced when done properly. See Dr. Martin’s enlightening articles, “The Essentials of Prayer” and “The Repentance of God in the Bible.” Such people resent or even hate God even to the extent that they have learned to love death, probably without even realizing it.. Do you doubt that? Well, consider Proverbs chapter 8 where the discussion is wisdom. By indulging in their resentment and hatred for God, people injure themselves. They literally learn to love death. Although the context within the passage is the personification of wisdom, the true object is God,

“But he that sins against me wrongs his own soul: all they that hate me love death.”

Proverbs 8: 36

In fact such hatred of God can exist in families over multiple generations.
“You shalt not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”

Exodus 20:5 (repeated in Deuteronomy 5:9)

Resentment and hatred toward God is pointless, useless and causes the persons who hate still more pain, if not for themselves, then for their loved ones. It is a no-win situation, and it does not really hurt God, who has made provision for your salvation, for an end to your suffering, your pain and who reconciled you to Himself long before you were born.
God Hates

If you must hate, hate what God hates.

Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate.”

Amos 5:15

There is no definite article attached to either evil or good, and the phrase should be, “Hate evil and love good ...” In this passage in Amos you should hate evil in general, not some specific evil. This is reiterated in Psalms,
“For thou, Lord, are high above all the earth: you are exalted far above all gods. You that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserves the souls of his saints; he delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.”

Psalm 97:9–12

God also hates false ways (Psalm 119:104, 128), a lack of commitment or vain thoughts (verse 113) and lying (verse 163). A more specific list of things God hates is in Proverbs.
“These six things does the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination to him:
1. A proud look,
2. A lying tongue, and
3. Hands that shed innocent blood,
4. An heart that devises wicked imaginations,
5. Feet that be swift in running to mischief,
6. A false witness that speaks lies, and
7. He that sows discord among brethren.”

Proverbs 6:16–19

Note the things that we should do counterposed with the things that God hates,
“These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.”

Zechariah 8:16–17

From Hatred to Love

While evil and suffering are worthy subjects for study and thought, life cannot be lived by dwelling too much on such things, unless you have immediate needs to do so. Paul as usual has excellent advice.

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren,

whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report;

if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things ...”

Philippians 4:6–8

What things are those? Where were such things learned? How did the Philippians learn about them? They were taught to the Philippians from the Word of God through Paul,
“... those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Philippians 4:9

God does not promise relief from your troubles in this lifetime, but he does promise “the peace of God which passes all understanding," through awe and knowledge of His Word and through a recognition of God’s reconciliation through Christ Jesus, and His love for YOU individually. This is what you should think about.
Housekeeping

The book 101 Bible Secrets is starting a new cycle. It is being offered on the ASK webpage in serialized form on the Internet. Each week we put up 5 different secrets from the Bible. If you have not read this book, it is fascinating. It contains short digest-sized articles, with bits of information about the Bible, its characters and facts you never imagined about the Bible. Even if you have read it before, now is the time to read it again — from the beginning. Tell your friends about this book, and then order it to give it to them as a gift. We are also gratified about the VERY positive response to our putting Dr. Ernest L. Martin’s book The Star That Astonished the World on the ASK Website. Many people new to ASK have sought to purchase the book because of the serialization of the book. You also may wish to purchase a copy for friends or relatives or to re-read it yourself in book form. Thank you for all your interest and support, first by your prayers and then by your contributions to this effort to promote the Gospel of God and Jesus Christ in its own small way around the world.

David Sielaff
david@askelm.com

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