Revelation 3:20a, “Behold, I Stand At the Door”

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me.”  

Revelation 3:20 is a very familiar Scripture.  One of my earliest memories is sitting in a church service in which a famous picture derived from this verse was being explained.  I don’t remember a lot about it anymore, except that it was the usual approach that Christ is standing at the door of the heart of the lost sinner, calling to him to open the door and let the Lord in.  One preacher in this vein even went so far as to refer to our Lord as “the Christ of the bloody knuckles.”

Ah, beloved, the Lord God and His Son have more interest in and concern for the salvation of sinners than you or I can even begin to imagine.  Look at all they’ve done to bring it about.  Salvation isn’t just the thing of a moment, the result of an “oops” on God’s part when our first parents fell.  It wasn’t some result of a “hastily called emergency meeting,” as one writer put it.  How anyone can even think such a thing of our God is beyond me.  There are no “emergencies” with God.

No. no.

Scripture tells us salvation stretches from eternity past, when it was conceived in the heart, mind, purpose and action of God, through today and the work of the Spirit in regenerating sinners and bringing them to faith in the Lord Jesus, into the boundless eternity of the future in the presence of These who loved us and gave themselves for us.  It was the Lord Jesus who died on the Cross, but the others have been or are just as active and have their own part in our salvation.

Christmas, just a few days from now, should remind us of all this.

But that’s not what John is telling us.  Our Lord is not talking to sinners, but to His own churches!  And since churches are made up of individuals, He’s talking to the individual members of those churches.

It ought to be a staggering thought – that the Lord of the church stands on the outside!  Asking for entrance!  No wonder John records Him as saying, “Behold”!

This doesn’t mean that the Lord is impotent, or that He “must” wait for us to “take the first step.”  It does mean that we are responsible for how we respond to His commands, and His entreaties.  Besides, Scripture tells us that He is quite able to open the door Himself, cf. Acts 16:14, which tells of us of Lydia, whose heart the Lord opened…to heed the things spoken by Paul.

And we are responsible to respond.  Make no mistake about it.  Some have taken the sovereignty of God to such an extreme that they almost make men puppets or robots.  Or take them out of the picture altogether.  They’re like those who responded to William Carey, “the father of modern missions,” who felt a call and desire to go to India.  In effect, he was told, “Young man, if God wants to save the heathen, He can do it without you.”  Others go to the other extreme and make God little more than a humble supplicant at the throne of man’s will.

We’re not sticks or stones.  And we don’t just run on instinct, as much of the animal world seems to.  We’re creatures with intellect, emotions and will. We’re able to think, to feel, and to do.  The fact that these faculties have all been corrupted by the Fall of Adam doesn’t make us any less responsible to use them, or for how we use them.

Churches.

The Lord’s talking to them.

I wonder how many in their church services really look to see if the Lord is with them, or if He’s on the outside.  Or if they assume that just because they’re there, then so is He.  And Baptists tend to be as bad at this as those “formal” churches they differ with.  After all, their “order of services” is pretty much as “set” as any routine in any liturgical church.

But He’s not talking just to individuals in churches.

There’s so much application here.

He’s talking to churches, yes.

But I think He might also be talking to –

Families…

Neighborhoods…

Cultures…

Our nation….

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock….”

 

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“The Kindness of God.” Part 2: “Sin Entered.”

We began our post last time using the question in Psalm 8:4 as a starting point, what is man, that you are mindful of him?   We looked at the creation of Adam and Eve and their subsequent disobedience to a simple command of God: a single tree in the Garden is out of bounds.  And He told them why, they would die.  We discussed what that meant to them.

In this lesson, we want to look at what that means to us.

The Scripture speaks of man being created “in the image of God,” as we’ll see below, and so there are those who talk of  “the divinity of man,” and the “divine spark” in his heart that only needs to be fanned a little for man to show what a wonderful person he really is deep down inside.  This isn’t what the Scripture means.  God did not create another “god.”

B. The Condition of the Family of Adam and Eve.

In Romans 5, Paul built upon the historical fact of the Fall of our first parents in his development of its effects.  Scripture from Genesis to Revelation shows us the condition of the human family.

1.  Man is fallen naturally, Genesis 5:3.

More attention should be paid to this verse.  Genesis 1:27 says that God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him. However, Genesis 5:3 says that Adam…fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth (emphasis added).  There are those who believe that every infant is born “in the Garden,” that is, innocent and without sin.  Innocent they may indeed be of actual transgression, but, as there was never an infant born in the actual Garden, so there is no infant born without a sin nature.  It doesn’t take very long in real life for an infant to demonstrate that he is indeed a sinner, “born and bred.”  No parent ever has to teach his child to be selfish, be dishonest, to lie or to cheat.  They go astray as soon as they are born, Psalm 58:3.  There is no “divinity” in man; there is only, if I may coin a phrase, “devility.”

2.  Man is dead spiritually, Ephesians 2:1-3.

Paul described the unsaved as dead in trespasses and sins.  Clearly, this doesn’t mean non-existence or unconsciousness, as some erroneously teach about physical death.  However, spiritual death cannot be compared exactly to physical death.  A corpse is totally passive and unresponsive, seeing nothing, feeling nothing, knowing nothing and doing nothing.  It is completely indifferent to its surroundings.  It is dead.  However, according to Paul, spiritual death is a condition of separation from, rebellion against and resistance to God.

“Death” refers to both an event and to a condition.  We say, “So-and-so died,” referring to the event that ends physical life.  We say, “So-and-so is dead,” referring to the condition that results from the event.  For mankind spiritually, the event took place when Adam disobeyed God.  From that time forward, beginning with Cain and continuing down to us and our children and grandchildren, every single one of us has been born into the condition of spiritual death.  We are “born dead” spiritually as surely as we are “born alive” physically.  This condition has two elements:

a.  separation.

Physical death separates us from our family and friends; spiritual death separates us from God.  To the church at Ephesus, Paul wrote of their pre-conversion life in part as being separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, having no hope and without God in the world, Ephesians 2:12, (emphasis added).  In spite of all the religion in the world, without the Lord Jesus Christ we are all afar off from God, Ephesians 2:13.  We are dead to God.  But there is also –

b.  alienation.

Paul wrote to the church at Colosse that they once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, Colossians 1:21.  In our natural state, so far from our being His children and He the Father of all mankind, as many believe, – so far from our struggling toward Him in some dim and obscure fashion, – so far from our being on one of the many roads which lead to heaven, – we are His enemies, Romans 5:10.  We have turned every one to his own way, Isaiah 53:6.  We are dead in trespasses and sins, Ephesians 2:1 (emphasis added).

3.  Man is dysfunctional personally. 

Another term for this is “total depravity,” which conveys an inaccurate picture.  When we think of someone who is depraved, we think of a Hitler or some vile criminal.  However, that’s not really the meaning of the word.  Even Hitler did “good” on occasion.  The word itself comes from the Latin.  “Pravus” means “bent” or “crooked,” and “de” is a particle emphasizing the meaning of the word.  So then, being “totally depraved” means that we are “thoroughly bent.”  We are dysfunctional; nothing works right.

As to his personality, man may be considered in three aspects:  mind, emotions and will.  With his mind, man thinks, reasons, understands.  With his emotions, he has feelings and desires.  With his will, he makes choices and decisions.  The Fall has affected all three of these areas, even the will.

a. the mind.

Part of our difficulty lies in the fact that we are finite, that is, mere creatures, trying to understand the works and ways of One who is infinite.  As well might an amoeba try to understand physics as for us to “understand” God.  Still, our main difficulty lies in the fact that we are fallen, sinful creatures.  Even what little we do know is messed up.  Jude wrote, whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these they corrupt themselves, Jude 10.  No part of our lives or being has escaped being “messed up” by the fallenness, the sinfulness, of man.

However, the fatal flaw lies in our lack of “spiritual” understanding.  In 1 Corinthians 2:14, Paul taught that the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. Two things are in this verse:  1). We won’t receive the things of God because we think they’re foolish.  This refers to our attitude toward them.  2).  We can’t received the things of God because we don’t have the ability to receive them.  We are dead in regard to them.  In Romans 8:7, Paul wrote, the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot (emphasis added).  “The mind set on the flesh” is another way to describe “the natural man:”  us as we’re born physically.

b.  the emotions.

Our Lord taught that men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil, John 3:19.  For the most part, man loves his sin and is quite content to remain in “darkness.”  As long as the gospel “invitation” centers on his escaping the consequences of his sin, man will listen.  “Do you want to be saved from hell?”  Of course, he does, even if he doesn’t believe such a place exists.  Folks may joke about it or use it as a swear word, but no one in their right mind wants to go there.  However, if the question is, “Do you want to be saved from your sins?” the response is usually quite different.

c.  the will.

Here’s where the controversy lies.  Many who say they believe in “total depravity” believe as well, contrary to Scripture, man is able to understand and to receive the things of God, especially salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, without or perhaps with a little grace that leaves the final choice up to man.  After all, “whosoever will.”  However, Revelation 22:17 says, And let him that is athirst come.  And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely (KJV).  How many people out there in the world, or even in “church” for that matter, are “athirst” for the water of life?

At the same time, let us agree that man does indeed have a will.  When I say the will been affected by the Fall, I don’t mean that it has been destroyed, as some claim the doctrines of grace teach.  We make choices all the time, even about spiritual matters and about God and His Word.  Indeed, it is the choices we make that determine the kind of life we lead and the kind of person we are.  Man has a will.

The question is not whether or not we have a will, but how does it work?  In other words, how does a man or woman, boy or girl, decide something at any particular moment and in any given situation?  What “decides” the deciding?

Further, let us agree that the man or woman, girl or boy, actually makes the choice and does the acting.  We’re neither puppets or robots.  On the one hand, it’s possible to take a belief in the sovereignty of God to the point where that is what is really being said.  For example, I used to know a brother who would always say, “I was caused to believe.”  He would never say, “I believe.”  Cf. 2 Timothy 1:12.  The sovereignty of God does not negate, diminish or undermine the will of man.  On the other hand, it’s possible so to emphasize man’s will that a “No Trespassing” sign is, in effect, put up, and God can’t do anything in our lives without our permission.  Though much more prevalent, this view is as wrong as the other.

In order to understand how the will functions, look at two examples of its working:  one before the Fall, and one after.

Genesis 3:6 says, …when the woman saw that the tree was food for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…. Her mind and her emotions were both involved.  The fruit of the tree was good for food and could make one “wise.”   These appealed to her thought, her mind.  The tree was a delight to the eyes, and its fruit desired.  These appealed to her feelings, her emotions.  Based on these factors, Eve “willed,” deciding to take and eat the fruit.  Her choice did not happen by itself.  Neither do ours.

We see the other example, after the Fall, in Joshua 7, especially v. 21.  Compare the two incidents.  They are identical.

If a person is hostile toward God, thinks His Word is foolish and wants no part of righteousness, it’s unreasonable to assume that his will, his choice, is not affected and determined by these things.  As much as modern man might want it, the will is not isolated and insulated from what we are.  It’s in the same boat we are, and goes along for the ride quite “willingly.”

Beside the will does “decide,” but follow through isn’t always successful.  How many of you have decided to lose weight, or quit smoking or some other bad habit?  How about starting some good habit, like exercising or reading Scripture more faithfully or more regular prayer?  Paul knew this:  to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good, I find not, Romans 7:18.

4.  Man is declared guilty judicially, John 3:18. 

In Ephesians 2:3, Paul wrote that even believers, though elect from the foundation of the world, 1:4, are by nature children of wrath, just as the others.  See also John 3:36; Romans 3:19.  There is a mistaken notion that everybody is headed for “a better place,” regardless of what kind of life was lived by the person going there, or what kind of person they were.  However, John 3:18 says of those who do not believe in Christ that they are condemned already.  We may not want to believe it, but Scripture reveals that it is already too late.  It’s too late for good works, for reformation, for turning over a new leaf!  Apart from the Lord Jesus, we’re condemned already!  It’s too late for religion, for ceremony, for good intentions.  The verdict has already been reached:  we are guilty before God and sentenced for execution.  Apart from the Lord Jesus, this life is little more than a cell on death row, and life is simply a waiting for the executioner to come and carry out the sentence.   He who does not believe is condemned already, John 3:18.

5.  Man is disapproved individually, Romans 3:10, 11. 

 It’s human nature to believe that we’re better than Scripture says we are.  After all, look at so-and-so!  The trouble is, with Scripture, we are the “so-and-so” – there is no difference…, Romans 3:22.  In the verses at the heading of this section, Paul tells us:

a.  there is none righteous.  

This means that none of us measure up to God’s holy standard, as revealed in His Word and demonstrated by the Lord Jesus.  Our very best, our “acts of righteousness,” are nothing more than filthy rags in the sight of God, Isaiah 64:6.  What must our unrighteousness be in His sight?  The term “filthy rags” refers to a menstrual cloth, or a rag that a leper might use to wipe his sores.  Not very pretty, but a graphic description of our natural state before God.

b.  there is none who understands.

“Understands” what?  Our condition before God, in contrast to His perfect holiness and righteousness.  Man can and does understand much of the world he lives in, but forgets he must answer to the One who created, sustains and governs it.

c.  there is none who seeks after God.

Because of our innate belief that “loincloths” are sufficient to cover whatever deficiencies we might have, we don’t realize that God is the only One who can do that. We don’t understand that our “answers” are all wrong!  And too often, we don’t care.  In our sinfulness, we refuse to come to God, yet He is the only One with the answer to our sin problem.

In our next post, we’ll begin to look at how He has answered it.

Questions

 1.  Whose image did Adam pass along to his children?

 2.  What is the effect of this?

 3.  What does “spiritually dead” mean?

 4.  What are the two elements of spiritual death?

 5.  What does “total depravity” mean?

 6.  How does total depravity affect our mind?

 7.  Our emotions?

 8.  Our wills?

 9.  What is our standing before God judicially?

10. What is our standing before God individually?

11. What is “righteousness”?

Where’s God??

God is seldom involved directly in what happens in this world.  He created it with physical, natural and moral laws, which are sometimes called “second causes.”  In other words, if a farmer wants a harvest, he must plant seeds – and do the other things necessary to the seeds to grow.  God has also made it so that actions have consequences.

Man isn’t a puppet or robot.  In spite of all the discussion about “free will vs. divine sovereignty,” there are very few who disagree with the idea that we make choices, all of the time.  These choices have consequences.  Since the 60s, there has been an increasing effort by liberals and unbelievers to distance this country from the political and religious principles upon which it was founded:  “There are no absolutes,” “What’s true for you may not be true for me,” “Get rid of all those old Puritan hangups.”

The result of all this is seen in the increasing violence and immorality in our country, aided and abetted by a liberal media which flocks to scenes of horror – the latest shootings, for example – like vultures to carrion.  And I’ve noticed an increase in profanity in the little network television that I watch.  Words are being used that were seldom heard anywhere in my youth.  Kids in elementary school use words that were seldom heard anywhere in my youth.  A lot of television is little more than softcore pornography.

The High School I went to had a rifle range in the basement (ROTC) with rifles and live ammo.  And, yes, they were locked up when we weren’t using them.  I qualified as a marksman on that range.  Guns were everywhere and easily and legally available.  The local department store likely sold them.  Further, the fellows almost all carried pocket knives.  This HS was the “tough” school in the city, yet there was NEVER any trouble with guns or knives.  Liberalism hadn’t yet succeeded in destroying the moral foundations of America.

For years, we’ve told God that He’s not welcome in our schools, our government, our society, or even in many churches, which have become interested in what they call “social justice,” rather than spiritual redemption.  For the most part, God has allowed us to go our foolish, sinful way – with the sad and horrifying results we see all around us.  Yet when these things happen, the first question often is, “Where is God?”

God gave us what we want; He has left us to our choices.

 

God’s Will, My Will, Whose Will?

As I wander along the highways and byways of blogtopia [not my term, but a great one!], I see a lot of questions and comments about God’s will and “free will.”  I don’t have all the answers, but perhaps I might have one or two thoughts that will help shed some light on this sometimes gritty subject.

[[Something I don’t normally do on a post, but this one is so important that I feel compelled to do this in print:

“Father, we are so foolish, fallible and finite that when we come to the idea of asking questions about how You do things…, we must have Your guidance to understand even the simplest things You have revealed about Yourself.  This is anything but ‘simple,’ but deals with things philosophers and thinkers have pondered and discussed for millennia.  Open our understanding so that we might know something of the wonder and greatness of Your dealings with us….

“In Jesus’ name, through Whom alone we come into Your presence.  Amen.”]]

Some are so focused on God’s sovereign will that they seem to make man little more than a puppet or robot.  I knew a brother who would always say, “I was caused to believe in Jesus.”  Never would he simply say, with Paul, “I know whom I have believed,…  2 Timothy 1:12 (NKJV).

Others are so focused on man’s will that, as it were, they put up a “no trespassing” sign and believe that God cannot do anything in their lives unless they give Him permission.  They put limitations on God that they would never dream of putting on themselves.

This latter viewpoint, though much more prevalent than the former, is no more Scriptural.

What does the Scripture say? Romans 4:3.

Actually, Scripture doesn’t address this issue as such at all.   It does say some things about the subject almost in passing, as if there should be no question about it.  So, let’s look at some examples of what I mean.

Genesis 50:20, “…as for you, you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good….”

This, of course, is Joseph’s reconciliation with his brothers, who, because of their hatred for him had sold him into slavery years earlier, then lied to their father about it.  In the providence of God, they and their families and father had come to Egypt where Joseph made himself known to them and took care of them for several years.  Now Jacob was dead, and the brothers thought they were [rightfully] in for it.  The verse above was part of Joseph’s response to them.

There was nothing “good” about what they did to Joseph or how they covered it up.  Jacob grieved for many years over the death, as he thought, of this son of his beloved Rachel.  Joseph suffered for about 13 years in Egypt, even though God put him in a place where he could save many people alive.

There is no attempt to “reconcile” these two disparate things: the evil that the brothers meant, the good that God meant.  They are just simply recorded.  The same word is used both times, that what the brothers purposed and willed to do to Joseph, God purposed and willed that they should do to Joseph.

Did God “do” something to the brothers in this?  Did His will “force” their wills?  No, they did freely to Joseph exactly what they wanted to do.  At the same time, without thought or knowledge on their part, they did exactly what God wanted them to do.

Exodus 4:21, speaking to Moses about Pharaoh, God said, “I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.”  This is indeed a difficult nut for people to crack.  What did God mean?  How could He do this to Pharaoh?

In order, perhaps, to understand this a little better, we need to look at Pharaoh.  Was “his heart” “neutral” in this matter?  Was he open to the things Moses said?  Was he a “seeker” after truth.  Did he want to know about the God of Israel?

No, indeed!  At Moses’ first encounter with him, Pharaoh responded, “Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go?  I do not know the LORD, nor will I let Israel go,”  Exodus 5:2.  I imagine the emphasis was on the “I”: “…that I should obey…?”

There was no “harden” button on Pharaoh’s heart that God had to push.  His heart was already hard!  God just demonstrated that by bringing some things to Pharaoh’s attention that he didn’t want to deal with, namely, that he wasn’t a god himself, and that the God of the Hebrews was God, the only God, the true God, as opposed to the pantheon of gods Pharaoh worshiped.  All the plagues against Egypt were against the gods of Egypt, to show their impotence and falsehood.  And to show that the God of the Hebrews, as we said, was, indeed, the only true God.

Exodus 31:1-6; 35:6-36:2, With regard to the construction of the Tabernacle, God told Moses, “I have put wisdom in all the hearts of the gifted artisans, that they may make all I have commanded you.”  God gave some the artistic ability to craft and construct the Tabernacle, and just underline all the references to “hearts” and “willing,” etc.  There are at least 15 such references in the 16 verses of 35:6-36:2.  God willed and the people willed.  As for the “offerings” to supply the necessary materials, note 25:1 and 36:6, 7 as well.

One more from the Old Testament.

2 Kings 11:29-36; 12:15, 24, though you should read both chapters.

This has to do with the reason for the breakup of Israel into two camps:  the two tribes, who became known as Judah, and the other 10 tribes, who retained the name Israel and were also known as Ephraim or The Northern Kingdom.

King Solomon had been unfaithful to God and had introduced idolatry into Israel, probably at the instigation of his pagan wives.  In 2 Kings 11:9-13, God promised judgment on his line and on the nation for this sin.  He finally died and his son Rehoboam took over.

Solomon had heavily taxed the people in order to finance his lavish lifestyle.  The people understandably asked Rehoboam to lessen their load.  (And you thought complaints about taxation were something new!)  Rehoboam asked counsel of some who had served his father.  Their advice was to listen to the people.  Then he asked some of his friends what to do.  Their advice was to tell the people, in effect, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

Rehoboam, being young and stupid (though he was 40 or so), followed the advice of his friends, who were also stupid and arrogant.  2 Kings 12:15 says, “So the king did not listen to the people; for the turn of events was from the LORD, that He might fulfill His word, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.”

Naturally, the people didn’t care for this, so they said, “See ya’,” and went their way.  Rehoboam called out the army to go and bring them back by force.

In chapter 12, God forbade this.  Too bad Rehoboam didn’t seek God before.  Anyway, through another prophet, God told him, “You shall not go up nor fight against your brethren the children of Israel. …for this thing is from Me.”

Rehoboam’s arrogance and stupidity.  The anger and decision of the people.  All their own. Yet God’s will, as well.

Now to the New Testament.

When I was a young student at a Bible College, struggling with these concepts, I came across some verses.  My roommate and others were also struggling with these ideas.  The verses are

2 Corinthians 8:16, 17,  In the context of Paul’s instructions to the church at Corinth, he wrote, But thanks be to God who puts [or, “has put”] the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.  For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord.

Once again, we see the interconnection of God’s will and man’s will.  God worked in Titus’ heart.  Of his own will, Titus did something.  This activity of God neither negates, diminishes nor undermines the choices and activity of man.

And there is also

Revelation 17:17, For God has put it into their hearts [the “ten kings” of vs. 12, 13] to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.  Here is a clear verse about the will and purpose of God and the will and purpose of man.

However, someone might say, “Well, yes, there are some verses like what you say.  But in salvation – ‘whosoever will.’  Christ is standing at the door of our heart, knocking for admission.”

That’s true.  “Whosoever will.”  At the same time, please read the rest of that verse.  How many people do you know in the world, or even in the church, for that matter, who “thirst” for the water of life?

As for Revelation 3:20, it’s in the context of the Lord’s words to His churches, especially the church at Laodicea.  This church was so filled with itself that it didn’t even realize that Christ was on the outside.  There are lots of churches like that, so filled with programs and personalities that they don’t even miss the Lord Jesus.

Two final verses, and they are about “salvation”.

John 6:39, 40, The Lord Jesus says, This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.  And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Our Lord has no difficulty with divine sovereignty and human activity.  He never sought to “reconcile” them; they’re not enemies.  He never tried to “explain” them or make them palatable to fallen human nature.  He just simply taught that they are both true.  So does the rest of the Bible.

In John 6:39, 40, there are on the one hand, those indeed whom the Father chose and gave to the Son to redeem.  (By the way, in a nutshell, the biblical doctrine of election is that had God not chosen some to be saved, nobody at all would be saved.)  On the other hand, the door to salvation stands wide open.  There isn’t a single verse in the more than 30,000 – if memory serves me – verses  of Scripture  preventing the salvation of the worst sinner who ever lived.  The difficulty lies with us, not with God.  Those who believe in the Son have eternal life; those who do not, do not.  It’s as simple as that.

Conclusion:  There is SO MUCH more that could be said on this subject.  I’ve just barely scratched the surface.  And I’ve probably raised questions, as well as trying to answer some of them.  I’m sorry.

Whether you agree with what I’ve written or not, remember that we’re “discussing” God.  Do you really want a God you can get your mind around?  One that little?

Oh, if we can’t “understand” what God has told us about Himself, can we at least “trust” Him?  After all, isn’t that what “faith” boils down to, trusting Him and His Word?

God bless this study, for Jesus’ sake.  Amen.