First or Last

First or Last

Although strangers as well as friends and family sometimes think it strange, I tell them that God talks to me.  I suppose that they think I have elevated myself above them, somehow, since most of them say God does not talk to them (although I suspect He does, and they don’t hear Him).  Or maybe they just think I’m a strange woman with a vivid imagination.  But I’ve never heard a big booming voice from the sky or even a small whisper.  I don’t hear Him at all, using the normal sense of the word “hear.”  His voice is more like a thought in my mind that I recognize as originating from somewhere other than myself.

One time, when I had a very vivid dream, the details of which I may share in another blog someday, where I distinctly heard a voice that has continued to echo in my mind across the cavernous expanse between consciousness and dreams.  It said, “Come and see this.”  In my dream, I left the place where I was and found myself at a yard sale where there were massive, elaborate chandeliers for sale for five dollars each.  These chandeliers were exquisitely crafted, the kind of grand lighting one might expect to find in a royal palace or a world famous opera hall.

Most of the time, I think of dreams as random synapsis firing as the brain reboots itself during the still of the night, sorting out all the input from waking hours, and preparing itself to accept more input upon waking again.  However, sometimes I believe dreams have significance.  In this case the significance or meaning became obvious to me in two separate seasons of my life.  The first attempt at interpretation, based on my spiritual understanding at that time as a church-attending church-centered believer, is that the chandeliers are “revelation/light,” like an earthquake in the spiritual understanding of believers, which would soon become available in a very public way to not only my church, but all churches, to whomever He gives eyes to see and ears to hear.  Since then, I have come to understand that this interpretation, although correct for the most part, is inadequate.

In real life, chandeliers are grand, beautiful objects through which humanity channels energy/light.  The cost to create them, install them, and use them is great, but in my dream they are at a yard sale as if they have little value.  If someone were to ask you to think of a grand and beautiful system which humanity uses to plug in to God and channel spiritual understanding to people who are in darkness, perhaps you would think of the institutional church.  I can tell you from experience that she most certainly thinks of herself in that way.

Now, consider this.  A parable in the New Testament describes how God arranges an abundant feast of spiritually delightful food, only once it is prepared, the people who have been invited refuse to attend.  So, what does He do?  He invites anyone and everyone – strangers passing by on the streets, the poor, the outcast, the uneducated – it does not matter who they are, the invitation now belongs to them.  Theologians take this to mean that salvation is given to the Gentiles, since the Jewish religious leaders and the nation of Israel in general reject their Messiah.  Although this interpretation is correct, it is inadequate.  Over the course of time, the institutional church picks up where Israel leaves off and rejects the Messiah over and over again saying He did not accomplish His mission to seek and save the lost, that His redemptive work is “sufficient” but not “efficient,” and denying either His Sovereignty or His Character in order to explain away their beloved doctrine of fear – eternal torment in Hell.  They have returned to a form of the law, where salvation depends upon man’s will or man’s decision.  They give lip service to salvation belonging to God, but if man can mess up God’s plans, then their doctrine nullifies either God’s ability to save or His willingness to save.  The orthodox Good News is a Jekyll and Hyde version of God who says “Love me or burn in Hell forever.”

God has decided to take the Good News away from those to whom it has been entrusted, His unfaithful servant, and give it to anyone and everyone, the strangers to spiritual things, the spiritually poor, the spiritual outcast, the spiritually uneducated, the spiritually hostile.  These are the ones who will come to Him as children, who will be enter into His Reign (first) before these others (last) who have returned to the curse of the law, like a dog returns to its own vomit.  We may not see the far-reaching effects of His Plan at this time, but this snowball has been put into motion, it is rolling down the hill, and it is becoming more significant with each passing day, weak, month, and year.

The institutional church no longer holds the position it once held in this world, because the old wineskin is bursting.  It is unable to contain the new wine (which is actually aged, fine wine that had been forgotten in the cobwebs and dust of the Dark Age wine cellar).  The institution may continue, and God may in His mercy continue to do good things through it, just as He uses other organizations like the YMCA, Salvation Army, United Way, etc.  But for all intents and purposes, this system has lost its spiritual value.  Who carries a huge chandelier to the beach on a brilliantly sunny day?  God is no longer allowing His Light to be distributed to the world in this limited way.  Think about it.  A chandelier is an indoor item.  It exists within walls, lighting an area that is dark.  But God is doing His thing outside the walls now.  He is not abandoning those inside the walls, just as He did not abandon Israel when they abandoned Christ.  Jesus looks on them with mercy, and says, “Father, forgive them.  They know not what they do.”  Father forgive those people who choose the chandelier over the Light itself.  He may cut off the branch, but He is able to graft the branch back in.  He may blot out the name, but He is also God who gives new names.

You see that I now understand this dream to mean that this light-distributing device (the institutional church) will have very little spiritual value in the days to come.  I’m sure people who are currently very invested in it will disagree, and that is fine.  One day when they have eyes to see and ears to hear, what I am saying will make sense.  In the meantime, just as in the days of Jesus’ ministry, God is speaking to His people, His people are killing His prophets, rejecting Him, and trying to snuff out His message.  But He always reserves a remnant – a bit of yeast to work though the whole batch of dough.  I understand this with intense satisfaction, because I see Romans 10-11 repeating in history, as so many other prophecies/fulfillments have done throughout the ages.  Here is the message, with Israel/Jews replaced with the “churchians,” an affectionate term for those who are believers trapped in a system of righteousness that sucks the life out of them and “salvation” means being freed from the curse of the law and “good news” actually is good news, the Victorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.  See if this rings true to you:

Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for churchians is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.  Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”…If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”For there is no difference between churched and unchurched—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

But not all church attending people accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”

Again I ask: Did church people not understand? First, Moses says,“I will make the church envious by those who are unchurched; I will make the church angry by unchurched people who have no understanding.”

And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”

But concerning churchians he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

I ask then: Did God reject churchians? By no means! …God did not reject churchians, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”?

And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

Here it is very important that I pause to point out the significance of Baal, from Jeremiah 32: “They turned their backs to me and not their faces; though I taught them again and again, they would not listen or respond to discipline. They set up their vile images in the house that bears my Name and defiled it. They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom [aka Gehenna, the word erroneously translated “Hell”] to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molek, though I never commanded—nor did it enter my mind—that they should do such a detestable thing…”  Please watch this video called Molech, less than two minutes, which gives very important information about why the worship of Molech ought to be associated with the erroneous doctrine of eternal torment.  And now I continue in Romans:

So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.  What then? What church people sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that could not see and ears that could not hear, to this very day.”

And David says: “May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them.  May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see and their backs be bent forever.” (BTW, churchians, aren’t you glad the word for “forever” is “aion” which means “age,” a period of time with a beginning and an end?  Otherwise it would be your backs which would be bent forever, not the unchurched like you think.)

Again I ask: Did church people stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the unchurched to make churchians envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the unchurched, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!

I am talking to you unchurched people. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the unchurched people, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my church-friends to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

…I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Churchians have experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the not-yet-believers become believers, and in this wayall Churchians will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from church people.  And this is my covenant with church people when I take away their sins.”

As far as the gospel is concerned, churchians are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may nowreceive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!  “Who has known the mind of the Lord?  Or who has been his counselor?”

“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”For from him and through him and for him are all things.  To him be the glory forever! Amen

Edward Said, in Culture and Imperialism says,

In the late twentieth century the imperial cycle of the last century in some way replicates itself, although today there are really no big empty spaces, no expanding frontiers, no exciting new settlements to establish.  We live in one global environment with a huge number of ecological, economic, social, and political pressures tearing at its only dimly perceived basically uninterpreted and uncomprehended fabric.  Anyone with even a vague consciousness of this whole is alarmed at how such remorelessly selfish and narrow interests – patriotism, chauvinism, ethnic, religious, and racial hatreds – can in fact lead to mass destructiveness.  The world simply cannot afford this many more times.

One should not pretend that models for a harmonious world order are ready at hand, and it would be equally disingenuous to suppose that ideas of peace and community have much of a chance when power is moved to action by aggressive perceptions of ‘vital national interests’ or unlimited sovereignty.  The United States’ clash with Iraq and Iraq’s aggression against Kuwait concerning oil are obvious examples.  The wonder of it is that the schooling for such relatively provincial thought and action is still prevalent, unchecked, uncritically accepted, recurringly replicated in the education of generation after generation.  We are taught to venerate our nations and admire our traditions: we are taught to pursue their interests with toughness and in disregard for other societies.  A new and in my opinion appalling tribalism is fracturing societies, separating peoples, promoting greed, bloody conflict, and uninteresting assertions of minor ethnic or group particularity.  Little time is spent […] studying the map of interactions […] No one can hold this entire map in his or her head.

No one, except God that is.  And under His direction, people will learn how to live at peace.

And He hath judged between the nations, and hath given a decision to many peoples, and they have beat their swords to ploughshares, and their spears to pruning-hooks, nation doth not lift up sword unto nation, nor do they learn any more – war. (Isaiah 2:4)

While it is true that no one can fully comprehend all the complexities of one-on-one human interaction, let alone the interaction of all the various people-groups (subcultures), societies, and nations, we can submit ourselves to the One Who is able to understand how and why we clash and how it is we can get along.  The real war is not between one person and another, one nation and another.  The real war is internal.  Regarding His Reign, in Jesus’ own words:

“To what shall I liken the reign of God?  It is like leaven, which a woman, having taken, did hide in three measures of meal, till that all was leavened.”

There is much more to be said about this, but that is another blog for another day.  Let’s continue with Jesus, on His way to Jerusalem:

A certain one said to him, “Sir, are those saved few?”

and he said unto them, “Be striving to go in through the straight gate, because many, I say to you, will seek to go in, and shall not be able; from the time the master of the house may have risen up, and may have shut the door, and ye may begin without to stand, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, lord, open to us, and he answering shall say to you, I have not known you whence ye are, then ye may begin to say, We did eat before thee, and did drink, and in our broad places thou didst teach; and he shall say, I say to you, I have not known you whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of the unrighteousness.  There shall be there the weeping and the gnashing of the teeth, when ye may see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the reign of God, and yourselves being cast out without; and they shall come from east and west, and from north and south, and shall recline in the reign of God, and lo, there are last who shall be first, and there are first who shall be last.”

Many believers read this passage and believe it to speak of Heaven, with all those outside, in the flames of Hell, unable to enter in.  But this is not consistent with the rest of scripture.  Notice what Jesus description of the Reign of God:

And having been questioned by the Pharisees, when the reign of God doth come, he answered them, and said, “The reign of God doth not come with observation; nor shall they say, Lo, here; or lo, there; for lo, the reign of God is within you.”

It seems to me that God has the academic community on a journey similar to that of the Gentiles in Jesus’ day.  Philosophy was the “science” of that age, and it was stirring the masses, making people think about spiritual things, even though they did not realize that is what they were doing.  When the institutional church obtained political power, the whole world went dark for hundreds of years.  Scientists were punished for speaking truth, just as those who recognize the Victorious Gospel of Jesus Christ have been punished.  We are comrades in persecution.  And then God began doing something new, but something old –  the Enlightenment, the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, the Technological Revolution, ideas that have been possible for all of human history, reserved until the appointed time of revelation, along with the idea that we are all in this together, the entire human race, whether we like it or not, whether we like each other or not – this is part of God’s Plan of the Ages.  The Kingdom of God (the Reign of God) is within you.  No matter who you are.  Perhaps you recognize this now, and you are saved from the curse of the law that tells you that you have to do something to be saved.  Perhaps none of this makes sense to you, but you want to know more.  Perhaps you are so pissed off that you stopped reading this blog after the first few paragraphs (your loss).  God will have His way with you, sooner or later.  He will outlast your rebellion, open your eyes, and give you a new heart that see Him for Who He really is, a heart that praises Him for what He has done.  He is making all things new.  He is the Light.

For centuries, religious leaders have taught that believers accept Him and unbelievers reject Him.  In reality, most believers appear to accept Him but actually accept a distorted version of Him, while unbelievers appear to reject Him but actually reject the distorted version of Him that is presented to them by the believers.  The blind lead the blind and they both fall into a ditch.  It is no wonder Jesus said, “Many of the last shall be first, and the first last.”  Things are not as they seem.  Take comfort in knowing Jesus calls Himself the First and the Last, and consequently, no matter what order you enter into His Reign, He will not give up on you.  First or last, the Shepherd will be there with you.

  • Mary Vanderplas April 18, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    I agree generally with your critique of (indictment against) the institutional church. That institutional religion often obscures and distorts the light of God’s truth and love more than reflecting it is indisputable. And this is as true historically as it is currently. I disagree with you, though, in where the failure of religious institutions lies. It does not, in my view, lie in an unwillingness to embrace a particular doctrinal stance. Rather, the failure lies in thinking too highly of themselves, in refusing to acknowledge the incomplete nature of all human attempts to understand the Maker and Master of the universe, and in setting themselves up as the final arbiters of truth. Instead of drawing people to the source of light and to the liberation that comes from knowing him (which is the mission of Christ’s body in the world), they (or perhaps I should say “we” since I, too, have participated in this light-obscuring behavior) devise systems of doctrinal and moral certitude that obscure the reality of the God who is wholly other and that are inimical to true faith, i.e., trust. No doctrine, no morality, no understanding of the things of God is fully adequate in itself and above critique. Religious institutions too often fail to recognize this, and in fact do much to foster the illusion of certitude. Herein, in my view, lies the problem. And it isn’t only the institutional church that does this. This religious impulse is found equally in individuals and communities (a thought articulated by Douglas John Hall, a contemporary Christian theologian).

    Your critique left me with questions about whom and what exactly you see as the problem with the “institutional church.” Refusal to subscribe to the doctrine of universalism – i.e., the belief that in the end everyone, even those who in their lifetime want no part of knowing God and no part of spending eternity with God, will be saved? Belief in a final judgment in which there is a separation of members of the human family? A view of hell as fiery eternal torment, coupled with fear-based solicitation of decisions to follow Jesus? Doctrinal certitude that squelches the expression of alternative views and questions – and that even denounces those who are of a different mind? The wedding of the religious impulse to other ideologies (patriotism, chauvinism), creating extreme intolerance of the other? Obviously not all of these things are characteristic of every church or of every believer who makes his/her home in a religious institution. And to say that any religious institution is in bondage to the law and a refractor of the light of God simply because its members do not embrace a particular doctrinal stance is, I think, misguided. It is one thing to disagree with a fellow believer (or group thereof) and to feel strongly about a particular interpretation of the biblical witness. It is another thing altogether, in my view, to write the other off as having “lost its spiritual value.”

    Regarding your comment “God will have His way with you, sooner or later” in reference to your view that all will be saved in the end, I can only say that it sounds to me more like a threat than a promise. And it makes me wonder what kind of God would coerce the love of God’s human creatures. The verse which you translate “The kingdom of God is within you” can also be translated “The kingdom of God is among you,” changing the meaning from “You will be saved” to “The reign of God is present in your midst in the ministry of Jesus (and by extension in the life and ministry of his body in the world).”

    I do agree with you that the dividing line between those who are aligned with God and those who are not doesn’t run neatly between believers and unbelievers. For this reason, all judgments should be left to God; and those who seek to live in the light and to draw others to the light should, above all, love as Christ loved us.

    • admin April 19, 2011 at 1:48 am

      David says, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Some people might read this and feel nervous inside, knowing that God sees and knows everything and that there is nothing they can do about it. They can’t hide. They can’t get away. Others, who understand that the idea that if God could lose track of anything at all would be the end of the universe and everyone in it. These words are a comfort to them, because they know that they are safe in His keeping. They can trust Him in every circumstance, knowing He is fully aware and in control. They can trust Him to discipline them and keep them from totally screwing up their lives. It is the same safety a child feels when the parent has rules and routines to follow. See it as a threat or see it as a promise, it is all about perspective. He is Who He is, regardless of whether they see His sovereignty as a threat to free will (our will is exactly what He has purposed to subject to Himself, hence the title “Lord”) or as a benefit to them as fragile, sometimes stupid creatures who need a God to rule them.

      I do believe religious institutions are in bondage to the law. If every church were to close its doors, the His Church would still be alive and well, and probably better off for it. However, I do not write off people as having “lost spiritual value.” I write off the system, for all the reasons you named along with others you did not name. His people have always been stubborn and disobedient. They are not written off by Him, so why should I write them off? Here’s what I do say, though, in agreement with Him – that their function in unbelief is different than than their function in belief. Their function in unbelief is to demonstrate God’s mercy. But the function of one who believes is to demonstrate His glory and power. Both want to partner with Him in His redemptive work, and both do, but the one who sees His redemptive work as limited only operate in that same limited sense. And those who see His redemptive work as unlimited operate in that same unlimited sense. Who is free to forgive to the utmost? One who sees that He forgives to the utmost. Who is free to teach that where sin abounds, His grace super-abounds? The one who see that His grace is always greater than sin. It isn’t that I see them people who are hooked on church as failures. I spent almost 15 years in that mindset. I know that God used me during that time. The thing that is different now, that has never happened before, is tha as His Good News makes its way into even the darkest deadest churches, believers will no longer be able to claim ignorance. I can honestly claim ignorance for my 15 years, because I did not hear, I did not know, I did the best with what knowledge I had and kept asking God to make sense of the stuff that just wasn’t adding up. And He is faithful. It is the lost coin. You don’t go searching for it, if you are not aware that it has been misplaced. But if you ARE aware that it has been misplaced and you DON’T go looking for it, then you have crossed the line from ignorance to unfaithfulness and joining in the powers of darkness in the work of suppressing truth. God is the judge of the intent of the heart. I don’t judge the person to say where they stand with God. But I do judge the system that perpetuates every spiritual negative.

      • Mary Vanderplas April 19, 2011 at 8:43 pm

        Your explanation is helpful. True, those who see God ruling their lives as a source of bondage and who resist it for this reason don’t know what they’re missing – for the reasons you stated. But does this mean that God intervenes to overrule their desire not to submit to God’s gracious rule? Does God not allow people to say ‘no’ to God, to refuse to live as those whom God loves and chooses and cares for? “He is Who He Is, regardless of whether they see His sovereignty as a threat…or as a benefit…,” you say. Again, true, but does divine sovereignty mean that there is no place for human freedom, that God is the only real actor and we are mere pawns in the drama of history? The fact that the human will is in bondage does not mean we are less than free agents. If this were the case, the whole concept of human will would be meaningless. We have choices and we make decisions; and we are responsible for the decisions we make. Your vision of everyone finally in willing submission to God’s rule and at peace is appealing. I’m afraid, though, that given what the Bible says about divine sovereignty and about the free agency and responsibility of human creatures, the triumph of God’s rule at the end of the ages may be a real threat to those who refuse to submit to it now.

        I’m glad you distinguish between the system of religion and God’s people, though I have a problem with your labeling as “unbelief” any and all views that don’t conform to universalism. The doctrine of universalism is not new to the church; and I dare say that over the centuries many devout believers, myself included, have tested it in light of the biblical witness and found it wanting. As I have said in some of my replies to other blogs, I do not rule out the possibility that at the end of the day God’s great grace will triumph over human unbelief and resistance/hostility to God. But at the same time I cannot say with any certitude that everyone will be welcomed into God’s kingdom. Perhaps I, along with many others, am hopelessly benighted about these matters. What I am not, though, is any less a believer in Jesus Christ and in the glorious Good News of God’s saving grace through Jesus’ life, passion and death, resurrection, and ascension – grace that is for all people. As far as being able to live grace-fully is concerned, I don’t think that holding to a stance that in the end everyone will be saved as opposed to believing that some may spend eternity in self-chosen alienation from God and others makes any difference. The gospel message constrains us to live in love and to preach God’s great grace and desire to save every person to all.

        One final thought: What the church needs most is not more or different knowledge as much as faith, i.e., awe and trust in the presence of the One who is wholly other and mysterious beyond our understanding. “Bowing before the mystery and the majesty,” as we like to say in our household, saves from spiritual certitude along with a multitude of other “religious” sins.

        • admin April 21, 2011 at 2:24 pm

          Unbelief is a tricky term these days, because a person can believe Christ is Savior for them without also believing He is Savior to everyone else. So on a personal or individual level, no, unbelief can’t be accurate of his or her understanding. However, if this is truth —> “This is a faithful saying worthy of all acceptance. For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” then unbelief can be an accurate assessment of his or her understanding. The only alternative is annihilation or eternal torment – neither of which does justice to God’s character. I think that if you believe eternal torment or annihilation, you should thank God for it, because He is to be praised for all His works. It is easy to say, “I cannot say with certitude that everyone will be welcomed into God’s kingdom.” But can you thank God for it and really mean it, especially considering the alternative? If so, then God has blessed you with a miracle in apathy.

          • Rachel April 22, 2011 at 10:19 am

            I do not think that universalism takes away from anyone’s free will and I will tell you why…I have been volunteering at a school working with kids who have behavioral problems. Many of the kids have a terrible home life and have no idea what it is to be cared for, to be loved unconditionally. Most of my time is spent working with those who are having the hardest time. The thing that I have discovered about these kids is that love and trust are foriegn concepts to them. Once they realize that I really do love them that they can trust me, they began to soften. I do not force them to do so, that would not be possible. Once they begin to trust in my love for them they want to change and be someone who is worthy of that love. Their behaviors reflect this.

            I think that is the way with nonbelievers. I cannot imagine anyone refusing the love of God once they are aware of its existence.

            • admin April 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm

              I wish the blog comments had a “like” button like FB.

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