“Once there was a ruthless hit man who hated Christians. he did whatever it took to get them arrested, even murdered. Countless Christians were persecuted and killed because of this vicious man.
Some time later, this man wanted to become a Christian. God forgave him and accepted him, despite all of His children this man abused.”
We cringe when we read stories like that one. It seems like God is way too compassionate. We sometimes just want evil, vile people to get what they deserve. To get what they have coming to them. But even though God is intensely (and rightly) angry at evil, He offers grace and forgiveness to sinners – even the people we would define as the “worst” of sinners. God will forgive any sinner, no matter how awful, if they repent, accept Jesus’ payment on the cross for their sins, and follow Him. God is extravagantly merciful. He is beyond.
Pray: We don’t always ask for mercy. We always ask for forgiveness of our sins, but it all comes from a merciful God.
Read: The man described in the intro scenario is actually someone we’re possibly familiar with: Saul – or Paul as we know him. Read his story in Acts 7:54-8:3; 9:1-20.
Question: God is too soft… What use is it denouncing murderers if they can simply repent and God will show them mercy
What kind of God would do such a thing? “Is he niether tame enough nore tough enough?
Application: God is outrageously merciful. His mercy pulls the weight of guilt out from under any sinner. As His children, He wants us to follow suit. When people wrong us, God calls us to be like Him, to drop it. To forgive. To pull the weight out from under our case against them.
God can forgive whomever He chooses to forgive. And He has chosen to forgive anyone who accepts His offer of salvation. While that is sometimes tough to swallow, how can we question the very grace by which we ourselves were saved? guilty of sin, we are all closer to murderers than we are to Jesus. Yet we’ve been forgiven by the God who’s beyond.
Pray: Is there someone in your life that you’ve been worried about? A close friend? A family member? Even yourself? Someone who’s been struggling with a personal problem. Spend some time praying for their salvation or God to give them grace.