“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:2-4)
The love of God: Just as gut-wrenching, devastating and heart-breaking any loving husband or wife feels to lose one’s spouse to another – so is God’s jealousy over a soul whom he had died and shed his blood for but loses to the devil.
How often we have heard people say that God is love? He loves all mankind, whoever they may be and whatever they do in life, God loves and forgives them of their sins.
Yet we forget that it cost Almighty God the life of his only begotten son Jesus Christ to die on the Cross on Calvary Hill to pay for the penalty of man’s sin.
There was no way but to take the cruel beatings, bear the pain and agony, withstand the mockeries, criticisms and humiliation of evil mankind and shed his pure and holy blood that no animal sacrifice could suffice.
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God which he has purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28).
The peace of God: We are living in an age and time, when and where people all over the world are crying and seeking peace only to find no real peace anywhere.
The word of God clearly states in 1 Thessalonians 5:3, “For when they shall say, peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child: and they shall not escape”.
True peace cannot be found on an island to ourselves, on a mountain top to oneself, or at a remote place far and away from the problems that we encounter each day.
The peace of God in Christ does not run away from problems but stays to solve and settle the problems; does not quit when the pressure is almost too unbearable, but puts one’s trust and confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ who ‘like a lamb led to the slaughter’ opened not his mouth but in innocence and silence took every deadly blow with forgiveness in his dying breath.
The Apostle Paul discovered that same strength for himself and said, “I can do all things in Christ Jesus, who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
The mercy of God: A person is convicted of a crime and found guilty; therefore liable of a fine or imprisonment.
The mercy of God in Christ Jesus says, ‘Judge, I acquit him of his fine and sentence. I will stand in his place, a ransom for all the wrongs that he has done’. Let him go, take me in.
“He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; and the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
The grace of God: Now this person is acquitted of the penalty that he so rightly deserves. The mercy of God says, ‘You are acquitted’, but it did not stop there.
The grace of God stepped in to say, ‘not only are you acquitted, your fines too I have paid in full. Your term to spend in prison I have served. Your guilt, I have removed as far as the east is from the west. All your scars, bruises and injuries, I bore them all on Calvary. Your place that the devil had already prepared in hell, I have destroyed it’.
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for ever more, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death” (Revelation 1:18).
The atonement and forgiveness of sins: As the High Priest on the day of atonement, or ‘yom kippur’ in Hebrew, enters into the most holy place to sprinkle blood upon the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant once a year to seek God’s forgiveness for all the sins of the people of Israel – Jesus Christ, who is High Priest himself after the Order of Melchizedec, took his own blood as the sacrificial lamb of God; did it but once and for all; all our sins from our youth till now and throughout all generations are washed clean by the blood of Jesus.
He declares in Hebrews 10:17, “And their sins and iniquities, I shall remember no more”.Only at the foot of the cross of Jesus, through humble and sincere repentance of our sins, God atones and forgives us all our sins.
God’s salvation plan: There are over 3000 so-called Christian churches, registered or not, all over the world today, not all however stuck and kept the original salvation plan that is recorded in Acts 2:38, but went their own ways and established their own faiths and righteousness and not according to holy scripture.
The commissioning words of the Lord Jesus Christ still remain for us today to adhere to.
He says in Mark 16:15-16, “Go ye into the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
1. “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8).
2. “If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:9).
3. “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed” (2 John 7 – 11).
Man’s biggest problem: A man once confronted me and blasted me in my face: “I reject your God, I do not believe in a God who demands too much blood. Look at all the suffering there is in the world and all the many innocent children and people dying at the hands of evil people and cruel natural disasters.”
But I told him, “God doesn’t demand blood. It’s not God doing the demanding, sin is doing the demanding.”
Sin demands atonement. Jesus chose to be that atonement. Man does not have a money problem; he has a sin problem named greed. He does not have a food problem; he has a sin problem called gluttony. He does not have a sexual problem but a sin problem called ‘sexual immorality’.
Man does not have a social, economic, political, religious, scientific, evolutionary, genetic, mental, hormonal, psychological, earthly or spiritual problem but a sin problem called ‘Godlessness’.
Conclusion:The love of God means Calvary, nothing short or less. Calvary means suffering and death, shame and humiliation.
The love of God is spelt on the cross and nowhere else.
The cross of Jesus speaks thus, ‘I died in your stead, paid a ransom for many; I was buried but in three days rose from the dead, therefore, you have life in Me alone, for I am the Resurrection and the Life’.
The love of God is displayed in full on the cross. The mercy of God is manifested on the cross. The grace of God is revealed on the cross. The atonement, the forgiveness of sins, the peace and salvation of God is made known on the cross of Jesus.
No one has ever done this. No other religion can offer this. No religious leader in all the world has ever done this but Jesus.
The whole world is full of all kinds of religions, ideologies, doctrines, philosophy and all forms of idolatry – there is but only one living and saving truth – the God/Man Jesus Christ.
The Apostle Paul concludes, “For in Him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and ye are complete in Him (Jesus), which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:9-10).
God save, bless, preserve and protect our tiny piece of ‘heaven on earth’, the Cook Islands!