1 Timothy 1:13-16
….. although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life. NKJV
There are two faithful sayings in Paul’s Pistols which are ‘worthy of all acceptance’ tonight. The first one is here in 1 Timothy 1:15 and the other in 1 Timothy 4:9. The appendage of this faithful saying which is ‘rightly deserving the receiving,’ or ‘worthy of all acceptance,’ highlights the especially important nature of the faithful saying itself, this one being the fact that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners!
There has been a great reluctance in modern day Evangelicalism not to blame God. The root reason for this reluctance is very simple indeed, for if a holy and righteous God is to be blamed for some of our global, national, community, family or personal problems, then He must be a God of intervening judgement after all! However, we all know that the greatest sin at the beginning of the 21st century is the sin of having the utter impudence to judge someone else! Therefore God cannot be nor cannot act in judgement.
Therefore, the God who is not to be blamed is to all intents and purposes a non-judgmental God. The outcome in living in the light of such a non-judgmental heavenly being is that we can in fact now live exactly how we please, because, in the end, all this disconnected and indifferent heavenly being hopes for, and weeps for, is that we would love and respect one another, no matter who we are, or what we are doing. Now then, when things do ‘go wrong’ whether it is gross catastrophe or slight inconvenience, it is either due to simple accident or maybe some kind of Hollywood Karma, where we are simply being paid back by ‘the universe’ for the negative actions we have undertaken, either in this life, or maybe in another previous one. In other words, we are only ever responsible for not treating the universe correctly, and when things go wrong, it simply the universe paying us back. A bit like throwing a cricket ball at an inverted trampoline, it will just bounce back, and hurt you.I tell you that this is the nearest thing modern man gets to in taking personal responsibility for anything.
So, for the modern day Christian, God never judges in this life, and frankly, if He never judges in this life, why should He do so in the next? I mean, God has been so affable and understanding to all the commandment breaking and fist shaking toward God in this life, to all the murders of babies and sexual shenanigans, to all the brazen contraries of operation in His church, that to now consider, that these transgressions will be judged without the same inept affability in the next life, is by no means a leap to far. Hell, we are told, is simply what we make it to be for ourselves. Eternal Karma shall have its due and God shall weep in regret. “But Lord” some will say in heaven, “What about all those people in hell?” “Ah,” shall the Lord reply, “They are there of their own volition and anytime they choose too, they can come out of hell into my Kingdom of love and acceptance of all. Nevertheless, they don’t want to. Therefore, they are locked into a never-ending Karmic self-judgement. I never judged them. No, they ultimately judged themselves by being nasty to the universe.”I tell you that this is the nearest thing modern man gets to in taking personal responsibility for anything.
In God’s universe, however, He is the ever active God. Active in upholding all things by the word of His power even giving all of us our very next breathe! In God’s Universe, He is the the righteous and holy judge of the whole earth. In God’s universe, He is not a God who is afar off, but rather, He is a God who is near, even at our elbow. In God’s universe, He is the God who intervenes, the God who interferes, and does so in both cataclysmic judgements and mild inconveniences. In God’s universe, He is to blame for much more than we give Him credit for. Yes, God judges both this side of the grave and the other side of the grave as well. The problem that we have with this kind of a God, is that He judges and in the so doing pronounces all of us, the whole of humanity that is, as guilty and condemned sinners, reprobate rebels, all deceitful and desperately wicked, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever! God will judge the world, God has judged the world, and God is
The good news from this faithful saying of Paul, and one that is worthy of all acceptance by everyone under this darkening sun, is that Christ Jesus came into the world to save such condemned sinners such as us. The Son of God, clothed Himself in flesh and as an innocent sacrifice, suffered, bled, and died in our place, to thus satisfy the righteous wrath and indignation of God against all of our sin. He died in our place that in believing in Him, we might live with Him and the eternal effect of this great sacrifice is for the benefit of everyman who believes. Even Paul, that Chief anti-Christian monster of old. And a monster he was.judging the world. The non-Christian in God’s judgement is spiritually dead even now will be eternally separated from God in never ending judgement in all the eons to come.
Christ Jesus came into the world to save everyman. Everyman therefore should take notice of this. There is a cure for the product of sin. There is a cure for sin iteslef. There is a great salvation procured for each and every one of us, even a complete pardon and full restoration to God as sons. No matter how bad you are, Christ can make you good! ‘Heaven is offered and all its everlasting glories’ to us most miserable of sinners. Is this not a faithful saying worthy at the very least of your consideration never mind acceptance! Yet today in the blind and mad world, even such consideration is trampled under foot as the Gospel of God is openly derided. Even so, Christ came into the world to save YOU and you should eagerly embrace this most worthy of sayings. I ray that you will.
Listen: But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13 NKJV)
Pray: Father, how cold my heart O Lord, how cold the familiarity and repetition of this most faithful saying, most worthy of all acceptance, has become within my heart. How cold O Lord, my thankfulness, how cold my wonder and awe has lately so become. How cold O Lord your body, laid inside the tomb, how cold O lord, how cold. Therefore, this I ask O God, heat me up again, that I may be hot for You. As you resurrected my Savior, so resurrect my cold heart even now, in His great name I ask it, amen and let it be so.