Website of Dr. John K. LaShell
Why, then, did God make you and me and the rest of creation? If a man has a wife, he might plant flowers to please her. If he has neighbors, he might make a beautiful garden to attract their attention. But if he lives by himself in an isolated spot, he beautifies his yard only to please himself. We must conclude, then, that God made the world for Himself because no one else was around. As the Apostle Paul exclaims, "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen" (Romans 11:36).
Like a great artist, God desired to express what was in Himself on a canvas of His own making. And what was in Him? He was filled up with the glorious harmony of eternal love. Therefore all the beauty of the created world is only a dim reflection of the eternal harmony of the triune God. Because human beings have been made in God's image, we are able to delight in the various harmonies He has built into the world. We enjoy—
the splendor of the heavens.
the explosion of color on a crisp fall day.
the blend of notes in a meadow lark's song.
Greater than all the beauties of nature, however, is the beauty of love. When we love God supremely and love our neighbors as ourselves, then our lives blend in with the eternal harmony of the Triune God. That is the reason God made us, and all of His commandments point us toward that goal (Matthew 22:34-40). So we can only share in the eternal happiness of God if our hearts are beating in time with His (Matthew 5:1-16).
But sin has entered the human race, disrupting our harmony with God and with others. Sin is no light matter, for the Bible uses a wide variety of terms to describe God's response to sin, including hatred, abhorrence, vengeance, indignation, burning anger and wrath (Psalm 5:5-6; Nahum 1:2, 6). God's utter revulsion toward sin is not based on some petty insistence that people obey His arbitrary rules. No, God hates sin because it strikes at the very core of His being; sin is a rebellion against the eternal harmony that holds the world together. Whenever men and women choose to ignore the one true God, the God of the Bible, they are setting themselves against the ultimate foundation of all goodness, beauty and truth. Perhaps they are nice neighbors and respectable members of the community, but a foul rottenness lies at the center of their hearts. According to the Bible, that is the spiritual condition of every man and woman: "For all of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; and all of us wither like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away" (Isaiah 64:6).
But God, who is rich in mercy, has made a way for His harmony to be restored in human hearts. In some unimaginable way God the Father poured out His wrath against sin on the head of His own eternal Son. A torrent of divine revulsion and anger flooded over Jesus as He hung on the cross until He cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matthew 27:46). When God's wrath was finally spent, Jesus sighed, "'It is finished!' And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit" (John 19:30). For a brief span of time God Himself tore apart the harmony and joy of the Trinity in order that He might forgive and then mend the disharmony of our sin.
O the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
On the third day, the human body of Jesus rose from the grave never to die again--a visible proof that He had successfully defeated death and sin (1 Corinthians 15).
How does God restore the harmony of holiness by the death and resurrection of Christ?
God sends His Holy Spirit to the people He has chosen to save. The Spirit of God changes the basic orientation of their hearts so that they turn from sin to Christ.
God forgives the sins of all who come to Him through Jesus. He puts away His anger and ceases to call them enemies.
The Holy Spirit gives them a desire to be holy and to fight against the sin that is in them.
God promises to bring them to heaven; to make them like His beloved Son; and to include them in the family circle of His glorious love. (See Romans 4:25-5:11; 8:1-39; John 17:22-26).
What must you do to be saved?
You must repent. Jesus said, "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5). Repentance is not just feeling sorry and guilty because of your sins. It means rejecting your whole former way of life and turning to God (Acts 26:18).
You must receive Jesus as your Savior. Receiving Him means--
(1) that you trust in His death and resurrection to save you.
(2) that you welcome Him as the rightful Lord over your life (John 1:11-13; Romans 10:9-10).
What happens to those who reject Christ?
Their doom is terrible beyond imagining. Since they have cut themselves off from the only fountain of beauty, truth and goodness, what is left for them? They will experience-
the wrath and rejection of God. God will thrust them out of His presence into hell, which is the garbage dump of the universe.
the loss of every good thing, including light, pleasure and companionship.
the anguish of outer darkness and unquenchable fire, where there shall be "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Mark 9:43, 48; Matthew 25:30, 46).
I urge you, therefore, to come to Christ.
Do not wait until you are good enough to come to God, for God alone can make you good enough to enjoy His eternal love. Come to Him, not only to escape the fires of hell, but even more to see the glory and beauty of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:3-6). Please come to Jesus and join the glorious harmony that began before time and has no end.
© 2010, John K. LaShell