“And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming.” (Luke 15:20b NLT)
In Luke 15 Jesus tells a story about a father who had two sons. Though his younger son took his inheritance and left home with no intention of ever returning, the father, who in the story represents God, never stopped loving him and never stopped watching for him to return. Though their relationship was broken, the father’s love never stopped.
The Bible says: “And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20b NLT) That’s how God feels about you. He’s watching from Heaven, lovingly waiting for you to come home. He wants you to have the relationship with Him you’ve been running from.
Yes, of course, our sin separates us from God, in terms of relationship, but not in terms of love. Paul declares in Romans 8:38: “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love…” Those words are written to believers in Jesus, because nothing in all eternity will separate a person who loves and is committed to Christ, from God’s love. But there is one thing that will separate someone who doesn’t know Jesus from God’s love.
On earth, to not have a relationship with Jesus is to miss the fullness of life that only He can give. But God’s love is still present in the world, and, thus, anyone is a benefactor of His love. However, when we die without having a relationship with Jesus, by virtue of our rejection of or unwillingness to seek His forgiveness and receive new life through Him, we separate ourselves from God for all eternity.
Two things happen when we die without having a relationship with Jesus. We’re separated from His loving presence for all eternity, and we pay the penalty for our sin, the penalty for which Jesus died on the Cross in our place, to pay. What does that mean?
If a person dies without knowing Jesus, the Bible says they will go to hell. Hell, by its very nature, is separation, from the presence of God, who IS LOVE. So, the logical question becomes: “If God loves me so much, why would He separate Himself from me for all eternity?” He doesn’t separate Himself from you, you separate yourself from Him by your unwillingness to accept the only provision for your sin – His Son, the Lord Jesus.
God is holy and perfect and can’t even look upon sin. That’s the whole reason Jesus came to earth and gave Himself as a ransom (substitute) for us – to pay the penalty for our sin and to bridge the gap between us and God that no amount of good works can bridge.
We could never have been able to go to God, so He came to us in the Person of His Son, the Lord, Jesus, who did for us what we could never in eternity have done for ourselves. And He offers us eternal life with Him, if we’ll believe what He did when He died on the Cross, was for us and in our place, receive His sacrifice as a gift of grace, and begin to live for Him.
Whether or not you profess faith in Jesus and have a relationship with Him, you ARE LOVED period. But God’s love alone will not secure you a place in heaven. One of the most often quoted verses in Scripture says: “For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that EVERYONE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 NLT)
Please know that God loves you and has made provision for you to have a relationship with Him that will last forever. But as with virtually any gift, you must receive it to benefit from it. I can open an account with a million dollars in your name and give you a debit card to enable you to access it, but if you don’t believe what I’m telling you is true and use the card to withdraw the money, it’s of no value to you.
God’s love for you, as valuable as that is, if ignored or rejected, will be of no eternal value unless and until you begin a relationship with Him through Jesus. PLEASE click on the link below and watch a brief video that will help you understand what it means to begin a relationship with Jesus. https://hutchcraft.com/the-bridge-to-god
Blessings, Ed 😊