Friday, September 25, 2009

"When Love Confounds", by Pastor Kevin Lynch

Jesus loved Susan Atkins. In all the 40 years she spent in prison for the heinous crimes she committed as part of the Manson Family, Jesus still loved her.

The first news story I read this morning as I turned on my computer, was the report of her death from brain cancer.

The story also mentioned that she was a born-again Christian.

Even though society rejected her continuous pleas for mercy and release, even up to the early part of this month, she remained apologetic and remorseful for her actions 40 years ago.

Her final words to the parole board were, "My God is an amazing God."

Yes He is.

He has to be amazing to have loved the likes of her.

And Charlie.

And me.

And, oh

Only God knows if Susan Atkins was sincere in her embracing of Jesus Christ, but if she was she is face to face with Him today in glory.

It stuns me to contemplate the question that suppose she made it to heaven and some of her victims did not?

That's part of the amazing.

We don't have to sensationalize it. The example doesn't have to be people of notoriety.

Start with yourself.

Answer the question of whether you think your sins are more forgivable than Susan Atkins.

I betcha you at least briefly consider that they were.

"Hey, I never killed anyone!"

No, but if you slandered someone, stole something, swore against God, and even smeared the Sabbath day, you are as equally guilty in God's eyes.

Not fair? Well, it's not about fairness across the board.

You're not really judged by the content and weight of your sins, but rather the root cause of why you sinned in the first place.

The stinging, dreaded words that will reverberate throughout the universe will be "Depart from Me, I did not even know you! (Matt. 25:41)

That's what determines heaven and hell.

Did you know Jesus? At the end of the day did you know and embrace the Savior from your sins?

The fact that Jesus had pursued us all the way through our sinfulness, no wait, the fact that He died for us when we were up to our nostrils in our sins, is the confounding nature of God's love.

Romans 5:8 - "But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us."

We don't know how to process that in the flesh.

It's hard for us to accept if Susan Atkins made it to heaven.

It can't be done in the flesh. Our flesh will feel a sense of gratification as we entertain the possibility of "final justice."

But God's love confounds that, and thank God for it, because we all have to get to that place where we will hear "Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt. 25:34).

Here's the thing. We should all be rejoicing at the prospect that Susan Atkins is in the presence of her Savior this morning, because assuming she has fulfilled the requirements of salvation (which is simply accepting, receiving and confessing Christ as her Savior), then that is good news for us, because if Susan Atkins doesn't make it neither do we.

Yes, I know. It confounds.

Amazing isn't it? He is truly an amazing God.

Get in touch with Him today won't you?

Keepin' it Real,

Pastor Kevin <><

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