Thursday, September 18, 2008

I was a privileged man today. I had the great opportunity of visiting a friend in the hospital. If there could be a man who talked too much about heaven--this would be the guy! Every time I see him (literally!) he reminds me that we will, one day (soon!), be with the King of kings and Lord of lords! He always speaks of being in Glory and seeing our Savior face to face and worshipping him without any sinful tendencies or motives.

While he was lying in bed, I asked him what I could read for him from God's Word to encourage him. He said he wanted to hear 1 Peter 5. So I read the chapter slowly and with a loud voice (for the doctors in and outside the room to hear and afterwards we had a great talk on that day "when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory" (1 Pet 5:4).

If there was one truth which convicted me today, it was the simple fact that I--as a seminary student and as a preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ--don't exemplify the exuberate and joyful and unquenchable longing for the soon return of our Savior as I should. If you were to ask me: "Geoff, do you long for the return of Christ?" I'd respond by quickly affirming, "Yes, I do." But, I want, I really want, that kind of constant, unquenchable, and joyful attitude knowing that I will, all because of God's unconditional grace and mercy, receive that crown of glory--soon! I went to the hospital to be a blessing to another. Yet, I was the one who was truly blessed! Praise God.

On a not too distant note, I like what Phil Johnson wrote today about God loving all men yet being angry with the sinner:
I believe Scripture plainly teaches that there is a true and significant
sense in which God loves even those whom He hates. Scripture says His mercies
are over all His works (Psalm 145:9). He cannot hate His own
creatures with a pure and undiluted hatred, because they are the works of His
hands. Jesus said in
Matthew 5:44-45 that the way to be
like God is to love even our enemies.God's eternal love for his elect is unique,
and reserved for them alone. But we understand that there is more than one kind
of love, even in the realm of human relationships. My love for my wife is vastly
greater—and a different kind of love—from my love for my neighbor. But my love
for my neighbor is no less love, and not a mere pretense.In a similar way, God
loves the reprobate differently—a love of compassion; not a redemptive love. But
He does love them and His plea for them to be reconciled with Him (
2 Corinthians 5:20)
is well-meant.

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