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God's most wanted

I heard recently of a T-shirt with hate speech splashed across its front. Although this is a family friendly page, I’ll tell you what it said anyway. It read, “Jesus loves you, but I’m His favorite.”

Do you think that’s cute? Obviously someone does.

I think it’s obscene. I think it legitimately qualifies as the language of hate (as opposed to so much of what is falsely labeled as “hate speech”), for it is this type of speech that makes people hate the church, God, and Christianity. It is precisely this type of smugness that repels people from Christ.

I hate that.

More to the point, I don’t think God cares for it either because it slanders His character. It makes Him out to be some sort of partisan deity, concerned about all to some degree, but still having a few favorites that are more important to Him than everyone else. It does what hate speech does in that it treats a (large) group of people as second class citizens and has God saying something to the effect of, “Unless you are a Christian, I don’t really care as much about you.”

What a lie.

One of the rip-roaring, biggest, most central truths (maybe the central truth) of all Scripture is that there is one God and He loves everyone. He is the God of all, not just the God of some. To make Him out to be the God of just a certain group diminishes His glory and masks His greatness.

Jesus modeled this truth clearly as He ministered among both the elite and outcast and everyone in between. He died between two criminals. He taught and demonstrated that there is no person who is not deeply loved by God!

When I was eleven or twelve, my favorite show was The FBI.  It was an hour long show and it starred Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., as special investigator Louis Erskine. About fifty-five minutes of the show consisted of the good guys chasing and finally capturing the bad guys. Then Efrem Zimbalist Jr. returned to the screen and talked about who was currently on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list. He would focus in on one of the fugitives, discuss the crimes they had committed and tell us what to do if we knew anything about them. He was to us then what John Walsh and America’s Most Wanted is to us today. My bedtime was right after the show. I would take this information with me to room and lay there in bed with my eyes big as saucers thinking about the criminal who had been discussed.

Who would be on God’s most wanted list in terms of love? You would. I would. Our families would. Our friends would. Our acquaintances would. Strangers would. Our enemies would.

There would be NO ONE not on the list!

Don’t you absolutely love that about God? His heart is so big, His love is so grand, it has to embrace everyone. That’s what the Scripture means when it tells us that God is love. That’s why we have such a great message to share with the world.

Let’s make sure we get it right.
 
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