God’s Response

There is much ado, spiritually speaking, about our response to God’s invitation. The confusion of how we answer God’s call is as varied as the religious bodies that propagate their pet doctrines. The only thing worse than this damnable divisiveness is the gross neglect of God’s teaching on His response to our response; few preach it, fewer want to hear it. Satan’s popular doctrine, that “God loves unconditionally” (which is taught nowhere in the Bible), is worthy of exposure.

As the “man after (God’s) own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14) prepared his son, Solomon, for the oversight of the kingdom, he gave instruction concerning the way in which God responds; David was intimately familiar with these responses. He instructed Solomon, “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever” (1 Chronicles 28:9).

Among the multiple lessons this rich revelation renders, note God’s response. “If you seek Him” contains a qualifier: there is the possibility that some will not seek Him. For those, there is no hope for a relationship. On the brighter side, if we seek God, we can know that we will find Him (Deuteronomy 30:11-14).

The contrary position, however, is rarely pointed out. In a generation that prefers positive preaching (Isaiah 30:10), here exists a negative that would be foolish to ignore. In God’s perpetually balanced approach to His revelation, He never withholds truth. “If you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever.” Indeed, the choice is ours and we not only have the ability to make the choice, we should understand that, as with every choice, there are consequences. This is not a feel-good conclusion to the context but real nonetheless.

It is the case, in a right relationship with God, perspective is key. The Christian need not fear; we are God-seekers, open to His revelation “with a loyal heart and with a willing mind,” ready to believe, accept and obey. The fear-factor is the reality for those contemplating compromise, desertion or outright apostasy; know, God WILL cast you off.

“But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39).

Jeff Sweeten