The love Jesus demonstrated at the Cross is unconditional. True love reaches out to the unlovely.
The woman caught in adultery sought affection, but reaped a scandal. As the scribes and Pharisees brought her before Jesus, they demanded that her punishment be stoning. Jesus reacted in love. Stooping down, He began writing something in the sand.
Then He related the basic truth that only the sinless have a right to cast stones. Knowing that sinlessness was not something they could claim, the crowd of religious men dispersed. Only Jesus was left, and He refused to condemn her.
Jesus’ ministry always allowed for second chances. His interest was not to hold on to records of wrong, but to give people the chance to accept Him and do right. We do well to reflect His love by giving others second chances. Our greatest acts of love may be offering forgiveness to someone who has wronged us or to reach out to someone others have judged as unlovely.
Always remember the love and forgiveness God has shown you as you deal with other people. You will be less likely to cast stones and more likely to give second chances.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4).
“But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” (Luke 5:24).
It is too late in another world. Forgiveness of sins must be received on this side (1 John 3:2).
What is this assurance? How can I know for certain?
There are second chances in health, money, championships, and education; but when we pass from this life, we cannot return for a second chance. Your religion must furnish your proof. You have a right to demand it.
Calvary is ridiculous if your life can be changed and you do not know it. Something you may have and not know it, is something you can lose and never miss. The proof of your salvation is not by sensation. It is by Scripture.
Certain evidences must be manifested in our lives immediately. These evidences are recorded in the Bible.
1. THERE IS AN INFALLIBLE INSIDE WITNESS. “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son” (1 John 5:10). The preacher and the church may tell you that you are all right. But you yourself are the final judge in that matter.
Christ asked Peter about this. He asked, “Do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15). There was no doubt in Peter’s mind about his relationship to Jesus.
2. THERE IS A FAMILY RELATIONSHIP. “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14). You sense a different and vital relationship with God’s children. You are at home with spiritual things. It is a tie stronger than any family background in this world (Gal. 6:10).
3. THERE IS A NEW IMAGE. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). A New Testament Christian is not a patched-up job, a reformed sinner. There is a new will; there are new affections; there is a new purpose because there is a new nature.
The emptiest and unhappiest occupation in the world is trying to act like a Christian when you are not a Christian. You do not gradually stop stealing. You stop stealing. It is miracle, not magic.
4. THERE IS A RESPONSE OF VICTORY. “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4). See also John 17:15, 16. The born-again man or woman is not motivated by this world-system.
Fancy yourself on the farm. It is hot midsummer. Nearby is a big mud wallow. Here comes a pig. He grunts with contentment as he wades into the slime. You say, “Mr. Hog, why do you want to submerge in that filth? Why do you not seek a cleaner environment?” That pig has not the slightest interest in your ideas for his betterment. He loves the mud.
Now watch a sheep with long white wool. The moment a sheep notices mud it heads toward safer ground. The sheep has a different nature. So has a New Testament Christian.
These are Bible proofs. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).
Paul testified on two continents (2 Tim. 3:11).