Last week was the first time since March that the temperature was below 0⁰ C which called for a hot cup of tea and an hour snuggled with my cat to watch Ellen. For those who are currently living under a rock and don’t know what or who Ellen is, it is a TV show staring the lovely Ellen DeGeneres who interviews celebrities and other, much less known people, who have made a contribution to society in some wonderful way or another. Often times she gives families in need new cars or thousands of dollars to pay off medical bills or contribute to charities of some sort. It’s evident that Ellen is a fantastic and generous person who’s helped hundreds of people but of course, each person she’s done it for has always earned their breathtaking prize. Normally these parts of the show always make me tear up and think about how amazing these people are who have worked so hard with very little to make other people’s dreams come true while putting their own lives on hold. I always think about how those people must feel to be on Ellen, a TV show that millions watch every single day, and being recognized and rewarded for what they’ve done. There’s usually this little seed of a thought planted in the back of my mind that thinks “wouldn’t it be nice to sit up there and tell the world about something that you’ve done for others” and it would be, but I always remind myself of the fact that things like that don’t happen to people like me and I always thought of that statement as a fact… until this morning. This morning I watched a sermon by John MacArthur on ‘Who Jesus died for’. I thought it may be kind of silly to watch something by that title since the answer is obvious-He died for everyone. But something in me decided to watch and I’m glad I did. John spoke about how most Christians would answer the question “who did Jesus die for?” with the obvious answer of, “well everyone of course!” but according to the bible, that actually isn’t true which is a huge pill to swallow, especially if you’re a believer. I started to get more interested in what John was saying at this point since he was arguing against something that I firmly believed in which is that Jesus DID die for everyone but he went on to explain and referenced Romans 8:14 which says “ For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” Notice how it doesn’t say everyone is a child a God, just those who are led by the Spirit of God BUT in order for you to receive the spirit of God, you must ACCEPT God and be saved by Him. This is just my very complicated way of saying that not everyone accepts God and therefore is willingly deciding not to be saved by Him and therefore is rejecting the fact that Jesus died on the cross. God knew before you were even born if you were or were not going to accept him. He knew every mistake you were going to make in your life and if those mistakes were going to be covered by his forgiveness and mercy. Now doesn’t everyone get forgiven by God? Isn’t that kinda His thing… to forgive? Well yes, that is God’s thing. He forgives without question every time you ask for it but in order for you to ask for forgiveness from God, don’t you need to believe in Him? That was the question that led me to the hardest pill I’ve had to swallow in a long time which is that not everyone is going to accept God and receive his forgiveness. Not everyone is going to believe in Him and receive His spirit and therefore will NOT be a child of God. Does it not say in John 3:16 “..Whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life”? It does NOT say EVERYONE, but only those who BELIEVE in Him will not perish. The reality is that God knew before you were even created if you were going to accept him and believe in Him. Don’t you think he knew that on the cross too? He knew when he was dying who he was dying for and who was going to refuse him. He knew that millions were not going to accept him yet He STILL DIED on the cross and why? Because he knew millions of others were going to accept Him. God is not stupid so why would God die for people who were not going to believe In Him? How could a loving God pick and choose the people who would live eternally while leaving millions of others to suffer in hell? This doesn’t sound like the loving God that we all read about and pray to. But the truth is, he doesn’t choose the people who go to heaven- we do. We choose to follow and believe in Christ therefore WE choose if we go to hell or if we want eternal life but it was only through God’s sacrifice that we even have the option to choose eternal life. Jesus died on the cross ONLY for those who were going to accept him and believe in him, but he died so that EVERYONE could have the choice to love Him. This morning I always believed that miracles don’t happen to 20 year old, insignificant girls from small towns in Canada. Amazing things just don’t happen to me, I’m not important enough, but how shameful it was of me to think such an awful thing when the biggest miracle that ever could happen to me already did. God gave up his life and DIED FOR ME. He got up on that cross with me and YOU on his mind, ready and willing to die for us, so that we can spend eternity in peace. But the thing is, God only got up on that cross for you if he knew you were going to accept him. Perhaps you’ve already accepted him and this is giving you reassurance and a reminder that God had you on His mind or you haven’t given your life to God yet and that statement worries you. But worry not, because when Jesus got on that cross, he may not have died for everyone but his death did plant a seed of potential in everyone. This seed was placed in you ONLY by the sacrifice that God made and God put it there for you to have the choice to love him and to believe in him. Perhaps now when people ask me who Jesus died for, I will no longer say everyone, but I will say that Jesus died to plant the seed of choice in everyone, a seed that not everyone is going to water. For those who do water their seed and let it grow into a tree that roots you in the bible and into God, that is a fantastic thing, and you will know then that you are that person who’s on Ellen. You are that person who had a miracle happen to them and are being rewarded for it in the end, except instead of sitting on Ellen’s white chair for 20 minutes, you’ll be sitting next to Jesus for eternity…all because you believed.
Watch John’s sermon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMmnU8MbcF0