Thursday, January 28, 2010

No One Is Too Lost Or Too Far

I love the book of Isaiah. It's definitely one of my favorite books of the bible, if not my favorite. I just love the way God spoke through Isaiah. I learn so much from his prophecies. The other day I stumbled upon this verse, and it blew me away.

"For the Sovereign Lord,
     who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says:
'I will bring others, too,
     besides my people Israel.' "
-Isaiah 56:8

Maybe I just get excited really easily, but this verse really makes me happy and gives me hope. Hope for people close to me that I fear will never come to see the Father, as well as for those who live in obscure places of the world that have never heard the name of Christ.

Someone I know was once deeply confused and consumed by doubt because she found it hard for a loving and just God to send people who have never heard of Christ to Hell. She even started to look into religions that suggested that multiple saviors arouse in different parts of the world so that everyone would hear the good news. She had so many questions and regrettably, I had very few answers at the time.

She must have found them eventually, because she was baptized this past December.

But that's not the point (even though it's a wonderful and happy occasion, really). I soon dug through the Bible for an answer, because I really wanted to help (and I became curious for the answer myself). Ironically, I stumbled upon the answer in one of the appendixes of my study bible. The timeline. And here is what I find. And I promise I'll come back to that first verse.

You see, before we were given the gift of the Spirit, we had to listen to people that God chose as His prophet. And the lineage of the Spirit can be traced all the way back to when God banished man (and woman) from Eden. And we notice that yes, God sends His messages to the same area. But I don't believe this is because He is selective. I believe that it is because it is the original kingdom of God, where all man came from. The reason we have so many areas of the world that have not heard God's word can be found in the very first pages of the Bible:

"So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden."
-Genesis 4:16

Some people, throughout history, chose to be like Cain and leave the Kingdom without bringing the word of God with them. It is really sad that places exist where the LORD is completely unknown, but it is not the fault of God. It is the fault of man. The more I think about it, the only way for God to be clear in His teachings and messages was for Him to be consistent in the area that He sent them. If His Word showed up in random places of the world in random bits and pieces, it would be a close to impossible puzzle to solve. God wasn't being selective, He was being consistent, reliable, and clear. Just as a perfect truth and Love should be.

Isaiah relieves us and blesses us with just how perfect His love is, in that there is hope yet for everyone. For God says that he will bring back the outcasts of Israel. Not only that, but He will bring others, too.

Isn't God amazing?

- Zack