The Voice Of One Transcript

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The Love of God

Today, we want to talk about love. But what love do we want to talk about?
 Some people believe that love is what takes place between two consenting adults in an amorous relationship. Unfortunately, as experience has proven in very many instances, this kind of love is nothing but lust, and only lasts for as long as the desires of either consenting adult is satisfied or until a different consenting adult charms away one of the initial two consenting adults; at which time the one who has been left behind is summarily dumped! This is an erotic kind of love which, when it first begins seems to sweep those so engaged in it off their feet, bringing only momentary satisfaction, which is really a gratification that ends up in regret, pain, hurt, unwanted pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis, HIV/AIDS, and so on. What a pain this kind of love is.
 Some other people believe that love is the show of affection between two people who are related by blood, as in brothers and sisters, cousins, uncles, aunties, nieces, nephews, and even tribesmen. Unfortunately again, this kind of love is just a convenient relationship which stays in place for as long as one person keeps getting what he or she wants. Once these blood relatives are unable to keep making each other happy, they get disappointed, and look to other people who will make them happy. What a selfish thing this kind of love is, for it seeks only its own satisfaction; not the joy of the other blood relative. We have seen from experience, how brothers and sisters of the same father and mother have fought themselves to the point of even committing murder, just because one person felt cheated by the other, got jealous of the other, or even was envious of the progress the other person was making. No! This is not the kind of love we want to talk about.
 Then there is the love of a mother for her child. Because of this love, even a mother who is mentally imbalanced will do everything to keep her child from harm. Because of the love a mother has for her child, she will hate, with a passion, anything that wants to bring harm to her child, and will do anything to protect her child from danger. For instance, a mother will attack malaria in her child with so great a ferociousness that you would think that she and malaria have had a dispute from way back. And this is the closest we may ever get to understanding the love we want to talk about. Yet, this is not the love we want to talk about.

The love we want to talk about is a love that gives, not one that takes; it is a love that does not expect anything in return, but one that gives out of the benevolence of the giver; it is a love that is not based on who you are, but a love that is based on who the one loving is! Indeed, it is a love that is beyond human understanding and beyond mere human experience!

In the gospel of John 3:16, Jesus said, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. This is the clearest statement that speaks of the love we want to talk aboutthe love of God for mankind!

The verse of scripture we just read, is about the most popular passage in the Holy Bible. It is one verse that is readily quoted by Christians to anyone who is not a Christian. It is one of the verses that every Christian is expected to memorize particularly for evangelistic purposes. Some people have referred to this verse as the greatest love quotation there ever can be; some others have said that it is a verse that speaks volumes about the love of God for mankind; and some others still have used this verse to describe the extent and enormity of the love of God! To paraphrase John 3:16, we could say, Because of the love which God has for mankind, He gave up His only begotten Son, so that whoever puts his trust in Him should not die and be separated from God forever, but have the opportunity to live in the presence of God forevermore.

It is our intention today, to speak to you about God (and you may be saying, But I dont want to hear about Him!). We also want to speak about the only begotten Son of God (and you may be asking, Does God have a Son?). Furthermore, we want to speak about the world (and we hear you say, Who cares?). We shall press on and speak about the love of God (and you may be saying, This is not a topic I care about right now!). Finally, we shall be speaking about you (and I hear you say, Now, thats more like it; and it better be good!). Well, we can assure you that for all that it is worth; you will not regret listening in.

So, let us begin with some important comments about God:
Firstly, God created the heavens and the earth. Indeed, the whole Universe, its galaxies, solar systems, and all the planets. These did not come about by a big bang, billions or trillions of years ago. They were indeed made by the God of heaven and earth!
Secondly, God created all the things within the earth. There is nothing that was made that He did not make. Anything that God did not make was manufactured. The difference between a manufacturer and the Maker is this: the manufacturer makes something from something else, whereas the Maker makes something from nothing. In other words, the manufacturer needs the Maker to produce anything! God is the only Maker; every other being is a manufacturer. The story is told of a scientist who challenged God, and said to God that he could make a human being. So God accepted the challenge, and the scientist went about gathering sand with which to mould the image of man; but God stopped him in his tracks, and said, Not so fast, go and get your own sand! Indeed, God alone is the Maker, and only He made from nothing, all things that occupy the earth!
Thirdly, when God made man, He gave time and consideration in the creation of man. Man was not accidentally created, neither is he the outcome of an unplanned game on the beach by God; rather, man was deliberately and purposefully made. He was made in the image and likeness of God, and is thus the object and subject of the love of God! Many men who do not care much for the pregnancy their wives are carrying become transformed literally, the moment they see the new born baby looking very much like them. It is unexplainable, but somehow, a man becomes attached to a child who looks exactly like him, and will give and do anything for the sake of that child. This is another human angle to explaining the love which God has for man, His ultimate creation! But unlike the love many of us profess to have for others, the love of God for mankind has not, cannot, and does not change!

When God made man, He made them male and female, and put them in the Garden of Eden. He gave them everything they could ever need, but He also told them not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; failing which they would die! Unfortunately, Adam and Eve, the two humans God first made, ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which they were told not to eat of, and from that time on till now, man, who was made never to die, dies! But God did not stop loving man, for He has since then been working at bringing man, the object of His love, back to the original state of purity, He intended, when He first created them!

But because of the consequence of the eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil by Adam and Eve, all men born of a man and a woman, are born into a life of sin. This is the reason why children dont need to be taught to lie before they start lying; and they are not taught how to manipulate, but from a tender age, children manipulate their parents in their favour. But God did not stop loving man, and He continues still to work at bringing man back to the place of sinlessness as at the beginning!

Something else happened as a result of the disobedience of Adam and Eve, and that was that the path to the Tree of Life, which would have enabled Adam and Eve in their state of sin and shame, and by extension, all human beings, to live in that state of sin and shame forever, was blocked by Cherubims and a flaming sword which turned every way (Genesis 3:24), to protect man from eating of it, and becoming forever irredeemable, like the devil and his demons. Gods love for man was shown here when He drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden, to protect them from eating of the Tree of Life, and so, become irredeemable. It was because of Gods love that He kept man from eating of the Tree of Life, until man had been brought back to the original state of sinlessness! You see, eating of the Tree of Life will make the eater to live forever, in whatever state he is in. If man is now to live forever in the presence of God, he must be able to do so in a state that God can then make the Tree of Life available to him, after he has been prepared in Gods wayhaving a heart that is pure before God! Indeed, the Tree of Life will again be made available to all those who have been washed and cleansed from sin and brought to the original state of sinlessness.

Then again, there was the curse that was pronounced on Adam and Eve, and by extension, their descendants, which is, every human being on earth: whether you are black, white, brown, yellow; whether you are the richest man on the earth, middle-income, or the poorest man on earth; whether you are a baby, a toddler, a teenager, an adolescent, an adult, or a very old man; whether you are a politician, a preacher, a policeman, a medical practitioner, a lawyer, a civil servant, a student, a house help, etc. The bible says, All have sinned (Romans 3:23); therefore the curse of God is upon all men, until death. Someone may argue that, If God really loved man, why did He curse man? The truth is, the curse was the consequence of the act of disobedience of Adam and Eve. When a child is disciplined by his parents for doing wrong, it does not mean that they love him any less. In life, we take many decisions without really thinking of the consequencebut there are consequences for every decision we take and we cannot avoid them. Once you take a decision, whether or not you are prepared for the consequences, they nonetheless appear, and cannot be wished away. For instance, it is foolhardy to hear people speak of an unwanted pregnancy, yet engage in activities that bring it about. If you dont want to get pregnant, dont engage in activities that bring about pregnancy! There is a saying, If you cant do the time (that is, a prison sentence) dont do the crime. Simply put, engaging in crime has consequences, and that includes a prison sentence and even a death sentence depending on the nature of the crime! If you live right before God, no curse can stick to you. God said in Proverbs 26:2, Like a flitting sparrow, like a flying swallow, so a curse without cause shall not alight. And in spite of the curse on man, all that God has been doing is to lift off the curse that has rested upon man. And this is where Jesus Christ, the Son of God, comes in. Jesus was made to become a curse, so that the curse upon man can be lifted off of man. In Galatians 3:13 God tells us that Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree). In this way, God has shown the extent of His love for man, in making His own Son to become a curse so that the curse on man can be lifted!

From the moment Adam and Eve sinned against God, God made a provision for the redemption of Adam and Eve, and by extension, that of all of mankind. And God did this out of His love for man, not because man was fantastic. From the moment man sinned and all the things that could go wrong in his life went wrong, God put in place a plan to rescue man from sin and bring him back to the place of eternal life, as He had intended for man when He (God) first created man. This is the plan God has tirelessly pursued, and continues to pursue, throughout the ages! This plan of God which derived from His love for man was to be revealed by, in, and through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. But before the Son of God came to the earth in the form of a human being, God made a temporary provision whereby the blood of an innocent animal (specifically, a sheep, a ram, a goat, a cowthat is, animals that cannot and have not harmed another animal or human being) would be spilled by killing the innocent animal so that the sins of man can be covered for one year. A sinner would place his hands upon the head of the innocent animal, thereby transferring his own sins on to the innocent animal, which then makes the animal no longer innocent, but worthy of death; and, the sinner no longer worthy of death, but justified and free to live again. The innocent animal thus takes the place of the sinner, dying in the sinners place for the sinners sins; and, becoming a substitute for the sinner. What love! That God did this from the moment Adam and Eve sinned is evident when He slew a goat and made clothes from the goats skin for Adam and Eve to put on, in replacement of the leaves they had woven around their naked bodies. Not only that, God further encouraged such clean animal sacrifice among men, and even instituted it as a means of atonement for sin, albeit, temporarily.

Even to this day, there are people who practice this ritual of ceremonial cleansing annually, using an innocent animal as their substitute: The guilty being made free upon the death of the innocent who has taken the place of the guilty! Unfortunately, there are those who have gone the wrong way, by using human beings in the place of an innocent animal, and sadly, their sins remain, and indeed have become worse still! Try as they may, many ritualists, will tell their adherents to look for small children, presumed to be innocent, or young virgins, presumed to be chaste, not having been soiled by men. What they fail to realize is that sin is in all human beings, and so there is none that can be useful in taking away the consequence of sinno matter how many times those human sacrifices are made! Indeed, only One human beings death is acceptable as the basis for the salvation of sinful man whether he is just being born now or will be born in the years to come; and that is, Jesus, the Son of God! Jesus was conceived by the Spirit of God, and, born of a virgin. He was therefore, born without sin, lived without sinning, and died only because the sins of mankind was laid upon Him, like the innocent animal which becomes a substitute for a sinner! Thus, Jesus Christ became the perfect sacrifice for sin! The truly sinless, taking the place of all sinners, and so dying on account of mens sins, and, justifying and making man free from sins hold and oppression.

No matter how angry a mother is with her child; her love for that child never fails. Even when she canes the child, it is out of love for that child that she does so. But recognizing that there are human mothers who may even forsake their children, God said in Isaiah 49:15, Can a woman forget her baby? Can she forget the child who came from her body? Even if she can forget her children, I cannot forget you.; and the Psalmist affirms in Psalm 27:10: When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

After Centuries of man trying to be right with God, albeit, in Gods temporary/annual way, and sometimes in their own unhelpful and unacceptable way; God has now brought to man a permanent way by which man can be cleansed from sin, live henceforth without sinning, and thus become qualified to eat of the Tree of Life and thereby live forever in a state of holiness! This way is through the sacrificial death of Gods only begotten Son, Jesus Christ! Indeed, while Jesus walked the face of the earth in human form, He said of Himself, I am the way, the truth, and the life. The only way to [God,] the Father is through me. (John 14:6).

So, instead of the sacrifice of innocent animals which would have to be done repeatedly annually, God, through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ by His death on the cross at Calvary, has made the provision for man to be cleansed from his past sins (including the sin of Adam and Eve), and from unwitting and unintentional sins presently committed. This cleansing makes a person qualified to now eat of the Tree of Life unhindered and therefore live forever more!

From the time a person is cleansed of sin, to the time he qualifies to eat of the Tree of Life and therefore live forever, that individual constantly goes through a process of sanctification, which makes him a holy individual before God. What a plan! What love for man! And it all originated and ends in God and His Christ!

Now let us turn to the world. There are customs and traditions which we enter into and become accustomed to, as we live in this world. There are ways of doing things in the world which we grew up to meet, and have, as adults, advanced, established, and propagated. This is what we know as the world system, or simply referred to as the world. Over the years, the world system has undergone changes, all in a bid to make it possible for everyone to live as acceptably as possible within it. For example, in some countries, it is now possible for any two people to get married whether they are both of the same gender or not! Thus, it is possible to see a marriage of two women or two men, just as you would see a man and a woman as husband and wife in such countries. So, in the world that we live in, when a man is unable to live in a way prescribed by God, he tries to get himself into a position of authority, so that he can circumvent Gods law by seeking to entrench his own beliefs, so that he can live the way he wants to, which is contrary to the way of God.

Therefore, as we look at the world in which we live, we see a system of living that is contrary to all that God stands for. So, when God sent Jesus to come and save the world, He was referring, not to the world system, but to the people in the world. However, it was expected that as the people in the world are changed into the image of the Son of God, like man was in the beginning in the Garden of Eden; that man would then begin to change the way he does things to conform to Gods original order. At no time did God intend to change the physical world; for He had already determined that at the end of the age, that the world will be destroyed by fire (2 Peter 3:12), and a new heaven and a new earth created (Revelation 21:1).

For any man to be redeemed from sin and therefore be change into the image of the Son of God, and be able to live in Gods presence forever, and escape the destruction and judgment that is to come upon all who have sinned without repentance, certain things must occur:
Firstly, a man will have to come to a point where he realizes that he is living a sinful life; that is, a life which is contrary to Gods order for man.
Secondly, he will have to realize that he needs to be cleansed (freed) from his sinfulness;
Thirdly, he will have to accept Gods offer of salvation for the cleansing of sin through Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
Fourthly, he will have to be willing to forsake his sinful ways and commit to holy living; and,
Fifthly, he will also have to believe in his heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that it was by Jesus death on the cross at Calvary, that his own sins are cleansed and removed forever!

Once this is done, God then comes to dwell in the man through His Holy Spirit, Who will then give directions to the man on how to live henceforth. What love!

Hear what Jesus said about the love of God in John 15:3: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. And this is exactly what Jesus did for those who had sinned against Godwhat love! And God tell us in Romans 5:6-10 that [Jesus] Christ died for us when we were unable to help ourselves. We were living against God, but at just the right time [Jesus] Christ died for us. Very few people will die to save the life of someone else, even if it is for a good person. Someone might be willing to die for an especially good person. But [Jesus] Christ died for us while we were still sinners, and by this God showed how much he loves us. We have been made right with God by the blood sacrifice of [Jesus] Christ. So through [Jesus] Christ we will surely be saved from God's anger. I mean that while we were God's enemies, he made friends with us through his Son's death. And the fact that we are now God's friends makes it even more certain that he will save us through his Son's life. What love!

This, my friends, is what the love of God for man is aboutbringing man to the place where he is accepted by God, so that he can thus become a partaker of the Tree of Life, and live in holiness in the presence of God forever! Gods love for man is not about pampering a sinful man and encouraging him to continue to live in sin without the consequence of eternal judgment; neither is it about God crying and begging a sinning man to go to church so that He (God) can be happy to see them in church, while they go on living as they wish thereafter; nor is it a sentimental action of giving presents to the sinner so that he can decide at his own convenience when he wants to give God a chance, having received a bribe or inducement from God, ostensibly. No! The love of God for man is about Gods desire to bring man back to the original state of sinlessness in which man was originally made so that the Tree of Life which God had intended for man can now be eaten by a man who is without sin, and therefore, live forever in a state of holiness! Many parents wish that their wayward adult children can be the sweet little children they once knew again; who were nothing but innocent! Only through Jesus Christ can a wayward individual become a useful and sin-free person!

Now, let us talk about you in the context of all that has been said so far. When we talk about man, we are in effect talking about you! It doesnt matter if you are female, a teenager, or have in your own estimation, never lived a sinful life. In the sight of God, all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God! It is to you that we are therefore making this address about the love of God. We want you to know that God loves you with an everlasting love, but He will nonetheless mete out the punishment of eternal death if you refuse His offer of salvation with the right motivewhich is recognizing that you are a sinner, and humbly accepting His offer of salvation for your soul! Can you imagine the God Who created all things from nothing, going to the extent of giving up His own Son to pay the penalty of death for your sins? Just for you? It is very important that you understand that everything that God did, He did with you specifically in mind, and He did it all just for you! Not for someone else to the exclusion of you. No! Everything that God has been doing, and is still doing, He did and He is doing for you, including this broadcast! What will your response be? Will you accept Gods offer of salvation now?

There is a true life event which occurred in my neighbourhood very many years ago, which should help you appreciate better what is on offer. There was a boy who lived with his parents in a block of flats. One day, he was playing on the top of a septic tank into which all the urine and the faeces of all the occupants of the flats was flushed. He was told by his parents to come away from the top of the septic tank, and play elsewhere, but he refused, and continued to play, and jump on it. In fact, the more he was told to come away from the top of the septic tank, the more he played thereon, and the harder he jumped and thumped on the concrete covers of the septic tank. Suddenly, the septic tank cover gave way, and the boy went down into the septic tank. Some adults nearby were however, able to rescue him before he was drowned in the cesspool of urine, faeces, and other effluents. When he was pulled out, he began to cry, calling for his parents, who were on one of the upper floors of the block of flats, but they yelled at his rescuers not to allow him come near the building. Instead, they threw down a sponge, a brush, soap, cream, perfume, and all that was necessary to make the boy clean again, so that the people who had helped bring the boy out of the septic tank could give him a good scrub. These men then proceeded to strip the boy of the clothes he was wearing and gave him a good scrub for almost one hour, inspecting every orifice in his body to ensure that no particle of excrement was overlooked. When they were done with scrubbing him in the open field of the compound, then they rubbed cream on him and doused him with perfume. Then his parents threw down fresh clothing, so that the boy could be clothed. Only then did the boys parents allow their son to again enter the building and their flat. The parents did not love the boy any less; they just could not have him come into the home with the filth he was covered in and soil the sweet smelling ambience in the house.

This is similar to what God did for you and I. Because of His love for you, He has continually warned you not to play around the pitfalls of life; but have you listened and obeyed? Now that you have fallen into these pitfalls, and into the cesspools of self-inflicted problems, drug addiction, prostitution, murder, stealing, lying, witchcraft, secret cults, and so on, God is now offering you the only One Who can rescue you, in the Person of His own Son, Jesus Christ, Who has already paid the price for your numerous sins. As long as you reach out to God even now, in acknowledgment of Jesus death on the cross for your sins, you will this instant be forgiven by God, you will be completely cleansed of sin, you will be clothed with righteousness, and God will receive you as His very own. Please note that everything from start to finish about your salvation and deliverance, is Gods doing; all He requires of you is that you accept His offer of salvation. Do you acknowledge that you are a sinner, and that you need your sins taken away? Are you ready to accept Gods offer of salvation through Jesus Christ? Are you prepared to come to God on His terms and dwell with Him forever? If your answer is Yes

Let us pray!