"God is Tolerant"
Luke 1:76-78 (Zechariah talking to John the Baptist)
“And you, my little son, will be called the prophet of the Most High, because you will prepare the way for the Lord. You will tell his people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us."
God wants us to find salvation, to be forgiven from our sins because of his tender mercy not because of his wrath. The list of sins we need to be forgiven from are included in 1 Corinthians not because God is mean and mad but because he has tender mercy towards people, and he wants us to be with him; and sin (this list) is what would separate us from Him.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
9 Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. 11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Some of you were once like that... Paul is writing this letter to a church full of saved forgiven people - including people who used to do some of these listed things. If God were intolerant, if Christians were intolerant, then verse 11 wouldn’t be included right after a list of sins.
Christians love adulterers, prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, cheaters, and drunks. We love them so much we want them to be right with God and live forever in Heaven. Don’t be fooled those indulging in sin will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
I suppose a drunkard or abusive person could raise a fist at God and say, “This is who I am. I don’t want to be with God if he won’t accept my behavior.” They have every right to do that. But why attack the messenger?
Just yesterday Phil Robertson from the A&E show Duck Dynasty got suspended for quoting this very passage from 1 Corinthians to a magazine. He didn’t even say it on the show, which is a comedy show not a documentary or reality show or religious program in any way.
But we are not intolerant. Intolerance would mean there is no hope for you, sinner. You are rejected and unacceptable and God wants nothing to do with you. But that’s not what Phil or any of us are saying. We are simply saying, Don’t be fooled. Just because no one has been hit with a lightening bolt recently for their behavior doesn’t mean they’re right with God. He has decided what he will and will not tolerate. And he tells us because he loves us and wants us all to be saved. Firing Phil Robertson won’t change a thing.
The truth is that God is very tolerant. Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? (Romans 2:4) And he delays Jesus’ return for this reason only: The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. (2 Peter 3:9) Including homosexuals. I know they don’t think they need changing or repenting, but God is saying they do, not Phil. We’re not judging, we’re just repeating out of love not hate.
How frustrating it is to live in a day where every idea is tolerated except for yours. Please forgive our intolerant and politically correct nation. It’s horrible. I am so thankful that you have shown us how to be made right with you whether we are free to discuss it anymore or not. Help us to be bold regardless of the momentary consequences, for at just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up (Galatians 6:9)! I love you and thank you for tolerating me! And I pray for Phil and his family and bold Christians everywhere to keep being bold in Jesus’ name, amen.