uppleaseStarted a post this morning and had everything ready to go, but needed to add a video of a song and came up short on getting it from my I-phone to any other platform where I could let you see it. Until that happens, I wanted to share what I’m preparing to preach this coming Sunday. We’re looking at 2 Corinthians 5: 14, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.”

The compelling nature of God’s love is a love that funnels everything and everyone towards God in Jesus Christ.  And the Apostle Paul makes a startling declaration about how we see other people in light of the love embodied in and through the cross. We see them as those who have died and must be given life before they can have it.

This startling declaration is perfectly in sync with what the Apostle John says before he pens John 3: 16. John says there are two groups of people in the world and the second group has but one person in it – Jesus. The first group is humanity. They are totally and unequivocally unable to ascend to heaven. They, as Paul says, have “all died” to any practical possibility of experiencing eternal life – apart from the gift of God in Jesus Christ.

In light of this inability to ascend, we are called to be “Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5: 20) Yes, we are called to love the world so we can teach it, as we are teaching our one year old grandson how to say, “Up, please.”

Christ’s love compels us to be honest about this.  Love is honest so that it can then be hopeful, and then helpful. If we persist, as many are compelled to do now, in trying to insist our love be helpful first, honest or not, we shall end up neither helpful or hopeful.