“Do you do well to be angry?” (Jonah 4:4, ESV).
That’s the question God asked Jonah. Jonah didn’t want to go to Ninevah in the first place. He knew what kind of people they were, what they did to their enemies, how they showed them no mercy. He knew if he went and preached repentance to them, they might actually repent.
It’s easy to look down on an attitude like that and be self-righteous in condemning Jonah. But do we do the same?
Is there a person or a people group that you don’t think deserves God’s mercy? For some, it might be Muslims, especially the radical element. For others, it might be the LGBTQ community. Maybe it’s those pointy-headed fundamentalists who are always talking hellfire and hatred. Or maybe it’s those ivory tower liberals who have a very laissez-faire “anything goes” kind of morality.
I read today how someone was glad that Charles Manson had died. While I certainly don’t condone what he did by any means, I do think it’s wrong to celebrate the death of any human being created in the image of God, for whom Jesus died.
I firmly believe that when you qualify who is worthy of hearing and receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ, it ceases to be a gospel of grace and becomes a gospel of works and deserving.
Remember that no one deserves God’s grace. No one is exempt from that same grace. as Dr. Adrian Rogers once put it, salvation is not a reward for the righteous but a gift for the guilty.
The gospel of grace in Jesus Christ is for everyone. That goes for all the Donald Trumps out there. That goes for all the Charles Mansons, too. Just ask the Apostle Paul, who was a terrorist against the early Church and called himself the chief of sinners.
It is God’s desire that none should perish but that all should repent and come to saving faith in Jesus. There are no qualifiers. God wants no one to perish. God wants all to be saved. Even your enemies. Even mine. Even people like you and me.