Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.Matt. 18:14
Exclusion and Inclusion
In this Bible study called God’s will for your life, the scripture passage for this week has relevance and inclusion for everyone. The distinction of Christianity is that while it is exclusive by doctrine in that it cannot be combined with any other way to heaven, it is inclusive in that it is God’s will for all people to be saved. The apostle Paul articulated this very well in his letter, “For this [is] good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” [1 Tim. 2:3-4]
An Open Invitation
The invitation therefore from the heavenly Father is to have all people believe on the redemption provided through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ; it is not for the select few, or privileged elite of the world, it is for everyone. To further authenticate this, it was Jesus himself who stated to an inquiring Pharisee named Nicodemus, “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.” [John 3:16] Take careful note of the use of the word “whosoever” for this is an open invitation to the world, not to a select few people. This is indeed where God’s will for your life starts!
In addition to this, it is important to be aware that God is patient and long-suffering toward all people in his desire to have them come to him and believe on his Son. The apostle Peter wrote of this very point. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” [2 Pet. 3:9] In this verse, the contrast of slackness is brought forth in that slackness with God is beyond human comprehension in comparison to how people view it in the context of ourselves. Also to note in this verse is the reiteration that God is not willing that any should perish, thus harmonizing with this week’s scripture reading.
Hindrance of Sin
With all of this said, it should bring reassurance to many people who doubt or question whether they can come to God. Perhaps it is the sins people have committed that keeps them at arms length from God? It has been said that the Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible. The apostle Peter knew of his sin before the Lord Jesus and upon encountering Jesus he pleaded with Jesus in light of his own sinful condition, “When Simon Peter saw [it,] he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” [Luke 5:8] It is likely a certain assumption that most of humanity would react the same way by falling on our knees in the very presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is why the apostle Paul declared how people will acknowledge Jesus one way or the other whether they believe in him nw or later, “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” [Phil. 2:10-11] This is the startling reality as people will either believe now or after their death that Jesus Christ is Lord of all creation. Clearly, for seekers of faith this is something to give contemplation to before it is too late to make a decision for Christ.
The prominence of God’s love for us must be underscored though at this juncture. To recap, it is the Father’s will that no one should perish. He loves us so much that he sent his Son to come into the world and to take the penalty of sin for everyone upon himself. This is why Jesus stated in his very own words, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” [John 3:17] Jesus is not condemning the world, he is saving the world and the world in this context, means you and me.
By believing on the atoning work of Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross, his burial and resurrection, Jesus takes our sin upon himself. In turn, through faith, he imputes his righteousness upon us, what an exchange of unfathomable blessing from God himself! Little wonder, the apostle Paul boldly declared in his letter to the church in Rome, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” [Rom. 1:16] There is no shame in believing the gospel, while the world may mock such as belief as naive or as lacking strength in one’s own self imposed ability to save themselves, the gospel is the true power of God unto salvation [John 1:12]
Foolishness of the World
In one of Paul’s letters he boldly declared the power of the gospel in contrast to how many see it as mere foolishness, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” [1 Cor. 1:18] Knowing God’s will for your life starts by placing your trust and faith in him and in what he has already done for you on the cross at Calvary. Paul states this further on in the same letter to the church in Corinth, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” [1 Cor. 2:5] The world however teaches the very opposite for mankind, to place your faith in man’s wisdom instead of God’s wisdom but the wisdom of the world is foolishness before God [1 Cor. 1:20].
Sin of Unbelief
Let us therefore close off this Bible study on God’s will for your life. For all people, it will not be any particular sin that will keep them out of heaven. It will rather be the sin of unbelief that will indite them to the consequences of an eternal nature, otherwise known as hell in the Bible. Jesus himself experienced this reaction from the religious leader of his day who were intent on mocking him through their unbelief. But, Jesus retorted back to them, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he,] ye shall die in your sins.” [John 8:24]
This statement is so notably profound because it illustrates the importance of coming to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, having your sins washed away by his redemption on the cross through his shed blood. Consider how Paul declares saving faith, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” [Rom. 10:9-10] Belief in your heart and verbal confession is really where faith starts!
Yes, this is God’s will for your life, believe and you will be saved with the Lord’s righteousness imputed upon you as new birth takes place in your spirit. You are saved though faith and not simply a faith in anything but faith in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul states this very same promise to all believers, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” [Eph. 2:8-9] For many people, they need to come to the realization that salvation cannot be earned by working for it because it is a gift of God.
Dear reader, this is God’s will for your life, “Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” Are you still in the place of the apostle Peter, filled with so much sin that you feel unloved, unwelcome and undesirable in God’s presence? Shame and conviction make loathsome bedfellows for all of us but here is a lasting promise from scripture, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” [1 John 1:9-10]
Why not confess your worthless sins now to God, come to him in prayer, come to him in repentance, flee a life filled with the unfruitful works of darkness and become a child of the heavenly Father now and for eternity!
Bible Study Questions
- Although it is God’s will for all people to be saved and knowing people are given free will, why do you think so many choose not to believe in him?
- What does it tell you about God’s character when you read that he is long suffering toward people for them to come to him?
- In the section hindrances of sin, have you personally found this to be a challenge for you and how could you overcome this in the future?
- Fill in the blanks from Phil. 2:10-11, That at the name of __________ every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] _________ to the glory of God the Father.
- In Rom. 10:9, it states that we are to verbally confess that Jesus is Lord and to believe in our heart that God has raised him from the dead. Read verse 10 to better understand why.
- In the context of Rom. 10:9-10, how would you explain to someone the importance of believing by faith?
- If you made a decision in prayer and repentance to come to believe in saving faith in Christ, will you consider sharing this message called God’s will for your life with someone you care about?
For reference, here are some frequently asked questions that are answered in this Bible Study. It is with sincere prayer that they have been answered through carefully researched and written commentary for seekers of faith. The absence of answers in the study is perhaps indicative that the events and circumstances were deemed less worthy of documentation in the overall importance of biblical scripture. What is God’s will for our life? How do I pray God’s will for my life? What does God’s will mean? What is the will of God according to the Bible? How can I know God’s will for my life? How do we know God’s will for our lives? God’s will for your life verse. Will of God verses. God’s will meaning. God’s will examples. god has a plan for your life sermon. Doing God’s will. What is God’s will for me.