What God Wants to Do to Every Sinner
“As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn
from his way and live: turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”
- Ezekiel 33:11
God has no desire to send a single sinner to the place of punishment. He “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
(2 Peter 3:9)
So if God does not want to punish sinners, what does He want to do to them?
1. He Wants to Hug Them
The 1st thing the loving father did to the prodigal boy was to hug him; he “fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20) That father represents God and that boy represents a sinner returning from the devil’s far country, so a fair deduction is that God longs to (spiritually speaking) wrap His omnipotent arms around each sinner who turns to him.
2. He wants to take them home with Him
The second thing the loving father did was to restore the boy to his former position as a son in the family. (Luke 15:22-24) Sleep in the servant’s quarters? The father wouldn’t hear of it. His son would get back to his old room at the big house. When God forgives, He restores the offender to his former position of love and grace.
3. He wants to adopt them
The devil is the father of sinners (John 8:44), but God longs to adopt each person into His eternal family. One concept tied to forgiveness is reconciliation, which is a social concept. With sin, we are estranged from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). In forgiveness, Jesus’ blood satisfies God’s justice and allows us to draw near to Him as He draws near to us. (Romans 3:23-26; Ephesians 2:13; James 4:8)
He wants to give us a new name (Isaiah 62:2; Acts 11:26), new standing, new brothers and sisters (1 Timothy 3:15), and an inheritance (1 Peter 1:4)
4. He wants to heal them
Sin renders our souls sick, cut and diseased (Isaiah 1:5-6; Matthew 9:12; 1 Corinthians 11:30), but the Great Physician longs to bind every wound, pouring in oil and wine. (Matthew 13:15; Mark 4:12) He wants to make us “sound.” (2 Timothy 1:7; Titus 2:2)
5. He wants to pay their bills
Our sins have racked up quite a debt in God’s court. These debts will come due on Judgment Day. When God forgives, however, He removes the notation of the offense from His record (Acts 3:19) and He grants remission of the sin debt (Matthew 26:28; Acts 2:38). When God forgives, He remembers the sin no more forever.
6. He wants to give them a good night’s sleep
God has a better way to get a good night’s sleep. Sin does render us guilty (Exodus 34:7; Romans 3:19; 1 John 3:4) and punishable (Matthew 25:46; Mark 16:16), but forgiveness “justifies.” (Romans 3:24-25; Acts 13:38-39) God grants us a full pardon (Psalm 25:11; Numbers 14:19-20). This means that God no longer holds us accountable for the offenses – the guilt is gone!