We just finished our sermon series Googling for God. Check out any of the sermons for that series on our Sermons page.
Over the course of that series, I invited people in our community to submit their own questions about God these days; and just this past week, I took some time to try and address a few of those questions.
But it was near impossible to get to all of them! So over the next few weeks, I’m going to try and address any remaining questions we received, right here on our blog. With that, let’s jump to the first question!
What does God think about people who have lost their faith?
I think our best principles for this question come from the 15th chapter of Luke’s Gospel. Check it out for yourself, and see what you think.
This is storytelling Jesus at his best; using illustrations and case studies in order to make a point. The wonderful thing about stories and illustrations is that they convey principles which we can apply to a wide range of possibilities, rather than a hard and fast rule that can seem very limited. But enough about that!
Jesus seems to suggest three different points in three different stories of separation here:
- God goes out of his way to pursue one person who may have left relationship with him; and he does so with joy, not anger.
- God would search everywhere for even one person who may have left relationship with him; and again, he does so with joy, and not anger.
- God runs out to meet even one person who may have left relationship with him, and he throws a huge party afterwards.
The three motifs that Jesus uses here are a shepherd looking for one of his sheep, a woman searching for a valuable coin, and a father running out to meet his long-lost son. In all three motifs, it is God’s activity that completes the restoration of relationship, not something we do to earn it. And each motif seems to suggest that God believes we are useful to him, we have worth to him, and we are his children.
So I would say that according to Jesus, God seems to exhibit love, compassion, and grace towards people who have lost their faith.