The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Lost Sheep ( of the House of Israel )

What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
Luke 15:4

When Jesus spoke this parable to those assembled there, He was no doubt referring to those 'lost sheep of the house of Israel', but what if He wasn't simply making this allusion, but was making a blanket statement of His entire creation?! Many Christians are afraid to go there, for whatever reason, first & foremost probably being that this kind of think could almost be construed as some sort of 'universalism', and at the very least, could lead to universalistic tendencies!

Although some might try, there really is no arguing with the fact that Jesus was relating His Father, our Heavenly Father, with the man who had the symbolic one hundred sheep! The representation might not be perfect, as we construe perfection today, for our Heavenly Father is infinite and we are finite, but are we not all His, since He created us?

The argument has been made, and will doubtless continue to be put forth, that just because we are all His creatures, His creation, if you will, all are not His children! This may well be debated for eternity, for Scripture does make abundantly clear that, within the context of the Story of Israel anyway, there were 'children of the devil' & 'children of God'; these were always opposed o each other as bitter adversaries!

If the Scriptures were simply a History of Israel according to the flesh, as some seem to purport, now that all is fulfilled, then that would mean, especially if this 'devil' ( adversary ) was symbolic of those Jews who selfishly opposed Yahweh's Plan, that there are no more 'children of the devil' as opposed to 'the children of God', right?!

Well, yes & no! The Scriptures ARE a History of Israel, but they are NOT simply about Israel according to the flesh ( natural generation ); they all pointed to the Spiritual ( Re ) Generation of Israel, both Jew & Gentile that came through the Messiah of Israel, through God Himself! Those Jews who rejected Christ were most definitely the adversaries ( devil/Satan ) of God's Covenant People back then, but do the People of God today still have those who oppose them, do we not still have our adversaries?

The Israel of God is doubtless, according to Scripture, those who accepted Jesus as their Messiah, and without doubt, those who, even today, continue to accept this saving fact! His entire creation, all His children, so to speak, do not belong then to this Israel of God, not having become members of the Body of Christ, but can we not deduce, from this parable, as well as the greater context of the Covenantal Nature of Scripture, that our Heavenly Father seeks to be reconciled with all His children?

Why then, do not & have not all His creatures, Pol Pot & Hitler, for example, reconcile & return to His Open Arms? This is a question that has plagued the Church for centuries & may do so for centuries more! The conundrum is false! Neither do we have a weak & helpless Creator, wringing His hands, nor do we have a Cruel & merciless God who creates just to destroy! We have a gracious & merciful Heavenly Father who justly punishes those children of His who choose to disobey His Word, but gladly accepts into His family those who repent of their unrighteous deeds & return with all their strength, to His Way!

May we all remember that, as the Israel of God, it is our Purpose to be the Fulfillment of His Word & Way, and to bring all His children back into His Loving & Open Arms!

Charles Haddon Shank

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