Muslims are beautiful people and dearly loved of God.
Homosexuals are beautiful people and dearly loved of God.
Everyone is a beautiful person, and dearly loved of God.
This is the Gospel. Apparently it is still a very controversial idea - even among those who call themselves "Christian" today.
I posted these statements online over the weekend on Twitter and Facebook. The response was a tidal wave of both agreement and also overwhelming disagreement.
Why is it do hard for Christians to accept the idea that God loves everyone? Isn't that foundational to the Gospel? If God did not love everyone He would not have sent His son. Jesus is proof: Everyone is beautiful and dearly loved of God.
One person asked "What about child rapists and sex traffickers. Are they beautiful people, too?"
A better question might be, "Is there anything about anyone that ISN'T always beautiful?" and the answer would be, "Yes, we all have something about us that isn't beautiful."
If you have a child and you look into the face of your child, you love them, even if they have done something horrible.
They will always be beautiful to you and you will always dearly love them.
We are made in His image. How can you not love your own son or daughter? They look like you, and even when they do bad things your love for them never changes.
He loves us even when we deny that His love is for those outside our circle. He loves us even when we say that only people like us are beautiful.
God sees what we are like inside, and He loves us still. He loves us so much that He would rather die than live without us.
This is the Gospel, my friends. It is controversial. But it's the Gospel of Jesus all the same.
So, if you can't say to a Muslim, "You are a beautiful person and dearly loved of God" then you can't possibly share the Gospel with a Muslim person.
If you can't say to a Homosexual person, "You are beautiful person and dearly loved of God", then you don't have any hope of loving them yourself or of showing them the love of God.
If you don't believe that every person is beautiful, because they are made in His image, then you don't know the Father's heart.
If you don't believe that every person is loved of God, then you don't know God because God is love.
Jesus is proof that everyone is beautiful and loved of God because "God so loved the world that He sent His only son.."
If we can't accept that God loves people who are not like us, then we don't know the fullness of His wonderful love.
This is nothing new. When Jesus proclaimed the "year of the Lord's favor" to the Jews in his hometown, they rejoiced. But when he suggested that this favor was intended to fall on the Gentiles and the Pagans around them, they turned on him and tried to kill him.
Let's not repeat that mistake, my brothers and sisters.
God's love is for everyone. Every person is made in His image and every person is dearly loved of God.
Receive it. Believe it. Embody it.