For God has imprisoned everyone in disobedience so he could have mercy on everyone. Romans 11:32
Mercy is what everyone gets because everyone is guilty. Read that last sentence again, slowly, and then the verse above it, making particular notice of the word: “everyone.” Everyone. Shall I write it again? Everyone. If we could get this, we would be the most amazing people on the planet.
I would hold that very few of us know what this is. Maybe even none of us. Our word for everyone would be: “everyone, except.” But that is a violation of God’s law of love. It is a desecration of the holy plan of God to condemn everybody with the law so He could have mercy on everyone without exception. If we have any exceptions to this we do not belong to God’s kingdom. We are like the Pharisees standing at the door of heaven with keys in our hands to let some in and keep some out.
We forget the word everyone all too quickly. God has had mercy on everyone. This is revolutionary. It is mind boggling. It takes a whole new reorientation of one’s thinking.
It is a travesty to the message of the gospel that Christians have gotten a reputation among in the media of being judgmental people. Someone cry “Foul!” Please! How can we judge anyone upon whom God has had mercy? We besmirch the beautiful message of the gospel of Christ every time we do this.
It’s silly to judge anybody anyway because everybody has already been judged and found guilty — so no big news there. “Such and such is terrible.” Duh. Of course they are; and so are you. That’s no news. The news is, God has had mercy on us all. So you and I look upon everyone as someone upon whom God has had mercy. Write it on your heart. Write it across everyone’s forehead in your mind: “M-e-r-c-y.”
It seems like every day lately you pick up the paper and someone new is caught in sexual misconduct allegations. Sexual scandal is at epic proportions. We shake our heads. Good people we admired are getting caught. We can’t believe it. Oh really? Can’t believe that so many people have been caught acting out in public what we have done in the privacy of our minds every day? Puncture that thin membrane that we all have between fantasy and reality and where would we be? This is why Jesus said if you’ve thought it, you’ve done it. Stop shaking your head. Come on, guys. If all the people you’ve had your way with in the secret places of your own mind came forward, where would you be? Get in line.
God has shut up everyone in sin so that He could have mercy on everyone. Sure simplifies the picture doesn’t it? We have made exceptions for our own sin so that we can still judge others. Yet God is merciful; what about us? You can’t be merciful only to some.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Matthew 5:7