Impartial Grace: Lamentations

For the Lord will not cast off forever. For though he cause grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses. For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth, To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High, To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord doesn’t approve.

(Lamentations 3:31-36, emphasis added)

These are words of a man who is caught up in the government of a nation. These words apply to nations. God purposely caused the suffering of Israel. God decreed Assyria and then Babylon to seize, enslave and oppress Israel. Every kind of of hardship was a yoke to the man and to the nation. God even caused barriers to prayer between them and Himself. The man and the nation have fallen away from their first love and have taken on the lusts of the world around them. God leaves them to their folly.

This man and this nation then stops their lament and reaches out to God. The nation recognizes their arrogance and the people humble themselves. God, Who is love, then gathers His creation back to Himself. “The Lord will not cast off forever.” His love is never ending and is unconditional. God’s justice is not crushing. God does not approve of crushing prisoners and we are all prisoners of a fallen world. God’s justice is applied to all. God does not approve of any plan in which any of His creation is denied an audience with Him. God’s justice will be exercised on every man. God does not approve of outside interference that is an obstacle to His justice being exercised. Every man will get a just hearing.

God’s justice is Divine. His justice is by way of His Sovereign will. It is His will that all be saved. The plain meaning of scripture is probably the best understanding of scripture. God “will not cast us off forever.” The doctrine of eternal conscious torment violates the plain meaning of His written Word. Eternal conscious torment demands the rebellious sinner be cast off from God forever in a fiery punishment. The Gospel of Christ Jesus is that He died for the sin of the world. This is Impartial Grace.