“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe [commit] on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.” (1Jo 3:22-23). To commit on the name of Jesus Christ is to be committed to everything invested in His name—all He commanded, all He taught, and all He lived and died for. And to “love one another, as he gave us commandment” is to love by the standard He defined, “Love your enemies” (Mat 5:44), “But love ye your enemies” (Luk 6:35).
Let’s try to imagine ourselves from God’s perspective for a moment. Your only begotten Son is most loved of You far above all else. But You also love the world so much that You willingly gave Your Son for their sins. You watched as He was horribly mistreated, shamed, and crucified. But You raised Him from the dead and seated Him next to You on Your throne. You gave Him all authority in heaven and in earth, and the name above all names. All You now demand of the world is commitment to Your Son—obey Him, be unashamed of Him and his words, and willingly suffer for His glory. However, people snub Him, disobey Him, and won’t stand for the things He lived and died for yet still expect You to save them! After shunning Your great love for them, they now want Your help but on their terms. How would you feel?
I watched a documentary recently about a Jewish woman who survived the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War 2. She was 13 years old at the time and one of six children along with her father and mother. On the train to the camp she said her father prayed, and prayed, and prayed. But shortly after arrival her entire family had been executed except for her and her younger sister. Why wouldn’t God answer her father’s prayers? Could it be that he had snubbed God’s Son all his life yet now was crying to Him for help? The suffering of the precious people in those camps was absolutely horrible. Why wouldn’t God hear them crying to Him? In the Old Testament, when God’s people wouldn’t listen to Him, He wouldn’t listen to them: “And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the LORD will not hear you in that day” (1Sa 8:18); “Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble” (Jer 11:14); “Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them” (Eze 8:18); “Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings” (Mic 3:4).
Jesus declared, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels” (Luk 9:26). And His words on the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mat 27:46; Mar 15:34). Trinitarians, however, confess that the Son is co-equal with His Father, denying His own words that God is His God. They deny His very words while dying for their sins! I was a Trinitarian for about 30 years, and have visited with many of them since, yet every one so far rejects His words on the cross. They want His cross but not His words.
John said, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him,” but only when we’re committed to His Son’s name and when we’re loving each other in the manner He commanded. If we’ll listen to God’s Son, He will listen to us. But if we won’t listen to Him, why should He listen to us? He subjected His Son to terrible shame, pain, and suffering for us. When we reject the greatest gift He could give, why should He give any more? How can He give any more?
People ask God why it is He is nowhere to be found through all their difficulties, and why He seems to not care. But maybe a better question is to ask ourselves why we won’t listen to His Son? We listen when it’s convenient, comfortable, and beneficial, but when we must be shamed for Him, it seems we become ashamed of Him.
If we’re not part of the solution, we’re part of the problem. Just reflect for a moment on all the horrible evil, abuse, pain, misery, and suffering in the world right now. If we’re not committed to the name of the Son of God in agreement, obedience, and submission to everything He said, then we’re not part of the solution but part of the problem. We’re ultimately contributing to the evil in this world and helping make things worse! And if we’re making things worse by working against His Son rather than with Him, why should God help us when we’re in trouble? Why should He listen to us when we wouldn’t listen to Him? “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth [commits] in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (Jhn 3:16).