Is God a Gentleman?


Have you ever heard someone say, "God is a gentleman, He will not force anyone to accept Him"? 

In a similar vein C.S. Lewis said in The Great Divorce (my favorite book of his)there are two kinds of people in the end: "Those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' or those to whom God says 'thy will be done.'" In the end everyone gets what they want--because God is fair. He stands at the door and knocks, and if anyone opens the door will he come into us (Rev. 3:20).

I agree there is a sense in which God appears a "Gentleman." From a human perspective it seems that He ultimately gives us what we want, and I think it can be a good and reasonable answer from an apologetic perspective. 

But if God were truly a gentleman, I am afraid that there would not be any Christians. Paul writes in Romans 3 about humanity's hopeless case:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”


According to Romans 3, we are far worse off then we had ever thought. Not only are we unrighteous, but Paul goes as far as saying that "there is no one who seeks God" and even "there is no one who does good." If this is indeed our predicament, what we need is not a gentleman. We need an intruder.

Francis Thompson famously wrote about this Intruder in his poem "The Hound of Heaven" where he is furiously fleeing the persistent chase of God. Clinging to the "whistling mane of every wind," he just cannot escape the relentless pursuit of "those strong feet that follow."

We should be thankful that our God is not a gentleman. He does not politely leave us to our own devices, nor does He in a sort of "respectful dignity" abandon us in our trespasses and sins. The gospel proclaims that God intruded into the world in the person of Jesus Christ, and took our sins on Himself--that we might know Him. Even now He still chases us, ever calling us to Himself.

Maybe you have been running from Him. Maybe over the years you have grown tired of fighting His hunt. 

Stop running. 

Answer His call. Today is not too late.

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