King Manasseh of Judah was the worst. He did everything in his power to destroy the worship of the Lord and reinstitute the worship of Baal and Asherah that his father, good king Hezekiah, had gotten rid of. He practiced sorcery and witchcraft and even performed child sacrifices. He was a lost cause, right?
“The LORD brought against them the army commanders of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh prisoner, put a hook in his nose, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon. In his distress he sought the favor of the LORD his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors” (2 Chronicles 33:11,12). The Lord heard his repentant prayers and allowed him to return to Jerusalem and even take up the kingship again. Manasseh then devoted his energy to undoing all the spiritual damage he had done, getting rid of the Baals and reinstituting the worship of the God of Abraham.
You and I cannot see into people’s minds and hearts; nor can we predict their future with 100 percent accuracy. We don’t know who might one day repent and who will not. We will let God sort that out. Our job is simply to speak the solemn warnings of God’s law and the sweet promises of his gospel—not just to nice people, but to bad boys and girls too.
There are going to be some very surprising people in heaven with Jesus.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
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