Oh the immensity of the gift!
(John Eadie, "The Love of God — its Objects, Gift, and Design" 1865)
"For God so loved the world — that He gave His one and only Son!" John 3:16
"For surely it is not angels He helps" Hebrews 2:16
"God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to Hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment!" 2 Peter 2:4
If God loved this world — this world of fallen men, and not the world of fallen angels — then His love must be sovereign in its essence. For man was not the only sinful being in His dominions! Beings of higher nature, and having their position in Heaven itself, were mysteriously involved in the guilt and doom of apostasy, and expelled from their bright domain! And yet, though they dwelt in Heaven — they are not summoned back to it!
No pardon is offered to them;
no means of redemption are provided for them;
no mediator has taken on him the 'nature of angels,' in order to make atonement for them.
They are left to the endurance of eternal death and damnation — ever sinning, ever suffering; while pardon and restoration have been proclaimed to the human family —
our weak and erring race,
so nearly allied to the ground on which they tread,
so proud in their debility, and
so impious in their thraldom!
Would it not have been a more reasonable plan, so to speak — for God to have saved these lofty angelic exiles, and called them back to the Heaven in which they once lived, and for which they were created — than to select this distant and miserable world of ours; and, by an abnormal and mighty process, to purify and refine its wretched and earthy outcasts for a realm of existence to which they are strangers, and to which they would never have been able to penetrate?
The reasons inducing the Infinite Wisdom to make this sovereign choice to redeem man, and not the fallen angels — we may neither search nor discover. This preference of fallen man to fallen angels, as the recipients of divine love — can only be resolved into a mysterious exercise of divine sovereignty.
He has loved fallen men on earth — and not fallen angels in Hell.
Both might have been punished with eternal penalty, and neither the one nor the other could have complained of the justice of its doom.
On the other hand, both might have been forgiven and redeemed — and both would have equally felt its salvation due to Jehovah's tender pity.
Nay, though fallen angels in Hell had been redeemed — and all the fallen men on earth had been left in their sin; though only the demons, the first transgressors, had been saved, and brought again to the solemn Presence before which they once bowed, the bright myriads with which they once mixed, and the hallelujahs which they once choired — while this sinful world of ours was left to pine and groan hopeless and helpless — (one shudders to contemplate this dreadful alternative!) — who would have dared to impeach the God of grace, who has the right to give as He pleases — where none have any claim on His bounty!
But, O let His name be extolled — -earth has not been passed over; it has been selected in His sovereign regard. Ay, God so loved the WORLD!
But the fervor and mightiness of this love arrests our attention! "God SO loved the world" — loved it with such ardor and indescribable generosity — loved it SO — that He gave His only-begotten Son! Oh the immensity of the gift! A divine gift from a divine Giver! The grandeur of His love may be seen in its results. If you can measure the gift — you may gauge the depth of the love which bestowed it!
Thus have we considered the amazing fact, that God has loved this guilty, rebellious and insignificant world — and selected it to be the object of His tender mercy. Nay, that He has SO loved it, as to make provision for its deliverance, in the gift of His Son — that bright and matchless display of His loving-kindness!
"Herein is love, not that we loved God — but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins!" 1 John 4:10