Here’s the short answer: Nothing.
<End of blog>
Just kidding (much to my wife’s chagrin!). I can’t let this additional good news from Paul go without some commentary. So here’s how the Apostle Paul explained it to the Christ-followers in Rome:
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.Paul the Apostle, in Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
Like I did last week, let me ask rhetorically: what do you think he meant by “nor anything else in all creation”? I think he means to say that nothing can keep God from loving us.
But what about my bad behavior? My anger? My swearing?
But what about my addictions? Greed? Pride? All the other stupid things I’ve done and said?
Also no. Not even those things can come between us and God’s love for us.
But Paul didn’t know me, or else he wouldn’t have said this. God doesn’t know me and the things I’ve done.
Oh, but He does.
There’s a reason God inspired Paul to write these words. Believing he was serving God, Paul had dedicated himself to persecuting and executing Followers of Christ. After his conversion on the road to Damascus, then, he must have had many moments of self-doubt and God-doubt. He must have wondered repeatedly, How could God really love me after all that I’ve done?
It’s a fair question.
After wrestling with it over the years, God must have led Paul to this answer: There is nothing you have done or ever will do that could separate you from my love.
I can imagine Paul getting down onto his knees and weeping when he came to this realization.
God says the same thing to you and me. We should all join Paul in gratitude for this great news, for this undeserved grace.