Do you have a “cartoon-ish” image of God in your mind? Perhaps you think that if God is good he would prove it by never letting anything bad happen… or perhaps you think God IS good, but he does not have the power to stop evil. Or maybe you think that these kinds of things prove that God does not exist at all.
The far more frightening truth is that God does indeed exist, He is supremely powerful and burning with holiness. He could, should He wish, stop every bad thing from happening. And here’s where it gets really scary… He doesn’t. God is not a nice grandfather in the sky, looking down in gooey “Hello Kitty” style “love,” showering humanity with lolly pops and rainbows.
God is actually angry. I know this is not the popular image of God, but it is the Biblical image. God’s creation has rebelled against his Holy Laws, shook it’s collective fist at Him and spit in His face. He is filled with holy wrath against mankind.
“But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up WRATH for yourself on the day of WRATH when Gods’s righteous JUDGMENT will be revealed.” ~ Romans 2:5
“But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve JUDGMENT.” ~ 2 Peter 3:10
And before you imagine that Jesus is not a part of this anger that is burning in the heart of God, read the description of His coming. When Christians look forward to Jesus coming again, it is not a sort of glowy Jesus that will float down among the clouds, smiling at everyone.
“…when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting VENGEANCE on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal DESTRUCTION, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might…” ~ 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
You and I, and all the rest of humanity, have been born into a war zone. The following verse tells us that God has pronounced a curse on this entire planet as the beginning rumblings of His coming judgment.
“The earth lies defiled
under its inhabitants;
for they have TRANSGRESSED THE LAWS,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
THEREFORE a CURSE consumes the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;”~ Isaiah 24:5-6
So, if this is a genuine picture of the God of the universe, then why do people go around all moony-eyed crooning, “God is love love love… He’s just nothing but love!” Well, mostly because they have bought into a cultural cartoon of God that is far removed from the accurate Biblical picture. This “cartoon” of God has become so far reaching that many who call themselves followers of Jesus have thrown aside the idea of Hell completely–not because it’s not clearly spelled out in the Bible–but because it doesn’t fit with this false god they’ve created in the theater of their own minds.
But there is another reason Christians speak of the love of God. God’s kindness to vile humanity is proved in his graciously making a way for *some* to escape his coming wrath. He sent his son, Jesus, fully God and fully man, to suffer the wrath in place of anyone who will repent and place their trust in Him. That is His “love” expressed toward humanity.
“Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God.” ~ 1 Peter 3:18a
He stands poised to bring the hammer of his wrath crashing down, and He is fully justified in pouring it out on us, and yet, in undeserved kindness, he reaches out his other hand to rescue anyone who will humble himself before God, admit his own sin and turn from it, and beg God for the blood of Christ Jesus to cover their sins. All who would dare to spurn the offer of the precious blood of Jesus will suffer an even greater measure of God’s justice.
“How much WORSE punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?” ~ Hebrews 10:29
You do not have any idea how many more days God has marked out for your life before you stand before him in judgment. Every one of your sins will come out as evidence against you. Nothing has been hidden from God’s omniscient eyes–every lie you’ve ever told, every time you’ve stolen something, every act of sexual immorality (even those that only took place in your mind — because Jesus said that if you even LOOK at someone with lust you’ve committed adultery in your heart), every time you blasphemed God or Jesus’ name — every single sin of your WHOLE life will stand there as evidence against you.
You have no hope of escaping Hell — God’s eternal prison for lawbreakers… no hope except Jesus.
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. NO ONE comes to the Father except through me.'” John 14:6
“And there is salvation in NO ONE else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12