"For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still" (Isa 5:25b).
"God is a LOVING God...He wouldn't condemn ME to hell...I live a good life." "If God is a God of 'LOVE' why does He allow all the pain and suffering?" "What about the aborigine who has never heard about God? Surely God isn't going to condemn him to an eternal hell?" "I don't believe there is a 'hell' with eternal fire. A LOVING God just wouldn't make such a place as that!"
Just some of the comments that Christians have fielded over the years. Those "claiming" the Name of Christ also preach it. A well known evangelist was heard to proclaim, "I don't like to talk about hell, I'm not going to talk about hell, I want to talk about heaven."
He would not have liked Jesus' preaching, Who spoke very briefly about the "mansions" He was preparing, but often about the "outer darkness...the wailing and gnashing of teeth." Nor would he have fit in with the Old Testament prophets of doom and destruction.
IF GOD IS A GOD OF LOVE and GRACE, WHY EVEN TALK OF HIS WRATH? Often overlooked are God's HOLINESS, JEALOUSY and JUSTICE. When Isaiah saw God, "high and lifted up," and the seraphim crying to one another "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth if full of His glory!" Isaiah lamented "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts" (Isa 6:1-5).
If we truly had a glimpse of God's majesty, we would be amazed that His grace even saves us, and would shudder and fear in His presence (1 Peter 1:17; Acts 9:31).
When God gave the law from Mt. Sinai He said "You shall not bow down to them [idols or 'other gods'] nor serve them. I, the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity on...those who hate Me" (Exo 20:5).
Evident is God's sarcasm as He communicates with an erring Israel, "You are my witnesses. Is there a God besides me? Indeed there is no other god; I know not one" (Isa 44:8). For the second "god" the original uses the term "rock." Israel had been falling down to stone images as they embraced the "gods" of the surrounding nations. God is saying to Israel, "There isn't even another Rock besides Me...these idols are nothing."
"God requires an account of what is past" (Ecc 3:15), God's judgment is just. "You are righteous, O Lord...Because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due" (Rev 16:6).
God judges modern man's perversion..."Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Rom 1:27).
"The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." And judgment comes. (Isa 24:5; 24:19-23; 26:21)
Regardless of a person's theological views on Eschatology, Dispensations, Ecclesiology, etc., there are some FUNDAMENTAL LAWS that God established, which have remained the same throughout human history, for which every human being will be held accountable. God has given equal opportunity to all humanity so that they are "without excuse." "Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them" (Rom 1:20,18).
GOD EXISTS! "In the beginning God" (Gen 1:1). "For since the creation...His invisible attributes are clearly seen...even His eternal power and Godhead" (Rom 1:20).
GOD CREATED THE UNIVERSE! "Scoffers will come in the last days...willingly forgetting that by the word of God..." the creation and Noah's flood occurred. There is no basis for "evolution." (2 Peter 3:3+)
GOD CREATED living beings to procreate "ACCORDING TO THEIR KIND" (Gen 1). Man is tampering with life, trying to create in the test tube. Trying to manipulate reproduction at the genetic level. Refusing to recognize God's mandate for male and female to cohabit, claiming that homosexuality is "natural."
THEY SHALL BE "ONE FLESH." Men and women slap God in the face regarding marriage and male/female roles. Satan's avowed purpose is to deliberately break up marriages. Many think lightly of marriage, and purposefully counsel and "help" people to become divorced. Women's lib, in their own words, are maximizing their current "window of opportunity" regarding the "feminist agenda."
SANCTITY OF LIFE! Cain asked, "Am I my brother's keeper?" From abortion to euthanasia society is scoffing at God.
GOD'S WORD, THE BIBLE has been given to us. A guru of modern psychological thought on "Shame and Dysfunction," John Bradshaw, from his Catholic background brings many "Biblical sounding" ideas into his teachings, and MANY "Christians" flock to his seminars, video sessions, and read his books with more fervor than they do the Bible. And yet he teaches that the act of teaching children God's Word, and giving them the Scriptures is the "worst form of child abuse." (Mr. Bradshaw's own words as seen on Public TV.)
"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them [always]..." (Deut 6:6-9). "Whom will he teach knowledge...those just weaned from the milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? For precept must be upon precept, line upon line, Here a little, there a little" (Isa 28:9-10). Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and DO NOT FORBID THEM"; and "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea...but, woe to that man by whom the offense comes!" (Matt 19:14; 18:6-7). In Scripture a "Woe" carries a heavy sense of doom. Mr. Bradshaw and those like him, who follow his teachings are in for Major Big Time Trouble.
ULTIMATELY GOD will receive honor and glory. "In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel" (Isa 17:7). "And I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and heaven fled away...and they were judged each one according to his works...and anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev 20:11-15).
If we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment (Heb 10:26-27).
"We make it our aim...to be well pleasing to Him. Knowing, therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men" (2 Cor 5:9,11); "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise...but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any...perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
"For all this His anger is not turned away, But His hand is stretched out still......"
(Scripture quotations are from the NKJV)