This generation (of Facebook, Twitter, “social media” out the butt) has an obnoxious urge to broadcast their every thought to the world, and let’s face it, they aren’t all diamonds. The world would be better off if some people just kept quiet. Scripture is very clear that our mouths will determine how harshly we are judged when we stand (cower?) before the throne. (Matt 18, James 3)
I overheard some people talking the other day. One was very boisterous and obviously very proud of her opinions as she explained to the other, “God is supposed to love everyone, I just can not believe that He would ever send anyone to Hell… that’s not loving, that whole idea is just unacceptable! I mean, this is the twentieth century! I think we’ve evolved past that, don’t you?“
Okay, first the obvious: we’re living in the twenty first century; but there are much bigger fish to fry in this murky little pond of logic. Rather than exegete each on of her statements (this isn’t debate club) let’s consider this…
Everything we know of God comes from Scripture. However, it seems that there are lots of versions of god in peoples minds that they’ve created all on their own. We would all agree that there are very specific characteristics to things, and opinions don’t really change anything. If I believe elephants have two trunks, the elephants don’t really care… they’re not going to grow another trunk to make me happy. The same goes for God. God is. He has specific characteristics that the Bible does it’s best to lay out for us. He isn’t going to change Himself to fit our opinions, our culture or our expectations. Political Correctness has never been listed as an attribute of God.
God’s wrath may be at the mercy of His love… but both are under His justice.
It’s becoming a very popular trend in America to believe in “god”, but by “god” we mean some abstract, etherial, impersonal force that is made up of nothing but happy thoughts, positive energy and pixie dust. It loves everyone all the time and everyone goes to Heaven (whatever that even means), and to say any different makes you a hateful, judgmental bigot, a right-wing religious zealot… or Ned Flanders.
The fact remains that all we know of the real person of God comes from scripture, which speaks more often of His wrath than His love, more often of Hell than of Heaven, more often of judgement and condemnation than salvation and forgiveness.
Why? I thought God is Love? That doesn’t sound very loving…
If you had a friend in a burning building, would you spend your time telling them how nice it was outside or how much danger they are in if they stay on the sofa? This is why Scripture is so clear that our words, our testimony and witness will bring our judgement. How much would you have to hate that person on the sofa to lie to them about the danger? How much would you have to hate them to tell them over and over that there is no fire, no danger, they are fine where they are? What is that person going to care more about, your opinion? …or the fire you don’t believe in?
Scripture is very clear: Preach the truth… but be sure you know what that is before you open your mouth, or everyone who hears you may stumble… they run the risk of reaching for a god who only exists in your imagination… and their condemnation will fall on your shoulders.
It’s very popular to say that God “hates the sin but loves the sinner”, but that’s just not what the Bible says. Let’s be clear, God does not hate sinners, he hates unrepentant sinners. God doesn’t condemn us for being in the burning building… He condemns us for staying in it. God loves us all, and He has done everything He can, He sent Jesus to blow a gaping hole in the wall and give us a way out! He has made the way and shown us where it is… he has left us instructions on how to find our way out and how to bring everyone else with us… but the fact remains that we all have to get off the sofa and jump…
…and how sad it will be for us on the day the building crumbles into flames, when God looks and asks us, where is everyone else? …and our only excuse is that we didn’t tell them the building was burning… they were comfortable where they were, so we left them there…
…I was surprised when this guy at the table responded to his friend, “should criminals get sent to jail?” to which the opinionated girl said “of course, if you commit a crime you go to prison!” …and he responded “but I thought we would have evolved past that by now?”
Consider your words friends. The building is definitely on fire, and it’s going to fall.