Discover The Book (Part 3. God's Warning To The World)
Although this article is part of a series, it is a Complete study on its own. (3 of 4 in series)
In part one of this series, we spoke of reasons to read the Bible and the treasures that are found therein. In part two, we spoke of the romantic love letter that God wrote to His children and how we can appreciate it's tenderness and warmth. We discovered a scarlet thread of love woven into the tapestry of time by a God that treats His children with tenderness and mercy.
In this installment, we will be a little less warm and focus on the serious side of Scripture, its warnings to the world. Though the element of love exists in this section of study as well, the warning to a Godless generation is dire. This aspect carries with it a much more somber tone as Scripture reveals to us, God as our Judge. As important as it is to realize God is love, it is also vital to know of His role as Judge of all humanity and all of the spirit realm as well. This is not new information for from the beginning His purpose was the redemption of man and the eradication of sin. I as a Christian, am commanded to teach these things to you. So with the proclaimation that Jesus loves you, comes this stern warning:
If He does not become your Savior - Jesus becomes your Judge.
All through Scripture, the Bible tells of God the Son, Jesus, coming as Judge to judge the nations and to redeem His people Israel and His bride, the Church.
"All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep at His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'...Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" (Matthew 25:32-34, 41)
"For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son." (John 5:22)
"And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead." (Acts 10:42)
People often make the mistake of putting God in a box, or reckoning Him less than God. He is God. He does not conform to some preconceived idea we have about Him. Just because we are more comfortable thinking of God as a jolly "grandfather" type, or maybe a little like Santa at times, does not make it true. God revealed Himself through His word. He has made us in his image so that we can mirror Him in some ways. Santa Claus is an incomplete image of a man and God is a complete entity, with all the attributes He has revealed about Himself in His word.
"Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." (Genesis 1:26)
God's Attributes - Consider them and take warning!
1. God is Holy.
Because God is a holy God, His sense of holiness cannot abide sin. Jesus Christ is the intermediary between God and man. Jesus makes it possible for God to deal with sinful mankind. Through the shed blood of Christ that symbolically "covers" all believers, God cannot see sin. Because of His blood He can have a relationship with us. He knows we sin but will not lay it to our charge to condemn us to hell.
"Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before you, for your judgments have been manifested." (Revelation 15:4)
"Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 12:14)
"Who is he that condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us." (Romans 8:34)
"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (Romans 8:1)
"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:18)
So the questions of warning to you are these: How will you stand before God's Holiness? Do you think that "doing the best you can" attitude will really work before a holy God when He has made a way for you to be holy too? How does God see you? as condemned already? or covered in the shed blood of Jesus His Son?
Think on this, because standing before a holy God will be no small thing for any of us, for we will know our standing as we are brought before Him for judgment. God's children will be pronounced holy and everyone else will be condemned in their sins because they did not have Christ in their hearts to take the punishment for them. Which are you? Think on this a moment before you go on to the next attribute, God's justice.
2. God is Just.
His sense of justice demands He deal with our sin. His word promises that through Jesus sinners can be redeemed. He promises that those declared righteous will not suffer eternal punishment and separation because of their evil. Because of His justice, sin, death, and Satan will be no more. His judgment will be fair, final, and not subject to evaluation. God is balanced while we are not. He sees all sides of life and all there is to know about each individual. (Omniscient) Don't make the mistake of putting humanistic ideology onto God because His ways are not our ways. He has determined in His wisdom that the proper punishment for the unimaginable suffering, pain, and death caused by Satan and his angels is an eternal hellfire. To do any less would be to dishonor those who suffered at Evil's hand. Those who are not God's children will go with him to hell, a place that was not even created for them.
"The Lord is righteous in her midst. He will do no unrighteousness. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He never fails, but the unjust knows no shame." (Zephaniah 3:5)
"I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in my fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes." (Isaiah 63:3)
"The Lord knows how to deliver the ungodly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment." (2 Peter 2:9)
"And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear." (1 Peter 1:17)
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:1)
"The devil who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever...and anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:10, 15)
"Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,' says the Lord. And again, 'The Lord will judge His people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.'" (Hebrews 10:29-31)
So the questions of warning to you are these: Since God is just and must punish sin, who will take the punishment for you? Will His righteous indignation and fury be vented on you and you alone? or will Jesus' sacrifice spare you from it? Are you rejecting the Lord's plan of salvation and effectively trampling the Son of God and His blood underfoot? Where will you spend an eternity? with God in heaven? or with Satan and his angels?
Consider carefully your answer.
3. God is Love.
God loved every sinner that fell, every one that He had created. Even Satan before the Fall was loved by His Father God who created him. He loves every one that believed a lie, everyone that turned from Him. The countless millions, even billions of people brought down by the evil one, God mourned at the beginning of creation. He conceived a plan of salvation and a judgment against evil from the very start.
"You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth through the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you." (Ezekiel 28:14-15)
"All who dwell on the earth will worship him [Anti-christ], whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." (Revelation 13:8)
"We love Him because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)
"The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you." (Jeremiah 31:3)
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." (Genesis 3:15)
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing! See your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.'" (Luke 13:34-35)
So, the questions of warning are to you, these: Have you considered how very much Jesus loves you, how much of Himself He gave for you? Do you see He looked down through the corridors of time and saw you and died for you? Do you feel Him drawing you to Himself? Are you resisting His call? How long will He delay and you have time to resist? Only God knows and it gives one pause for thought to consider the wisdom of answering that call.
4. God is Merciful.
Another problem that people have with God in the role of their judge, is that they get confused between no punishment and mercy. So often men judge, they dispense no punishment and it is viewed as merciful. God said He will punish sin. He will hear the cry of His people. Mercy is not getting the punishment that you deserve. Though God is merciful, He will not be so forever, in the case of the wicked. The only way a person can receive no punishment for their sin is to be numbered as one of His children. To His children He is slow to anger and never punishes, but disciplines them. Punishment is reserved for the wicked in eternity. Even the wicked taste of God's mercy in this life because He blesses them along with His own children with life and rain and other good things. But that mercy has a time limit attached. Soon the day of "whosoever will may come" will draw to a close. (Rev. 22:17) Then God's mercy ends toward this evil world.
"But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children's children." (Psalms 103:17)
"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations3:22-23)
"So rend your heart, and not your garments; return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness; and He relents from doing harm." (Joel 2:13)
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:5)
"That you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust." (Matthew 5:45)
"Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil." (Ecclesiastes 8:11)
"Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished; but the posterity of the righteous will be delivered." (Proverbs 11:21)
"The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation." (Numbers 14:18)
Now the questions of warning to you are these: Will you rely on your belief that since you have not been punished for your sin, you will never be punished? Will you reason with yourself that since others around you are blessed, you will always be blessed as well? If God's word says that His children escape the wrath to come, does that include you? Are you one of God's children? or are you delaying becoming a child of God because you are taking advantage of God's mercy thinking that it will never end?
I tell you the truth. God's mercy will not be forever and you do not know how long your life is or when God's time will be up and He will come for His people.
5. God is Timely.
Another thing that people don't "get" about God is His sense of what is timely. To us finite creatures God is infinitely slow. We would have meted out our sense of justice way before God, who is perfect in judgment, will. Though God tells us there is a payday someday, individuals would rather believe that God has no punishment at all, then to try to understand why He waits what seems so endless a time in our minds. From creation, God has had a plan and knew the time of His acting on it. He has not changed His plan one moment nor varied it for anyone. At the exact planned moment of time Jesus came, died, and arose from the dead. At the precise moment of God's plan, He will come to take us away into the clouds. He also has a time when His mercy and His longsuffering- stops and He judges the world.
"But has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior." (Titus 1:3)
"But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law." (Galatians 4:4)
"That in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in Him."(Ephesians 1:10)
"Because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:31)
Are you redeemed and ready to stand before God's judgment? If God were to return right now, would you be ready to face the Almighty God when His role is not redeemer but judge? What would you say to Him? Can you honestly say, "Jesus' blood covers my sin, I am ready?" The Holy Bible has declared, for lo, these many years, that God will be our judge. Please don't put off preparing to meet your maker. He will accept no excuses and pleads with you to accept Him before it is too late. He's agonized over you since the foundation of the world. He longs for you to come to Him but cannot change for you. You will have to face your maker. I pray you will do so before it is too late.
"He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." (Hebrews 9:26)
Simple Plan Of Salvation
1. Realize we are all born sinners, including you.
"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
2. Realize you can't save yourself from an eternity apart from God.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
3. Realize and believe that Jesus came to bleed and die on Calvary's cross to take your punishment for you. That He arose from the grave so that you might have life.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
4. Tell God that you need Him to save you and ask Him into your heart.
"And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:21)
"And if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)
Pray this as I did:
Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and I know who You are, God in human flesh. I believe that You came to earth to die on the cross for me so I could be forgiven. I believe that you were buried and then rose from the dead. I know I can't save myself and I need You as my Savior. Lord come into my heart and save me. I turn from my sin and turn to You as the only way of salvation. Thank you for dying for me. Thank you for rising for me. Thank you for saving me, for it is in your name I pray Jesus. Amen
Others in this series of independent articles:
Discover The Book (Part 1. Why Should I Read The Bible?)
Discover The Book (Part 2. God's Love Letter)
Discover The Book (Part 4. The Sureness Of God's Words And Promises)