What about the love of a husband and wife? Which husband and wife? The divorce rate is nearly 50%. Even in the best of marriages, as strong as that love is, it still doesn’t compare to the love of God.
Perhaps the love of a parent for their child would qualify? Nope. As much as we love our children, God’s love is stronger by far.
For most of us, it is hard to imagine the kind of love that comes from the very essence of God. Actually, it’s impossible in this life.
On the other hand, many feel God is not a God of love since there is so much pain and suffering in our world. “If God really cared, He would do something about it” they say. Therefore, according to them, God is not love. What they don’t realize though, “God has done something about it.”
Whether we feel that God is love or He is not, is it possible we do not understand that God’s justice and His love work together?
Some see God as a white-haired senile old man who overlooks our “faults” and welcomes all into His Heavenly residence with a big smile and a kiss. It doesn’t matter how we live. We make the rules. He’ll dress us all in white, slip on our angel wings, and have a nice comfy cloud ready for us to lie on while we pluck on our harp throughout eternity.
And then there are those who see God as an angry tyrant in some kind of war with evil yet too weak to do much about it. So we all suffer because He doesn’t care enough to keep the boogey man away from our door. Crap happens in our life and it’s His fault. So they say.
I can still hear George Beverly Shea of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association singing the great old song “The Love of God” which was written by F. M. Lehman. The first verse and chorus go like this:
The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell;It goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care, God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled, And pardoned from his sin.
CHORUS:O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure - The saints’ and angels’ song.
God does care and has shown His love to us in the sacrifice of His only begotten Son for the forgiveness of our sins. He has provided eternal life to any who will come to Him through His Son Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
However, He has made it clear that no one comes to Him but through His Son Jesus.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
We have made a mess of this world, not God. It wasn’t God who listened to Satan via the serpent and sinned. We, through our original parents Adam and Eve, sinned and separated ourselves from God. We cannot be in God’s presence with “dirty hands.” We must be absolutely pure, as He is pure. Justice requires payment. So to satisfy God’s justice He paid the debt of our sin and satisfied His own justice. That is love. And yes again, God is love.
Here’s the problem most people make for themselves. They don’t want to accept God’s way of salvation. There is only one way for us to be reconciled to God. In other words, there is only one way to get to Heaven; i.e. God’s way. God’s way is through His Son, but most people ignore that and think they have a better way. Jesus said,
“…I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If you had known me, ye should have known my Father also, and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” John 14:6-7
If we have been saved by the blood of Jesus, we will go to Heaven, but it is because of God’s work and God’s grace. There is absolutely, positively nothing we have done to earn it. If we want to be saved and go to Heaven, the same conditions apply.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God – not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Most people see God’s love, but ignore His justice. They think they can live anyway they please, and still go to Heaven. They are convinced they can live like hell and go to Heaven.
“But Wait!” You say. “Now you’re saying works save us!” No I’m not. I’m saying that our works are sending us to hell unless we accept God’s gracious offer of eternal life through His Son.
Sin requires a payday, and hell is the paycheck. There are no amount of works we can do that will make us righteous enough to qualify entering Heaven.
“Then said I, 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 mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 6:5
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Isaiah 64:6
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.”Romans 3:10-18
So why is it that so many people think that regardless of how they react toward God’s offer of eternal life, they’re going to Heaven when they die? They can disregard the offer, but God will make an exception since He is love, so they think.
Once we die there are no second chances. That’s it. God says:
“… I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2
In His great love for us, He provided the only way for us to be with Him for eternity, but the provision has been made based on the works of His Son Jesus, not ours. Our works will condemn us. Only Jesus’ works will save us.
It is a common cliché today for people to brush off their date with life after death by saying something like, “God is love. He would never send anyone to hell.”
Well, God is love, and in His love He provided the only way we can escape the same judgment assigned to Satan. Through Jesus we can live for all eternity in Heaven. However, if we refuse God’s plan of saving us through His Son, there is nothing else He can do. We have then chosen, all on our own, to accept the same judgment that will be meted out to Satan which is eternal damnation without God, in the lake of fire.
Yes, God is love, and He loves each and every one of us, but He is not going to ignore His justice just because we say we don’t like His plan. God’s plan is the only plan. We are all free to accept it or deny it, but if we deny it, don’t blame God for the judgment that will surely come. He has made every effort to save all who will come to Him through His Son. If I may make it very clear, those who rest all their faith in Jesus Christ will live with Him for eternity in Heaven. Those who do not will be judged by Him and assigned to the lake of fire for eternity.
Let us not think we can live apart from Jesus now, but live forever with Him in Heaven when we die. It won’t happen.
Grant PhillipsEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre-Rapture Commentary: http://grant-phillips.blogspot.com
Rapture Ready http://www.raptureready.com/featured/phillips/phillips.html