Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. (Romans 11:22)
The Other Side Of God
There is a side of the Lord God few people know about or understand. It is not because He has hidden His character from the mind of men. Rather the view of God is tempered by man’s need to justify himself without accepting the consequences of his actions. As long as man deludes himself into believing there is a God, He is a loving God and that this loving God would never harm or punish anyone – Satan has secured a soul for his dominion. The language seems harsh. Sadly the reality of reaping and sowing is not just a term of nature but also the nature of the spiritual man. God is love and everything about Him is filled with His grace, mercy, kindness and compassion. There can be no doubt in believing this. The other side of God that most people do not want to consider and accept is the severity of His wrath upon those who do not obey His word. There is an abrupt nature to God’s punishment upon the unbelievers and disobedient. What most people do not recognize is that Satan does not want a person to disbelieve in God but rather to view God as a loving only and compassionate only God who would never consider punishing anyone for anything. This skewed view of the Lord will serve a much better cause for the devil and his purpose than trying to convince a person God is dead.
The severity of God is very real. Reading the story of Noah and the flood should remove all doubt that the Creator of the world will not bring His wrath upon all unrighteousness. There were only eight people that walked away from the devastation of a world-wide flood. Every human being that had life died in the flood. Millions perished in one single event. This was brought about by the hand of the Lord. The Old Testament is filled with names like Korah, Nadab, Abihu, Achan, Uzzah and the unnamed thousands who died in the plagues, destruction and wrath of God upon those who disbelieved or disobeyed. In one night 185,000 Assyrian soldiers were killed by an angel of the Lord. Nations were brought low by the hand of the Lord including the people of God. Mark well the scriptures of holy writ that declare the severity of the Lord upon those who refused to honor Him as Lord God Almighty. In the New Testament the Son of God spoke of fire and the wrath of the Father upon the disobedient. Jesus is portrayed like His Father with all the serene pastel colors of grace and love and this would be accurate to a point. There was also a side of Jesus that told men that walked the broad way there was destruction and death at the end. He is the one that described the judgment scene where the ungodly will go away into everlasting punishment and fire. It was the words of Jesus that told men that Hell was a place of torment where the worm does not die. In the most quoted passage of Jesus telling all men that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosever believed on Him would not perish – men overlook Jesus said that men will perish. Ignoring the reality of punishment does not remove the reality of punishment.
Recognizing God for His true nature is paramount to knowing the character of His love and His wrath. One should not be emphasized above the other. It would be a mistake to think God is only a wrathful God because He is a God of love. Likewise there would be a failure to know the true God and think He is only a loving God who would never punish. There is an abundant goodness about Him. There is abundant evidence to the severity of the Lord. Man is saved by the grace of God and warned of the wrath of God. Accepting one without the other is an eternal mistake. Believing God will save everyone is not true. There will be a place of eternal torment reserved for those who do not know God and that obey not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Truth comes from the mind of God. Only by His mercy can man find salvation from the wrath of God. Salvation comes because of the victory in Jesus Christ. Thank God for His grace.