I heard a quote from Paul Washer the other day. He said this:
“The most terrifying thought in the bible is this, God is good.”
At first that seems strange, but he went on to explain:
“It is terrifying, not just because He is good, but because we are not. We have sinned against Him, one another, nature, everything. All of creation calls for our condemnation. If God is good & just, he can’t just look over our sins, that would make Him a bad judge (corrupt). If God is good & holy, He cannot call the wicked into fellowship with Himself. (that would make Him hypocritical)”
If you think on it, this all actually make sense. Who isn’t tired of people who go back & forth on what they stand for? Who isn’t fed up with people who shift more than the sand during the tides? Yet we want God to shift who He is to fit our “comfort zone” of who wethink He should be. He cannot. To change, would mean He is not immutable (un-changing).
It all goes back to the gospel. Why are we so uneasy at the perfection of God’s goodness? It is because today we are told that “God loves us & has a wonderful plan for my life.” Is that true? Yes, God does love, but love is not God. Love is set before sinners as the foremost characteristic of God. If you look at the Bible as a whole, it speaks more about God in His holiness, than about His love. We jump at the idea “God is love” more than “God is holy” because men readily remember all the attributes (characteristics) that favor them, & they totally forget those attributes about God that threaten or alarm them.
Millions of people in America think of God as having only one characteristic – love. This is only part of the truth, & if only part of the truth is taken as the whole, it becomes a lie. When you tell a stranger “God loves you”, his mind registers something like this: “Yes, He loves me & would never harm me. He loves me with forgiving and merciful kindness; so, all is well with my soul.”
Walter Chantry puts it this way in his book Today’s Gospel:
“To say to a rebel, ‘God loves you & has a wonderful plan for your life,’ is terribly misinforming. The truth is that God is holy. Thus, He is angry with the sinner at this moment. His sword of wrath already hangs over the heads of the guilty and will forever torment him unless he repents & trusts Christ. God’s redeeming love for sinners is found only in Christ, and the sinner is out of Christ.”
Without a clear knowledge of God, a sinner does not know whom they have offended, who threatens them with destruction, or who is able to save them. Apart from some clear apprehensions of God, there can be no personal approach to God, and “personal Savior” becomes a hollow phrase that is all too familiar in the churches today.
I highly recommend reading another post entitled Who’s your Jesus? As well as this wonderful post by A Particular Baptist. No person, religion, or nation has ever risen above their concept of God. Maybe that is why we are in such a low state of spirituality in the churches in America today. Get acquainted with your Lord, you will be surprised with who He is.
(reblogged from: Shattered By Grace)