Do you remember when you were a little kid playing with other children and one kid would inevitably take a toy that you were playing with and then you would complain to a parent or teacher about it? Or do you remember what it felt like when an older kid picked on one of your friends? We all have a sense of fairness; even little children.
We still want a sense of fairness when we are older. When you hear about a murder or a rape, don't you want to see the perpetrator caught and punished? Of course you do! We want to see justice; we want to see a wrong being made right. The criminal must be punished.
But what happens to our sense of fairness when it comes to God? Do we really want to receive our "just" rewards? Do we really want to be punished for our crimes? Do we want God to administer justice for all of our sins? All of our lies, lusting, coveting, idolatry? Of course not!
We want to hear about and talk about the love of God (and that's if people want to talk about God at all). God is love (1 John 4:8
). God is a loving God. He is merciful (Psalm 136:1
), kind, generous and forgiving (Eph. 4:32
). We want to talk about these attributes of God and they are all true characteristics of God. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."
This beautiful Bible verse shows the loving attributes of our wonderful God. Our great and awesome God really does love us! He loves us so much that He was willing for His Son - Jesus to suffer and die a horribly painful death on a torturous cross for our sins. That is truly amazing love! God's anger; His wrath was poured out upon the innocent One for guilty sinners. Thanks be to God!
But wait a minute. If God is so loving, why did He punish Jesus for the sins of others? On the surface, that doesn't sound very loving at all. (Parents, could you sacrifice the life of your child for a murder?). So how do we reconcile this apparent discrepancy? How could a loving and merciful God punish an innocent person? To our sense of fairness, this frankly seems outrageous. How could God do that?
In addition to being the loving, kind, merciful and forgiving God that He is - God is also righteous, Holy (Psalm 145:17
), pure (Psalm 12:6
) and just (Isa. 45:21
). God is perfectly balanced because He is perfect. All of God's attributes combined together show His true nature. God truly is love and He is also wrathful (Romans 11:22
Why is God wrathful (Zeph. 3:8
)? God is so perfect, so Holy and so righteous, that He cannot tolerate sin. Our sin separates us from our Holy Creator. One sin, one little sin, one little white lie, separates us from God. If you die in your sins (as an unbeliever) then that's all it takes to separate you for all eternity from our Holy God. He is that righteous! He is that Holy!
God created us out of His own goodness, but our sinfulness separates us from God. Out of God's great love, He sent Jesus to walk this earth, fully man and fully God 2,000 years ago. Jesus never sinned one time. He never lied and He always did the will of His heavenly Father. Jesus willingly laid down his life for guilty sinners to make a way for us to get back into a right relationship with God the Father. Jesus is the only Way. Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave on the third day.
God is fair and that's why He has to punish sin. Because He is just. Sinners must be punished for their sins. Folks this is very simple. You either die in your sins and therefore take the wrath of God upon yourself for all of eternity in a very real, very torturous place called Hell or you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior - by turning away from your sins and putting your faith in Him.
For all of eternity (Matt. 25:46
) you will either experience the negative attribute of God - His wrath and be punished forever or you will truly experience the love and forgiveness of God through the only perfect sacrifice - Jesus. This also lasts forever. Personally, I choose to be forgiven by God for all of eternity. I'm trusting in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and turning away from my sins. Which option do you choose? God's love or the wrath of God?