Christian believers often disagree. How and what we believe is the source
of endless arguments. We love God, and there is no doubt about that. We
just do not believe the same things about God.
God is love. Some say God's never-ending love and all-the-time forgiveness
is all we need. If we trust in that love, then Heaven's pearly gates will
be wide-open for us to enter. All our sins will be forgiven and overlooked.
Paul tells us about God's love in Christ Jesus in Romans 8:31: "....He
gave His Son - will He not also freely give us all things? Who will accuse
God's chosen people? God Himself declares them not guilty!"
Observers call this group the "regular sinners," those who constantly fall
into the same sin repeatedly, desperately clinging to God's love and
forgiveness time after time. Trusting God has become easier than trusting
oneself to do the right thing.
Like a little child stealing a cookie from the jar and being caught, we
trust in our parents' love. By giving Daddy a cute smile, climbing onto
his lap, giving him a big kiss and hug, we will (and should) escape
punishment. A loving parent might accept this fearful act of love, but only
foolish parents will not reprimand and explain the consequences of such
devious behavior if repeated. If talk did not help the first time, taking some
appropriate form of punishment will. The child needs to understand that it
is wrong, nothing makes it right.
God is justice. Scolded for 'living in fear of God', the second group's motto
is: "All forgiven, not forgotten, and bad behavior has consequences." They
believe there are consequences to all things said and done, even when
forgiven. We pay for sins we willingly commit, on earth as we might be held
accountable in Heaven.
They are called the 'do- good' bunch, they think they are never wrong.
They are the ones who preach, and teach and bore people with their 'Holier
than thou' attitude. Romans 2:19 reminds them: "You are sure that you are
a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in darkness, an instructor
for the foolish, and a teacher for the ignorant. You teach others, why
don't you teach yourself?"
Who can tell who is right or wrong? God's love and grace is indeed far
above our grasp. But can we childishly believe in no punishment, when we
willingly sin against our Heavenly Father and Family time and time again,
falling into the same stubborn sin? Why then do we think that God would not reprimand the children He loves even more than we love our own?
Judgment day is not only for those who did not make it to Heaven, it is for
all sinners - and we all sin. As the scriptures say: "There is no one who
is righteous, no one who is wise, or worships God. All have turned away
from God; they have all gone wrong, no one does what's right, not even one.
It is written that God, through Jesus Christ will judge even the secret
thoughts of all. And all are judged according to what they had done."
(Revelations 20:12 - 13)
In South Africa there is no end to crime, and why? Because there is no
justice. People can commit murder and get away with it. They are not
afraid of being punished, they do not belief they will be punished; so why
not steal and kill? They will be free in the end, everyone knows it. But
God is above our law, He has in place His own Law.
If loving God prevents willful sin - then love God. If fearing God
prevents sin - then fear God. The Word of God should be loved - and
feared. We should keep in mind that God is both Love and Justice. We
can't escape either. We will experience His loving grace and fearful
wrath. We will see how kind and severe God is - at least once in this
lifetime. Who can explain His decisions? Who can understand His ways?
As the scriptures say: "Who knows the mind of the Lord?" He is God.