Do we leave out a big part of God's story if we only talk about God's love?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: The debate about God's judgment versus God's love is back in the news. Do Christians leave out a big part of God's story if they only talk about God's love? -- L.G.
A: A Bible professor once said, "Never preach Hell without tears in your eyes." Proclaiming the love of Christ cannot be fully preached without first establishing that God the Father will judge the human race for its disobedience to Him. The Bible says, "The entirety of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever" (Psalm 119:160).
Because God is righteous, He wants to spare us from the awful reality of Hell. He devised a way to rescue us and save us from His judgment, and so He sent His one and only Son to pay the penalty for our sin. He judged sin at the cross and extended His forgiveness to those who would accept His gift of salvation. For those who reject what Christ did at Calvary, He will judge the world.
None of us deserves God's love. All of us deserve His righteous judgment and wrath (John 3:18; Romans 3:9-12). It is easy to think of evil and depraved people deserving divine judgment ... but the kind people that we know will also be judged if they refuse and neglect God's offer of mercy and forgiveness.
God judges mankind by the standard of the only God-man who ever lived, Jesus Christ. Jesus, the innocent Lamb of God, stands between our sin and the judgment of God the Father. "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared ... He saved us ... to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:4-7).
The cross shows us the seriousness of the judgment of sin -- but the cross also shows us the immeasurable love of God. Receive Him without delay.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)(c)2019 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.