Something to think about.
“Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments; and He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him; He will repay him to his face. Deuteronomy 7:9-10 NKJV
In these contrasting verses, we find two opposite sides of God. On one side we see a loving patient, long-suffering God. On the other, we see a terrifying short-tempered judgemental God. In our Christianity, we have embraced the first and ignored our disavowed the second.
We want so much to show our loving, compassionate God we ignore or at the very least downplay the permanent judgment of God. We want to say listen God loves you more than anything. Which is true, however, need to also preach about the beginning of this chapter. God utterly destroys seven nations. He destroys them because they will introduce sin to the nation of Israel. The judgment is permanent. It is harsh and merciless.
If we believe God is the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever we must acknowledge the God who will judge entirely. I am not saying we need to preach fire and brimstone continually but we need to preach the complete picture of God.
We need to let the world know the judgment of God will be fierce, painful and permanent. We need to let them know if they fall on the side of unrighteousness the judgment will be severe.
No one responds to God because he first loved us, we respond to God because of what he offers us. Whatever that may be. We return to God because he fulfills a need in our lives. That need is always selfish and self-centered.
We all have a need for self-preservation we want to protect our selves and those we love. This is the primary source of motivation for the secular world. Their fear of loss motivates them to do whatever they believe is best to fulfill that need. They fear loss, they fear being on the street, they fear not having food to eat, they fear death.
We as a Christian community have ignored this reality. We behave as if what man fears should not be addressed by Christians. We behave as if God should not be feared. I’ve been a Christian for over thirty years and I cannot reminder the last time I read or heard a sermon on the judgment of God. As if this is not part of the character of God.
I love to be uplifted and edified as much as anyone but we need to tell the complete truth. Why? Because those who live in fear will respond to the full reality of God and yes that means preaching the God who will judge. And whose judgments will be terrible and final. I believe a real fear of God is healthy to our eternal life because His judgment will be eternal for everyone. For those who will spend eternity with Him and those who will spend eternity without Him.