God does not cease to be Himself to reveal another part of himself. The Bible reveals God as loving, compassionate and merciful. God also is revealed as a judge.
For many years men and women of God brought strong warning that a judgment day was coming when all peoples of all nations would stand before God and give an account of their lives. God has tried to prepare people for that coming judgment.
First, He has given us a conscience. "The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord," Proverbs tells us. The danger of not listening to your conscience is that it becomes "seared," past feeling. Not listening to your conscience is like traveling at night without your headlights.
Second, God sent his word to heal and deliver and enlighten us. Then God came Himself in human form. They called him Immanuel, God with us. He also was called Jesus, who would save His people from their sin. For those who would receive and obey Him, He gave the power to become sons and daughters of God and escape the great wrath to come. Jesus then commissioned disciples to carry the message of hope and to continue to warn people to flee the wrath to come. In one of his many warnings, the Apostle Paul writes, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor coveters, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists will inherit the kingdom of God." (1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
There are many who get upset and angry and vehemently disagree with the Bible's teaching. But that will not alter the fact that all will stand before God and give an account and be judged according to God's Word. Jesus said, "He who rejects Me, and does not receive my Word, has that which judges him; the Word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).
There are some that get all bent out of shape, upset and angry against the teaching of the Bible. Yet I would pose this question: What if the Bible is right and there is a lake of fire and an eternal punishment? Even if there were one in a million chances that the Bible is true, would it not be just common sense to search it out? Ask God if He is real to reveal Himself to you. Listen to his promise: "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).
- Holcomb is the pastor at the Door Fellowship in Williamsport