A woman in my small group last night asked me for advice in how to approach a friend that was going to false doctrines that many are going to today. These doctrines are infiltrating the minds of the masses and have a whole lot of self and a little bit of Jesus. These are the doctrines that are so caught up in the love of God that they never look at the holiness of God. Really though these attributes of God cannot be divided for God cannot divide himself. Jackie Hill Perry says it perfectly in a recent tweet, “The World “loves” the love of God and I do too. But what the World doesn’t want to sing, the angels will. “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty.” It’s the Holiness of God that makes His love, love.” We cannot separate the love of God from the holiness of God.
Oh friends it is a dangerous down hill slope to the gates of Hell when man makes up a God of his own understanding using parts of scripture. We find ourselves in an American culture of people calling themselves Christian asking, “How could a loving God send people to hell?” or saying “Love is love” or “You do you.” I find the answer to the problem behind these statements is there is a lack of people being stunned by the holiness of God. A.W. Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” The holiness and glory of God us mortals cannot even begin to grasp. God dwells in inapproachable light…. God is that glorious. Think about that. For there is no one like the Lord God Almighty. By his Word He made the heavens and the earth and all that is within them. Our very DNA the shape of a cross points to the work of His hands.
Isaiah got a glimpse of God in his splendored glory and his response was “Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and live among a people of unclean lips and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (Isaiah 6:5). Isaiah understood what many are blind too. He understood that God is perfect in glory making each of us deserving of his full wrath for turning away from him and seeking our own glory(sin). Isaiah also understood God is good and just to pour out his full wrath not giving any excuse before him. All he could say is Woe to me!! For we have all fallen short of the glory of God. There is no one good not one. The only way to draw near to God is in his glory alone. Glory came down from heaven and wrapped himself in flesh. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus bore in His body the just judgment for the sins of man against a Holy God and has made the way for the enemies of God to approach Gods throne in confidence wrapping us in His righteousness that is received through faith.
So what is faith then? If we receive Christ’s righteousness through faith I think it’s important to understand what is this faith that one must have in order to be saved? Let’s look at the scriptures to see what God says this faith is. First this faith is not earned it’s a gift from God; it is not by works so no one will boast(Ephesians 2). Saving faith is evidenced by repentance and fruit bearing, a turning from sin and turning to and abiding in Christ. James was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write “In the same way, faith by itself, if not accompanied by action is dead.” He goes on to write, “You believe in one God. Good! Even the demons believe that-and shudder.” Faith is evidenced by surrender to Christ and His way. Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me”(Mark 8:34). This faith is the proof in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the FULL assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:19-23).
So in closing here is a brief response to the question and false statements I started this post with…
How can a loving God send people to Hell? Ahhh because it’s his holiness that makes his love, love. He is set apart and perfect in glory and cannot be approached in anyway except in his glory alone, Christ the Son. We have all chosen to go astray turning away in sin not worshipping him in perfect glory and the only way to draw near is through faith in Christ who is the glory of God who drank the judgment we each deserve.
Love is love…. Love is defined by God and personified in the face of Christ, who gave up all rights, submitting himself to death even on a cross. Jesus cried out before he went to the cross to his Father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Love does not look to fulfill its own desires but to magnify God.
You be you….”As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-15). This side of eternity God is continually sanctifying the believer into the likeness of Christ and renewing our minds day by day through the power of His Word. He calls us to live holy lives as he is holy.
All for Christ,