Many of us were brought up to believe that god is wrathful & is just waiting to catch us in a gotcha moment so he can wreak justice on us. If your image of God is punishment or that He is just sitting there waiting to catch you in sinful moment, you have probably walked away from Him, as I did 37 years ago. It causes a massive barrier for those who don’t believe or have walked away. It holds us back from believing that God is a good and a loving God. We worry that if we believe and start to attend a church that we will have to give something up.
Being perfectly honest. I was worried about that too. But when you attend church and start to follow the teachings of Jesus, the spirit that is within you, convicts you, and you find yourself actually striving and praying for most of those things you were afraid of giving up, to be taken away. You struggle and possibly fight vigorously to rid yourself of your issues and addictions. Your whole persona and the way you view things in life starts to change. And like me, if you have a lot of personal and emotional issues.. it could take years and years to rid. After all. It took you years and possibly decades to pile up those issues.
Your probably wondering why on earth I am blogging about this now. This issue of a wrathful God pulled me away from church at 15. Being told by the church that as a homosexual, I was not welcome. That I was destined to hell or purgatory. It has paralyzed me for the last two years and has stopped me from the forward motion that I was starting to make when I started going to church at the end of 2012 and on into the progress of 2013. I have really been in a struggle with this wrathful God. There are some struggles that I have prayed for help with, that just won’t seem to leave me. And each time I give in to that struggle, I beat myself up, and cry to God to forgive me. Not really thinking that he will or has. Often telling those around me that I am doomed to hell. Leaving me with thoughts of just wanting to die so it’s all over with. So I can just know where I am going and not have struggle with the fact that I am a terrible human being.
I prayed about this very thing in closing prayer at our Bible Study last week. That my unbelief as well as others unbelief would be changed. That our eyes would be open to see and our ears to hear the truth, and my prayers had been answered.
I am blogging about this, because I know that many who read my blog are suffering with the same thoughts. I often listen to sermons while I am working and last week ran across a sermon that truly hit me on this very subject, and has opened my eyes that when the bible talks about forgiveness we can believe that it is true. I have been in bible study for 3 years and have read these versus over and over and over again, but just couldn’t believe them to be true for me. 1 John 1:9 Romans 3:23-26 1 John 1:8-10 Acts 10:43 Romans 10:10 2 Chronicles 7:14 the verses go on and on all thru-out the bible, but they just wouldn’t stick in my head.
Why is this?
When most of us think of God as a just God, we put our own earthy interpretation on this, which to us means justice, and when we see those who can’t seem to obey the law, we think to ourselves that they should get justice. Punishment, imprisonment, a fine. Some way to pay for what they deserve. Of course the table turns if we ever should commit a crime. We don’t want justice. We want to be forgiven. We think we should just get a slap on the wrist and be let go to enjoy our freedom and peace. I mean after all. We aren’t as bad as they are.
In all honesty and truth be told, not one of us upholds the law. We have all fallen short of God’s perfect standards and we must pay the penalty for our shortcomings. That’s what Jesus tells us. But the good news is that God is a good, loving, forgiving and Just God. We don’t really deserve his grace and mercy, but he gives it to us freely, thru the payment and the substitution of his son, Jesus Christ, who took all the pain on the cross for us and our sinful ways. He did this to demonstrate his Justice. All we have to do is believe in what Jesus did for us, accept his substitution and boom.. what we deserve is no longer. His suffering and his mercy has made us RIGHT with God.
The word Justice or Just in Hebrew is tsedeq and mishpat and in Greek dikaiosyne. All of these words are interchangeable with the word right, righteous or righteousness. This is the definition that God in his glorious mercy gives Just or Justice.
God Is Just – What does this mean after I have accepted His Son’s sacrifice?
Once you have been reconciled to God and He sees you as one of His children, the fact that God is just means that He wants you to be just and act justly. The prophet Micah summed this up by saying, “What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly before your God?” (Micah 6:8). Repeatedly throughout the Bible, God warns His people to treat others fairly, particularly those who may be in less fortunate situations such as widows, orphans, the poor, and aliens or strangers. Jesus’ teachings go even further, telling us to love one another and to do good to those who mistreat us (John 13:34, Luke 6:27-28).
Let Jesus reach down to you and rescue you from drowning in your sorrow and your pain. He is the living water. He is your rescue and your Savior.
The fact that God is just can provide you with peace when you are dealing with difficulties in your life or witnessing painful injustice. You can be confident that God’s justice will ultimately prevail. The fact that the all-powerful and all-knowing God is also just means that evil will ultimately be dealt with authoritatively and decisively
We do get to run free. But there is a price for our sin. Say What? You just said that we get off free of charge. Yes and No.
As in all the verses above, we must ask God for his forgiveness and mean it. Free. So what is the payment?
If you truly love God and the words of Jesus, then your sin causes you anguish and struggle. It has caused me to much of it… crying out to god literally and begging for his help and strength not to give in. Many times it has kept me from attending church, or partaking in communion. Because my own thoughts of Justice didn’t think I deserved any part of a relationship with God.
Sin carries it’s own punishment. That is part of the payment. God doesn’t need to add to the pain. This isn’t a game for Him. We punish ourselves enough.
Sin will also cause you problems in your personal life. Which is why I also believe we were given the 10 commandments. Not to give us another gotcha moment, but to inform or educate us, that disobeying these commandments will just lead you into trouble in this life.
The sin of drinking yourself to death… Is literal. Drink enough and you will suffer death due to liver disease. The sin of smoking. Also causes death. Stealing will get you imprisoned and make it more difficult to get a job. Disobeying your parents.. we all know about that one. Sex.. all kinds of diseases and soul sucking if you ask me. Not brushing your teeth.. Not a sin, but will cause decay.
So sin… all carries it’s own payment. And we have to pay for it. Death is part of that payment. It’s why we get old and pass on. And if we believe.. We get to move onto a better place.
For those who refuse to believe and from what I believe. They will also move on, but I shudder to think that if Hell is real and what Jesus teaches us is true. This will be your destination.
I really don’t understand after knowing the truth and the good news of Jesus Christ, how you could not believe, or want to try. Getting into an eternal place with God, really isn’t that difficult. And you might be surprised that once you find a church that fits you, how surrounded with love you will be. It truly is a wonderful thing.
I never thought that I would look forward to Sundays and going to church, but here I am.
When I was listening to the Sermon that brought it all to light for me, what popped in my head all of a sudden to put this in plain perspective (which I believe came from God) was this.
He is a JUST God
He JUST wants us to love him.
He JUST wants us to believe him.
He JUST wants us to live by and believe in his words
He JUST wants us to try and be a better person and lean more towards goodness and perfection.
HE JUST wants us to have a relationship with him.
HE JUST wants to simply love us
You have nothing to lose by JUST believing, trying to follow Him, and JUST trying to do your best to be a better person. JUST accept his grace, His love, His mercy, His forgiveness and His eternal destiny for you.
I am not going to make it all beautiful and rainbows and you may disagree with me, but I fully do believe with all my heart and soul that should you choose not to believe in Him and his goodness and love, or that he exists. There is a not so pleasant place. You only get the chance to accept and believe now. There is no choice after death. It’s too late.. Just being good does not cut it which I spoke of here.
It is really not that difficult to believe if you take the time to open your eyes to see, your ears to hear, and your heart and soul to listen to the spirit of God that is in each and every person born of this earth.
It would be a tragedy for one person to be lost & to get what we all deserve.
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