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Two Sides of the Father

Two sides of the Father

      We are told throughout the scriptures of the goodness of God. We are also told of the wrath of God and the severity of the punishment that will be inflicted on those who fail to serve God faithfully or refuse to serve Him at all. We have a passage in Romans 11:22 which speaks to two sides of the Father at the same time.    Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 

     I am afraid that many are willing to take note of, or remember the goodness of God and refuse to think of the severity of God as if that will cause them to be the recipients of only the good and possibly shields them from any punishment which they deserve if they do not do the Will of God.   That’s like thinking a tornado will not damage your home if you simply refuse to think about it, or that disease cannot afflict you if you don’t acknowledge it.

      Many want to point out the goodness of God by quoting verses like John 3:16 and then staking their soul’s eternal destiny on a misapplication of the verse. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  This verse in no way states that just because Jesus died, and just because one believes he or she “shall” have everlasting life.   It clearly states that He died so that those who believe in Him “should not perish, but have everlasting life”.   This shows He provided the means whereby those who believe in Him can be saved.   This is the goodness of God extended toward us. Eternal life is in Christ, and outside of Christ one cannot have the promise.  

     If one believes in one God, they will believe in the Christ. But, this belief alone still does not save. James 2:19, in the discussion of faith and works makes this abundantly clear. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. They do more than some people do; at least these devils tremble. Most folks go through life asserting that Jesus loves them and God loves them and hoping that this in itself will make a difference for them at the judgment.

     We do know that a certain amount of the goodness of God is directed to all of humanity.   The fact of creation itself attests to that. Also, as Jesus pointed out in Matthew 5:45 in the Sermon on the Mount, . . . for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.    Now, does it not make sense that since God shows His love for all of mankind in expressing His goodness upon us all that He will also punish all who refuse to love Him and follow that which He has directed in His Word?   No amount of refusal to believe on our part will nullify what God has said in His Word.   2Thessalonians 1:7-9 are Words given to Paul by the Spirit to write to these brethren which were troubled because of the persecution of the wicked.   These Words are still applicable today.   And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 

          We are also told in Romans 12:9 that we need not worry about avenging the evil that is directed toward us because this belongs to God and He will take care of it. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. God will punish those who refuse to obey Him, and He will also reward those who follow His Word in faithful obedience. In Colossians 3:24-25 we are told that all will receive their “reward” in accordance to that which they have done in this life. God does not respect anyone’s person. Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 25  But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. 

              Let’s make the right choice; God has left that up to us to do. If we think only of the goodness of God we might think the Lord is on our side.   Rather, as Moses offered the choice to Israel in Exodus 32:26 let’s be obedient and be on the Lord’s side. Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD'S side? let him come unto me. Then let us look forward to the reward of God and not be on the receiving end of the severity of God.

                                                                                                             Dennis Strickland - Mooresville

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