We have mentioned (127) that the love of God is a strange concept in the minds of most people. His love is what guarantees that people will perish who refuse to come to Jesus Christ, and that people will not perish who take refuge in His Son. In this article I would like to pursue that idea a bit because part of it does sound strange. In fact, most people will say, "Preacher, you have it all wrong! The love of God is for mankind's good, not its condemnation."
But let's think about that a minute. What is it about God that makes illness, pain, death, and eternal condemnation the realities that they are? I want to make a case for the fact that it is His love.
How so? Because of the nature of love. The Bible says, God is love. This means that love is something very fundamental to the character of God. But, we have a significant amount of suffering, pain, and death in our world--and we have Jesus' warning that Hell is waiting. How can a God of love exist in the face of these undeniable experiential realities? Pagan philosophers have often said that, If God exists, He is the devil; and If God is love, He is not powerful--because if He was He would not allow all the pain that exists in the world.
What do we say to these challenges? This: God's love is the reason that pain, suffering, death, and Hell exist. How so? Because love demands a final good for the beloved. Therefore, all who attempt to create a final evil for those beloved must be opposed. How loving is it for a parent to let his child be pummeled every day by a bigger child who is a bully? Any parent worth his salt would see to it that the bully was stopped. How loving is a parent who would allow a rapist to invade his home and rape his daughter and do nothing about it? Any parent worth his salt would attempt to stop him.
God is a perfect parent. When He sees wicked people doing evil to His children, He steps in--and creates pain and suffering and Hell for those who would abuse His beloved children. So, it is the love of God which is responsible for the judgment He inflicts upon those who create evil for those He loves.
There are some other considerations of God's love. We pursue them further in the articles that follow, but let it suffice us to say today that part of the reason for pain and suffering and Hell is the love of God for His children. He will defend them and oppose those who would continue to injure them. Ultimately He will cast their tormentors into the Lake of Fire.
This means that being one of His children is the most important issue before us today. If we become one of His children, we will have Him as our Defender and Protector. If we continue to refuse His offer of a new birth through faith in Jesus, we will find that He is our enemy and He will win in our war against Him. We will suffer wrath because of His love.
So, have you put your trust in Jesus so that you know that God is your Father and Defender? You can't trust in religion for this. You can't trust in your personal piety for this. You can only trust in His Word of love to you: John 3:16.