Written: January 4, 2013 | Updated on February 18th, 2020 | Jun P. Espina | 5 min read
Merciful God But Terrifying
Our sense of self-confidence, superiority and pride do not please God. Although He is a merciful God, He also wills that we humble ourselves before Him. Said the atheists that religion is intellectual infancy. If religion is relationship with God, then Christ had a religion, since during His earthly ministry, He wouldn’t do anything without first saying a prayer to His Father God. Yes, Christ had a religion, but no one would dare say that our Lord had intellectual infancy in His Person. The atheists don’t include faith in their intellectual and emotional menu, for the beauty of reason and science are the ones governing and adorning their mindset. I had a casual acquaintance with atheists, and I know that even cancer or heart attack or any form of death-threat cannot change their anti-God views. But it “is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31) For us on the opposite side, we need to be fearful to our merciful God, and here are our reasons:
READ MORE: Atheism Crumbles while the Bible Stands
We are Unlike Our Merciful God
We Have Self-Centered Sense of Goodness
Our Merciful God Requires Justice
Our Faith in God is Subjective and Feeling-Centered
There’s Warning from God if We Don’t Fear Him
We’ve No Other Duty But to Fear the Lord
God Loves the God-Fearing Ones
While our merciful God is holy; we are not. He is sinless, righteous, just and a lover of what is good and true. He is Light, brighter than the sun. What do you think will happen to us in God’s holy presence? Or, what will happen to us if, for example, we are placed in a room surrounded by mirrors, full of light, with our dull consciences becoming sharper to see intelligently who really we are? Well, in this room of total reality, we will find ourselves to be “dirty,” sinful, unworthy of everything that’s holy; of everything that’s God’s! Hence, we need to be fearful to Him, for we’re not like Him; rather we resemble the devil, God’s enemy, deep down in our hearts! Our natural dishonesty, lustfulness, covetousness, and greed speak how far we are from God’s standards.
I see one problem with our nature: we think we are good based on God’s standards. We are mistaken. Our goodness, in whatever form, is always self-centered. You may insist that Mother Teresa or those priests serving among the leprous people or those missionaries who died in the service of the church are a proof that we have “divine” goodness in us.
Well, it is not true. The apostle Paul, martyred for the sake of Christ, taught that our goodness is always self-centered, and if we can show any God-centered goodness at all, then it is because of the Spirit of Christ in us and not because of us.
Wrote Paul in Romans, chapter 7 and verses 17-25:
“So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to our God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.” (Rom 7:17-25 NASB).
What’s the point? Why is God requiring justice? Because we offended Him. He gave us life and breath, but we don’t honor Him as God. Instead, we tend to worship anything that’s “less” God like the saints, Mary, and other man-made gods like idols of cow, dragon, etc. Our tendency is to humanize God, make Him manipulable.
The philosophy known as Existentialism, which assumes that everything is subjective—the “God-according-to-me” principle—is belying what true Bible Christianity stands for 2000 years. God is an objective Truth and thus can’t be given meaning according to one’s feelings, culture or tradition. God exists and is there, even if you think differently. He is demanding justice for our evil deeds against Him. Thus, we need to fear Him!
The atheist may strongly insist that God doesn’t exist. If it is the truth, then we’ll know it after this life. Anyway, atheists don’t have problem holding a Bible study session in hell, for they don’t believe in hell in the first place.
I say this again, truth is objective not subjective; therefore, it continues to be truth even if you don’t believe it. The following passage is from John 3:34-36. It is an example of objective truth. Break it, and you’ll be broken yourself. Observe the warning in it:
The Muslims or the Hindus, for example, don’t believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ. But the Bible said that God’s wrath “abides on him” who rejects Christ in his heart notwithstanding his nationality or religious persuasion. That is the objective truth. Christ said “For God so loved the world…preach the gospel to every nation.” It means that Bible truth is global and eternal in scope.
Let’s go to Afghanistan and check her records of “loving the sword,” so to speak. Now the “sword” (the chaos!) does not leave this country. Says Proverbs 17:13: “If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house.” That’s the objective truth from the only Source of truth, the God of Abraham, the God of the Holy Bible, the Father of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The formula thus concerning the need to fear God runs in this way: (man – Christ) = God’s wrath. Or, without Christ, a family or nation will always be the scriptural recipient of God’s wrath!
Now what about Saudi Arabia’s or China’s rich economy when these nations don’t believe in Jesus Christ. Well, one’s riches doesn’t always mean a favor from our merciful God. The devil told Christ that he would give all the kingdoms [riches] of the world if only the latter [Christ] will worship him. Many people today in hell’s lake of fire spent life, while still on earth, in air-conditioned rooms. Broad is the gate of hell, Christ once said.
“The eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy.” (Psalm 33:18 KJV)