According to researcher George Barna, “Millions of Americans have redefined grace to mean that God is so eager to save people from Hell that He will change His nature and universal principles for their individual benefit. It is astounding how many people develop their faith according to their feelings or cultural assumptions rather than biblical teachings.”
You know, whatever kind of God a human being can conjure up in his mind to make himself feel better about God, that God falls far, far short of the greatness and goodness of God as He is. God is who He is, regardless of what we may think about Him. Rather than trying to assuage our own anxieties about God by pretending He is something we want Him to be, how much better to look into the big, sweeping picture of who God is and thus finding God is better in every way than anything we might try to mold Him to be!
Somebody fears they may end up in hell if they acknowledge God as he is in the Bible. So they soften God. “He’ll take pretty much anyone in to heaven, as long as they’re not an Adolph Hitler,” they may reason, “Well, I dunno. Maybe he can even change a Hitler and take him into heaven, too. After all, God is all-powerful and all-loving.”
God is Better in Every Way
To know what God is really like, you and I are going to have to regularly and purposefully spend a lot of time in the Bible examining what He says about Himself. Here’s some of what you’ll find.
- God’s thoughts are way higher than human thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9)
- God is unchanging. (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8)
- God has always been for human beings. (Romans 5:8; Revelation 21:3)
- God’s love is so great that He created a plan for rescuing mankind even before man knew there was a problem. (1 Peter 1:18-20)
- God is holy; He will never treat evil as though it were no big deal. (Isaiah 5:20)
- God is a God of justice; evil will never be overlooked. (Numbers 14:18; Acts 17:31; John 5:28-29)
- God respects you as a person created in His image; you and I must choose whether or not we want to accept God’s remedy for our problem. (John 1:12; John 8:24)
- God’s remedy for man’s problem does not lower His standard to a human level; it provides a way for humans to attain to His perfect standard by His power, not ours. (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Romans 3:26)
In short, God has come for us. He will take us to where we need to be in order for us to have life, peace, and true freedom. But we have to take Him on His terms, not on our own.
We can get mad at God for providing only one way for redemption (Acts 4:12). But we need to remember, it was never obligatory for Him to provide any means for the redemption of mankind. We need to recall that His provision for our problem of separation and death cost Him the very life of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
If we accept God’s offer, we can know with one hundred percent certainty that we will spend eternity in glory in the presence of God–and we don’t have to bend God into something He’s not in order to enjoy that promise. We only need to take Him at His word.