Monday, July 20, 2015

How Can God Be Both Loving And Just?


HOW CAN GOD BE BOTH LOVING AND JUST?

It would seem that love and justice are incompatible.

If God is just, He must punish sin.

But if He is loving, He would forgive sin.

How can He be both?

Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.
James 1:17


These attributes of God are not contradictory.

He is both absolutely just and unconditionally loving.

Each of these characters of God complements the other.

God is “justly holy” and “holy just”.

His justice is administered in love, and His love is distributed justly.

God is the author of all good and people have the free will to follow Him or separate from Him.

God is completely righteous and morally perfect (Psalm 18:30).


"God acts mercifully, not indeed by going against his justice, but by doing something more than justice; thus a man who pays another two hundred pieces of money, though owing him only one hundred, does nothing against justice, but acts liberally or mercifully."
St. Thomas Aquinas

He always does what is right—there is no “darkness” in God, not the smallest speck of imperfection (1 John 1:5).

God Himself is the standard for what is right, good, and moral.

But if God is perfectly righteous, then anything that falls short of said perfection is sinful, and every human being who has ever lived, since Adam’s fall from grace, has committed sin (Romans 3:23).

Because Adam sinned, the entire human race now has a sinful nature (Romans 5:12).


But people do not go to hell because of Adam’s sin; they go to hell because of their own sin, which they freely choose (James 1:13–16).

If someone chooses to live a life separate from Him, they have chosen to separate themselves from the provider of all that is good.

In this world that is not always an observable condition, for God has extended a blessing for all based upon His promises and His longsuffering.

When you leave this life behind and you've chosen to separate yourself from God, He will not violate your free will either.

The only difference is that you are now going to eternally exist in that chosen state.

If you choose to be separate from everything that is good, then what will you have left?


What kinds of options are open to you if any good thing isn't one of them?

Man chooses to suffer in eternal torment because he chooses to reject God and all His goodness.

If you have nothing that is good (no rest, no comfort, and no peace) then eternal torment is your only option.

He has given us His written word to point the way.

God is also merciful.

The perfect example of God’s love and justice is the cross.

In His rich mercy, God made a way for sinners to avoid the punishment of hell by trusting in the atoning work of His Son, Jesus Christ (Mark 16:16).


God sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins because of His love, so that His justice could be satisfied and His love released. (Romans 6:23)

When Christ died for our sins, the Just suffered for the unjust so that He might bring us to God. (Romans 5:8) (1 Peter 3:18) (2 Corinthians 5:21)

“The case is the same with one who pardons an offense committed against him, for in remitting it he may be said to bestow a gift. Hence the apostle [Paul] calls remission a forgiving: "Forgive one another, as Christ has forgiven you" (Eph 4:32). Hence it is clear that mercy does not destroy justice, but in a sense is the fullness thereof. Thus it is said, "Mercy exalts itself above judgment" (Jas 2:13).”
Summa Theologiae I:21:3

For Christians, the penalty of sin has been removed and placed upon Christ on the cross (1 Peter 2:24).

Because of the sacrifice of Christ, God is still just—the sin is punished—yet He is also merciful to all who believe.

We may rest assured that no one will suffer in hell who could by any means have been won to Christ in this life. God leaves no stone unturned to rescue all who would respond to the convicting and wooing of the Holy Spirit.
Dave Hunt


God’s justice demands that sin be punished.

But His love compels Him to save sinners.

So by Christ’s death for us His justice is satisfied and His love released.

There is no contradiction between His absolute justice and unconditional love, thanks to Christ’s sacrifice.

“God is like the judge who, after passing out the punishment to the guilty defendant, laid aside his robe, stood alongside the convicted, and paid the fine for him. Jesus did the same for us on Calvary. Surely justice and mercy kissed at the cross.”
Norman Geisler


We know that God's attributes work harmoniously.

The idea that justice and love conflict, is the result of the attributes being defined in isolation from one another.

In other words, in order to understand justice, we need to understand God's love.

In order to understand His love, we need to understand His justice.

"Justice means that love must always be shown, whether or not a situation of immediate need presents itself in pressing and vivid fashion. Love in the biblical sense, then, is not merely to indulge someone near at hand. Rather, it inherently involves justice as well. This means there will be a concern for the ultimate welfare of all humanity, a passion to do what is right, and enforcement of appropriate consequences for wrong action. Actually, love and justice have worked together in God's dealing with the human race. God's justice requires that there be payment of the penalty for sin. God's love, however, desires humans to be restored to fellowship with him. The offer of Jesus Christ as the atonement for sin means that both the justice and the love of God have been maintained,"

Millard Erickson.



This is Good God Questions Monday. A series dedicated to those good, and difficult, questions about God, universe, life, sin, Christ, love, and everything related.

Why is it so important to answer questions about God?

“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”
1 Peter 3:15

Even little children can ask tough question, but there are good answers for all of them. The Bible exhorts us to find them and give them.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Colossians 4:6

This post is based on the book “How Made God? And Answer To Over 100 Other Tough Questions Of Faith” by Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler.



The First Monday we wondered:



The Second Monday we wondered:


The Third Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN GOD MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING?


The Fourth Monday we wondered:

WHAT WAS GOD DOING BEFORE HE MADE THE WORLD?


The Fifth Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN THERE BE THREE PERSONS IN ONE GOD?


The sixth Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN A GOOD GOD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?


The seventh Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN GOD BE BOTH LOVING AND JUST?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Seek God Only


Every age has its own characteristics.

Right now we seem to living in a strange age of religious complexity.

The simplicity found in Christ is rarely found among us.

There are programs, methods, organizations, and a world of nervous activities which occupy our time and attention but never satisfy the longing of our heart.

“The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.”
A. W. Tozer – Pursuit of God


We must first determine to find God, amid all the externals.

Then we need to proceed in the way of simplicity.

Now as always, God discovers Himself to the simple hearted, to the babies and little children.

And hides Himself in thick darkness from the wise and prudent.

Who is God then?

And how to find Him?

If we would have all our religion


 “lapped and folden in one word, for that thou shouldst have better hold there upon, take thee but a little word of one syllable: for so it is better than of two, for even the shorter it is the better it accordeth with the work of the spirit. And such a word is this word GOD or this word LOVE.”
The Cloud of Unknowing

We must simplify our approach to Him.

We need to strip down to the bare essentials.

The habit of seeking “God… and” effectively prevents us from finding Him.

If we were only to omit “and” and we shall soon find Him.

“Lift thine heart unto God with a meek stirring of love; and mean Himself, and none of His goods. And thereto, look thee loath to think on aught but God Himself so that nought work in thy wit, or in thy will, but only God Himself. This is the work of the soul that most pleaseth God.”
The Cloud of Unknowing


Strip down everything in prayer.

Put away our effort to impress, and come with the guileless candor of childhood.

If we do this, without doubt God will quickly respond.

And in Him we shall find that for which we have all our lives been secretly looking for.

“We need not fear that in seeking God only we may narrow our lives or restrict the motions of our expanding hearts. The opposite is true we can well afford to make God our All, to concentrate, to sacrifice the many for the One.”

A. W. Tozer – Pursuit of God

Monday, July 13, 2015

How Can A Good God Send People To Hell?


HOW CAN A GOOD GOD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?

"If God really is all loving, then how can He send anybody to hell?"

This question is an embarrassment for many Christians today.

The Bible teaches that God is love, and yet, it warns that those who reject God face everlasting punishment.

But aren't these two somehow inconsistent with each other?

A lot of people seem to think that they are inconsistent, but in fact this isn't at all obvious.

After all, there is no explicit contradiction between them.

The statement "God is all loving" and "Some people go to hell" are not explicitly contradictory.

For make these two are inconsistent, there must be some hidden assumptions which would serve to bring out the contradiction.


God doesn't send people to hell against their will.

God desires everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3:9).

Those who are not saved do not will to be saved (Matthew 23:37).

“The door to hell is locked on the inside.”
C. S. Lewis

All who go there choose to do so.

“There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says, ‘Thy will be done’. All that are in hell, choose it.”
C. S. Lewis

The detractors of hell make two crucial assumptions.

First of all, they assume that if God is all powerful, then God can create a world in which everyone freely chooses to give their lives to God and are saved.

The second assumption is that if God is all loving, then God prefers a world in which everyone freely chooses to give their lives to God and be saved.


Since God is both willing and able to create a world where everyone is freely saved, it follows that nobody goes to hell.

These both assumptions have to be necessarily true to prove that God and hell are logically inconsistent with each other.

If there is a possibility that one of these assumptions is false, it is though possible that God is all-loving and yet some people go to hell.

“Without that self-choice there could be no hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.”
C. S. Lewis

According to Bible, God’s nature is both perfect justice and perfect love.

Both of these are equally powerful and neither can be compromised.

God is just.

He is totally fair.

He is the most competent, intelligent, impartial, and fairest judge we will ever have.

Every human will be guaranteed absolute justice.


And this is precisely the problem!

God’s justice exposes our inadequacies.

Every person has failed to live up to God’s moral law and so finds himself guilty before God.

Thus we find ourselves under the law of divine justice.

We reap what we sow.

So our problem is that nobody measures up.

If we are judged for who we are and what we have done, if we rely on God’s justice.

We all go to hell.

There is nobody who deserves to go to heaven.

To be able to go to heaven we must cast ourselves on God’ mercy.

God literally pleads us to turn back from our self-destructive course of action and be saved.

That is why He sent His only son to die for us.

Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of God’s justice and love.

In order to be able to go to heaven, we only need to place our trust in Christ as our Savior and the Lord of our lives.


If we reject Christ, we reject God’s mercy and fall back on His justice.

Then there is no one else to pay the penalty for our sin – but ourselves.

God doesn't choose to send anybody to hell.

His desire is that everyone be saved, and He pleads with people to come to Him.

It is matter of our free choice.

“I would pay any price to be able to say truthfully ‘All will be saved’. But my reason retorts, ‘Without their will, or with it?’ If I say ‘Without their will’, I at once perceive a contradiction, how can the supreme voluntary act of self-surrender be involuntary? If I say, ‘with their will’, my reason replies, ‘How if they will not give in?’”
C. S. Lewis

God is just and He must punish sin.
(Habakkuk 1:13) (Revelations 20:11-15)

But He is also love (1 John 4:14).

His love cannot force others to love Him.

Love cannot work coercively but only persuasively.

Forced love is contradiction in terms.


Hence, God’s love demands that there be hell where persons who do not wish to love Him can experience the great divorce when God says to them, “Thy will be done!”.



This is Good God Questions Monday. A series dedicated to those good, and difficult, questions about God, universe, life, sin, Christ, love, and everything related.

Why is it so important to answer questions about God?

“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”
1 Peter 3:15

Even little children can ask tough question, but there are good answers for all of them. The Bible exhorts us to find them and give them.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Colossians 4:6

This post is based on the book “How Made God? And Answer To Over 100 Other Tough Questions Of Faith” by Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler.


The First Monday we wondered:



The Second Monday we wondered:


The Third Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN GOD MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING?


The Fourth Monday we wondered:

WHAT WAS GOD DOING BEFORE HE MADE THE WORLD?


The Fifth Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN THERE BE THREE PERSONS IN ONE GOD?


The sixth Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN A GOOD GOD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?


The seventh Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN GOD BE BOTH LOVING AND JUST?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Conversation Between God And Man


“To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionists, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.”
A. W. Tozer – Pursuit of God

The intercourse between God and the soul is known to us in conscious personal awareness.

This conversation is personal, and it is conscious.

It does not come through the body of believers.

To the body of believers, the congregation, it is known through the individuals that compose the congregation.

This intercourse does not stay below the threshold of consciousness and work there unknown to the soul.

It comes within the field of awareness where the person can know it as he or she knows any other fact or experience.

We are made the image of God; we are in little, except our sins, what God is in large.

And we have within us the capacity to know Him.


“The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition.”
A. W. Tozer – Pursuit of God

This is the heavenly birth.

Without it we cannot see the Kingdom of God.

But it is not the end, just the inception.

Now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead.

We come to acknowledge God, when we are acknowledged by Him and commence our intercourse with Him.

We exist to communicate with God, and to be in conversation with Him.

This is where we begin.

But where we stop, no one has yet discovered.


For in the awful and mysterious depths of the triune God there is neither limit nor end.

Monday, July 6, 2015

How Can There Be Three Persons In One God?


HOW CAN THERE BE THREE PERSONS IN ONE GOD?

“…there is no other subject in the entire universe that demands and deserves our attention, our reflection, than God himself. To begin to scratch the surface of what God is like is to taste the stuff that eternal life is made of.  It is therefore desperately sad that too often we neglect this important aspect of what God is like. And I hold my hand up as someone very guilty of not giving this the thought it deserves, not emphasizing it in my daily life as I should.”
Pete Jackson

The greatness brings complexity with it.

When we look at the nature we see the make-up of God Himself.

This is the God who made the vast universe and it is no wonder there are things we cannot comprehend about Him.

The only way we can know anything about God is by what he has revealed about Himself in the Bible.


Have you ever seen the word "Godhead"?

Theologians sometimes use that term when they want to refer to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as three divine Persons in one God.

How can God be three and yet one?

Isn't it contradictory?

It would seem that God could be one and not three.

Or three and not one.

But He cannot be both three and one at the same time.

It is a violation of the most fundamental law of thought, the law of noncontradiction.

The doctrine of the Trinity — that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are each equally and eternally the one true God — is difficult to comprehend.

And yet is the very foundation of Christian truth.


Although skeptics may ridicule it as a mathematical impossibility, it is nevertheless a basic doctrine of Scripture.

As well as profoundly realistic in both universal experience and in the scientific understanding of the cosmos.

The Christian belief in a Trinity of three persons in on God is not a contradiction.

A contradiction occurs when something is both A and non-A at the same time and in the same sense.

God is both three and one at the same time but not in the same sense.

He is three persons but one in essence.

He is three persons but only one in nature.

God is like a triangle.

At the same time it has three corners and yet it is only one triangle.

Each corner is not the same as the whole triangle.

God is not 1 + 1 + = 3

But He is 1 x 1 x 1 = 1


Both Old and New Testaments teach the Unity and the Trinity of the Godhead.

The idea that there is only one God, who created all things, is repeatedly emphasized in Scripture.

For Jehovah created the heavens and earth and put everything in place, and he made the world to be lived in, not to be an empty chaos. I am Jehovah, he says, and there is no other!
Isaiah 45:18 (TLB)

In New Testament we can read:

Are there still some among you who hold that “only believing” is enough? Believing in one God? Well, remember that the demons believe this too—so strongly that they tremble in terror!
James 2:19 (TLB)

The three persons of the Godhead are, at the same time.

Come closer and listen. I have always told you plainly what would happen, so that you could clearly understand. And now the Lord God and his Spirit have sent me (with this message):
Isaiah 48:16 (TLB)

The speaker in this verse is obviously God, and yet He says He has been sent both by The Lord God (that is, the Father) and by His Spirit (that is, the Holy Spirit).

The New Testament doctrine of the Trinity is evident.

But I will send you the Comforter—the Holy Spirit, the source of all truth. He will come to you from the Father and will tell you all about me.
John 15:26 (TLB)

Then there is the baptismal formula:

Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matthew 28:19 (TLB)

God is one God.

Manifested eternally and simultaneously in three distinct persons.


God is love. (1 John 4:16)

But to have love, there must be a lover (Father), a loved one (Son) and a spirit of love (Holy Spirit).

“God is a Tri-unity, with each Person of the Godhead equally and fully and eternally God. Each is necessary, and each is distinct, and yet all are one. The three Persons appear in a logical, causal order. The Father is the unseen, omnipresent Source of all being, revealed in and by the Son, experienced in and by the Holy Spirit. The Son proceeds from the Father, and the Spirit from the Son. With reference to God's creation, the Father is the Thought behind it, the Son is the Word calling it forth, and the Spirit is the Deed making it a reality.”
Henry Morris and Martin Clark, The Bible Has the Answer

Love itself is a tri-unity.

“Another illustration of the Trinity is that God is like my mind, ideas, and words. There is a unity between them, yet they are distinct from each other.”
Norman Geisler

The Trinity is a mystery.

It goes beyond reason without going against reason.

We can apprehend it, but we cannot completely comprehend it.

“If we try to understand God completely, we may lose our mind, but if we do not believe in the Trinity sincerely, we will lose our soul!”
Anonymous



This is Good God Questions Monday. A series dedicated to those good, and difficult, questions about God, universe, life, sin, Christ, love, and everything related.

Why is it so important to answer questions about God?

“but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect”
1 Peter 3:15

Even little children can ask tough question, but there are good answers for all of them. The Bible exhorts us to find them and give them.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Colossians 4:6

This post is based on the book “How Made God? And Answer To Over 100 Other Tough Questions Of Faith” by Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler.


The First Monday we wondered:



The Second Monday we wondered:


The Third Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN GOD MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING?


The Fourth Monday we wondered:

WHAT WAS GOD DOING BEFORE HE MADE THE WORLD?


The Fifth Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN THERE BE THREE PERSONS IN ONE GOD?


The sixth Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN A GOOD GOD SEND PEOPLE TO HELL?


The seventh Monday we wondered:

HOW CAN GOD BE BOTH LOVING AND JUST?