“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him might have hope of eternal life.”  (John 3:16).  That is pretty comforting, isn’t it?  God is a loving, compassionate and merciful God who sacrificed His Son on the cross at Calvary as a substitute sin offering for all of mankind.  Jehovah God loves us more than we can possibly imagine.  The depth of His love is limitless.  Many times it seems that the focus on the attributes of God falls mainly upon that love and rightly so, for God has displayed His love throughout history, from His placing of Adam in the Garden of Eden through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  There is even a “love chapter” in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13

** New International Version

King James Version

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.




Not only is the Bible replete with examples of that love, individuals have experienced it even beyond the pages of Scripture.  There is anecdotal evidence of the love of God that is beyond measure.  In my own life I can point to numerous situations where God demonstrated His love for me, even though I was complete undeserving.

On the other hand, God is also holy, righteous and just.  He is perfect in His sense of justice.  Nothing escapes His notice and His patience can be exhausted.  One of the adjectives sometimes used to describe God is “longsuffering”; that word does not mean limitless.  We see situations in the Bible where God’s patience was finally exhausted.

The first instance in the Bible where we see God’s patience exhausted is in the Genesis account of Noah.  Following creation man became so wicked that God was actually grieved by His creation.

Genesis 6:5-8, 11-3

** New International Version

King James Version

5 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6 The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. 7 So the LORD said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth--men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air--for I am grieved that I have made them." 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.

* * *

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.


5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.

7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.

8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

* * *

11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.



We know how this story ended.  God levied judgment upon mankind and by doing so, destroyed the earth with a great flood leaving only Noah and his family to replenish creation.

The next instance where we see God’s divine judgment visited upon a sinful people involved the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Abraham, the father of the nation of Israel, had entered into the land with his nephew, Lot, and the two of them had gone their separate ways.  Lot had chosen the land that appeared to be fruitful and good for grazing but in this land were wicked people.  Lot elected to settle amongst them in the town of Sodom.  The sin of the people actually cried out to God and the result was the total destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Genesis 18:20-21, 19:12-13, 19:24-29

** New International Version

King James Version

20 Then the LORD said, "The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know."

* * *

12 The two men said to Lot, "Do you have anyone else here--sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."

* * *

24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah--from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities--and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot's wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.  29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.


20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;

21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

* * *

12 And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place:

13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.

* * *

24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;

25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:

28 And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.


These accounts provide us with another view of God’s being that many do not want to address.  Most people, understandably, would prefer to think of God in terms of His patience and His willingness to forgive.  They will point to the many instances where God stayed His hand in rendering judgment.  They will even deny the concept of accountability thinking that God will somehow overlook the way they lived their lives. 

There are many who seem to believe the salvation experience is a “get of jail free card” when in reality it is a “union card.”  With this belief system, it is no wonder that many “Christians” live like the devil instead of facing the fact that great responsibility comes with the gift of grace.  When “Christians” deny their responsibility and compromise their witness in the process, the unbeliever gets the wrong impression about Christianity.  I have heard it said, “The two reasons many people do not come to Christ is because they do not know a Christian; the other reason is that they do.”

Later in the Old Testament, the Psalmist talks about the things that displease God.

Psalms 11:4-7

** New International Version

King James Version

4 The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD is on his heavenly throne. He observes the sons of men; his eyes examine them. 5 The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence his soul hates. 6 On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot.  7 For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face.


4 The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. 5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. 6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. 7 For the righteous LORD loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright.


God is a holy, righteous and just God.  From His heavenly throne, He sees all; He examines man; and He hates the wicked and those who love violence.  It is promised that they will reap a terrible price for their actions (fiery coals, burning sulfur or brimstone and a terrible scorching storm).  This is beginning to sound a lot like a picture of hell.  However, the upright man will see His face as God loves righteousness and justice.  It should be noted at this point that none are righteous in the eyes of God absent salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:10-20

** New International Version

King James Version

10 There is no one righteous, not even one;

  11 there is no one who understands,

no one who seeks God.  12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless;

there is no one who does good,  not even one."  13 "Their throats are open graves;

their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips."  14 "Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."  15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways,  17 and the way of peace they do not know."  18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."  19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.


10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes. 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.



Later, we see Solomon addressing this idea that certain actions don’t merely displease God – He hates them, He detests them and these actions will visit calamity upon the perpetrator.

Proverbs 6:12-19

** New International Version

King James Version

12 A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, 13 who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, 14 who plots evil with deceit in his heart--he always stirs up dissension.

15 Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed--without remedy. 16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,

hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.


12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth. 13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers; 14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.

15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy. 16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.



We could talk all day about these things.  In many ways the listed actions mirror the ways of the world.  How many do we know that meet the definition of being a scoundrel and a villain, of being wicked and who spread corruption with their mouths?  How often do we encounter a person who tries to trick us, who tries to pull one over on us, who refuses to act honorably, who pats you on the back with one hand and stabs you in the back with the other?  How many around us plot evil and sow discord?  Do you ever meet or deal with someone who is prideful? Who lies?  Who sheds innocent blood such as the abortionist or the terrorist?  Who spends their time scheming and who do not shun evil?  When do we encounter the liar who wants only to cause trouble?  The problem is that we not only see it in the world around us each and every day of our lives, we also see it in those who would have us call them “brother” or “sister.”  

There is a day coming when God will dispense His righteous judgment.  That judgment will be meted out for the believer and the unbeliever.  If we stand upon the law asking God to judge us for all we have done, good or bad, we will stand condemned on that day.  That day will be the day of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He will arrive as the conquering King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He will come with His army arrayed in glory and splendor and He will visit destruction upon those who have dared to defy Him.  It will be total and complete destruction .

2 Thessalonians 1:5-10

** New International Version

King James Version

5 All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10 on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.


5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

7 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 Christ:

9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.


To stand before the judgment of a Holy God should make one faint with fear.  There are those who foolishly state that they will tell God that He has no right to render judgment over them.  They now believe that they will continue to defy God.  They will be so wrong for “every knee will bow . . . and every tongue confess” that Jesus Christ is Lord.  (Romans 14:11).  There will be no exceptions.

How is one to escape this horrible end?  What must I do to flee before Almighty God?  Is there any way out or must I resign myself to this unimaginable destiny?

Luke 9:23-26

** New International Version

King James Version

23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.


23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.


The good news is that there is a way to escape the righteous judgment of God.  That escape is the free gift of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ who died on the cross at Calvary.  No matter what anyone else may tell you, there is no other way to escape the terrible judgment of a Holy God.  You cannot be good enough; you cannot be contrite enough; you cannot be “religious” enough.  Thank goodness this is the case because there is no other way that I could get there myself.  But I know that I will have Someone standing beside me Who will be able to testify that the price of my entry into the presence of God has already been paid – it was paid almost two millennia ago on a hill outside of Jerusalem.  My God paid my price.  He did it not because I deserved it but because I didn’t.  He died for me and paid that awful price because He knew that I couldn’t.  He will do the same for you if you will just let Him.

** A modern language quote is provided for readability together with the accompanying KJV version which is believed by many to be a more accurate representation of the original scripture.

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