Howard Green: Underestimating God’s Fierceness

Many people have a skewed view of God as a result of pop culture, movie portrayals, and artists renditions. This distortion isn’t much different than the prevailing views of God the Father and the Son held by many professing Christians. Much of the popular preaching and teaching about God in our day portrays him as a soft, mild-mannered Shepherd who doesn’t see our sins through holy eyes but winks at them instead. This skewed view of God is unbiblical and it will result in millions of unrepentant people uttering, “Lord Lord” as they go into eternity without him. This is the scandal and eternal tragedy of underestimating God’s fierceness. Romans 2:5

It’s wrong to give people half-truths in any situation but intentionally leaving out all of the aspects of God’s divine nature will cause people to believe they are going to heaven when in fact, they are in imminent eternal danger. Oftentimes in an effort to have people make a decision, the invitation is given to come forward, sign a card, or raise a hand as evidence of some sort of commitment to Christ. Moreover, the invitation is usually given on the premise that they will live the blessed life, they don’t have to change, or that God accepts them based on works and half-hearted commitment. A gospel which merely says, ‘Come to Jesus’ and offers a marvelous new life, without convicting of sin, is not New Testament evangelism.

D. L. Moody wrote, “The Law stops every man’s mouth. I can always tell a man who is near the kingdom of God; his mouth is stopped. This, then, is why God gives us the Law-to show us ourselves in our true colors.” Romans 3:19

I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard unfortunate statements such as, “He knows my heart.” or “It’s all under the blood.” Oftentimes, this is the sentiment of a person who is comfortable continuing in blatant rebellion against the Lord while maintaining a lukewarm fondness for him in order to obtain heaven and avoid hell. They view God as a proud Grandpa type who will give them a performance-based attaboy or attagirl. In reality, if we preached the whole gospel to people, some would come to terms with the fact that God is holy, their hearts are wicked, and they are in desperate need of a Savior. To give people the false impression they are in and that they are safe for eternity without preaching repentance is wrong. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10

To make matters worse, many would be converts don’t know what they are being saved from. They are never told about God’s holiness and their wretched heart condition on account of which his judgment is coming. Many preach a seeker-friendly version of Jesus as the guy with the big blue eyes and soft complexion holding a lamb who desperately needs us to accept him. This false portrayal of Jesus belies the fact that he is coming back soon as a fierce Judge who will trample the unrepentant under his feet. It’s a gross dereliction of duty if you only preach about the loving kindness and mercy of God and ignore his holiness and the winepress of his fierce wrath to come. A true shepherd will warn while the lying prophets and teachers say, “No disaster will come upon you.” Jeremiah 23:16

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Source: Christian Post