Is God Good?

I have often heard the question asked, "Is God Good?"

When I answer in the affirmative, the follow up tends to be, "well then why does He allow suffering?" Or even, "Then how can He send people to Hell?"

It would seem that everyone wants to experience His grace, mercy and love but no one wants to hear His truth!  We want the good and none of the bad. The Bible clearly says the God is love (1 John 4:8), but it also says that He is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29).

So if God is good, then how come He punishes those who refuse to repent? I appreciate this quote from Salvation Army officer,  Samuel Brengle (1860-1936): In his book Love Slaves he writes that "Fire will not only bake our food, but it will burn us. Water will not only quench our thirst and refresh us, but if we trifle with it, it will drown us."

God is good, but He is not to be trifled with. He has given us the freedom to choose eternal life in Heaven or Hell, to follow or reject Him. We can accept His wisdom and submit to His will, and live in true joy and peace, or, we can reject His offer of life in Christ, and pay the eternal consequences. Holding  us accountable for our sins does not negate His goodness.

God is good, loving, compassionate and slow to anger, but He is also holy and righteous. We can't continue on a path that breaks His laws and not expect to be disciplined anymore than we can continually break man's laws and not expect punishment. I can choose to obey the law of the land and enjoy the privileges of being a citizen in good standing, or violate those laws and reap the consequences...the choice is mine but being punished in the courts is not the fault of the ones who set the law in place, it is the fault of the lawbreaker.

Is God good? Absolutely.

Is He fair? Undoubtedly.

The question isn't really is God good but Who will I follow and obey, my own idea of truth or His?

For me, Psalm 84:10 says it best, "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked."


This Changed Everything

This Changed Everything is a new DVD that comes out this October. I received a advance copy from my friend John Armstrong, author of Your Church is too Small and president of the Act3 Network.

The three-part documentary looks at the rich history of the Reformation, examining its good parts while also asking the tough questions about what went wrong in the aftermath. Could division have been avoided? Is the fractured and divided church of today beyond hope for reunification? Jesus spoke about unity, does it still apply today?

Hosted by actor David Suchet, church historians across the religious spectrum share deep insights and ask those tough questions about unity and the future of the Christian church.

As a history buff I fell in love with this DVD. The transitions through this period of time were smooth and lead the viewers deeper into the past then the average believer may have gone before. I learned things I never knew and found myself wondering and asking some of the same questions that the historians address.

Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and beyond are examined in a fresh light. We in the church today hold the reformation in such high regard. Have we ever counted the cost? With all of the good that came from this transformative period of history, we cannot ignore the problems it wrought as well.

Is there still hope for unity in the body of Christ? I believe there is.

I recommend this DVD to every student of church history, to every Pastor and leader in the body of Christ and to every Christian who truly believes that we should love one another!