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
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."