Posted by: missionventureministries | January 18, 2018

LEARNING ABOUT GOD’S NATURE – Psalm 86:15

But You, O Lord, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth. (Psalm 86:15) 

The Bible teaches that God is loving, patient, caring, and forgiving as described in (Psalms 86:15), and the apostle John wrote that, “God is love” (1 John 4:8). 

There are many biblical passages were we read about how God cares for us. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:6-7). That is a very comforting thought. 

Another passage written by the prophet Jeremiah tells us that: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” (Lamentations 3:22-24)   

However, the Bible also clearly teaches that there is another aspect of God’s character that is crucially important, which is His Holiness. Leviticus 11:44; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:16 all speak of you shall be holy; for I am holy, and this is what Satan wants us to ignore. 

The Bible teaches that God is perfectly Holy. Because of this attribute of His character, He cannot tolerate sin: “The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He will by no means clear the guilty…” (Numbers 14:18). The Bible tells us that God must deal with sin, and He does so in one of two ways – either by grace or by wrath. 

John 3:16 tells that: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” But few seem to take note of the words recorded a few verses later: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36) 

We come under God’s grace by placing our faith in Jesus and appropriating His atoning sacrifice for our lives (1 John 1:7). There is no salvation apart from Jesus (Acts 4:10-12). Those who have rejected God’s free gift of grace in Jesus are under God’s wrath (John 3:36), and they have no one to blame but themselves. 

We need to realize that God does not change and His commandments are to be obeyed for us to have a loving and pure relationship with Him. In the Old Testament we read: “For I am the Lord, I do not change…” (Malachi 3:6). And in the New Testament: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) 

Besides being a loving God, His word also tells us that God is a God of wrath. The prophet Nahum summed it up most excellently. Writing of the love of God, he said, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7). But a few verses earlier Nahum spoke of the holiness and wrath of God (Nahum 1:2-3): “A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; the Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished….” 

God wants a person to repent that is why He sent His Son to reconcile us with Him. Throughout the Bible, God demonstrates His mercy by never pouring out His wrath without warning. He warned the world through Noah’s preaching for 120 years. He tried to warn Sodom and Gomorrah through Abraham. He sent both Jonah and Nahum to warn the pagan city of Nineveh. 

He sent prophet after prophet to call the nations of Israel and Judah to repentance: “The Lord, the God of their fathers, sent word to them again and again by His messengers, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they continually mocked the messengers of God, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people, until there was no remedy” (2 Chronicles 36:15-16). 

As we study Revelation we read about God’s mercy concerning the Tribulation. Rather than simply pouring out His wrath on the rebellious nations of the world, destroying them in one instant with an overwhelming catastrophe, He subjects the world to a series of judgments that sequentially increase in scope and intensity (Revelation 6, Revelation 8 and 9 and Revelation 16). 

We need to understand that there is no reason for any child of God to fear the wrath of God. Paul wrote that since we have been justified by the blood of Christ, “we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him” (Romans 5:9); and that “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). 

Please ask yourself are you under God’s grace or are you under His wrath. It would be worthwhile for you to join a good Bible study where the truth of God’s word is being taught. Jesus is coming soon and when He appears, or your time is up on this earth; will you be absent from the body and present with the Lord, or will you forever be casted out from ever being in His presence? 

Are you under grace or wrath? The choice is yours. We hope that “no one deceives you with empty words, for because of these things, the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6). 

God is a God of great Holiness and dignity; He is worthy of our humble worship, admiration and holy living. Please “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)

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