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Dr. Willard Martz

Some people think of God as an ancient grandfather who has severed contact with reality as it pertains to the people and events on this earth. On the other hand, there are people who think God is a supernatural being who has laid a standard of moral and ethical perfection upon the human race and stands ready to enforce it with harshness and frightening penalties for the broken law. Neither one of these two views is correct.

It is true that there is a God, but He does not reveal Himself as the grandfather figure nor solely as the frightening administrator of His law. The fact is that for anyone to accept and to hold to either one of the two views mentioned above is spiritually fatal. Such a position is spiritually fatal because of the vast difference between God and the human race.

God has said "Be ye holy, for I am holy" (I Peter 1:16). In contrast to this holiness, God also says of all human beings that "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and "There is none righteous, no not one" (Romans 3:10). There is no one who is righteous. Righteous simply means complete obedience to all the revealed will of God.

At this point, we see a most serious crisis has developed. On one side, there is a perfectly pure and holy God who is in charge and in control of the world which He created. Then there is the human race which is the exact opposite of God's purity and holiness. Our finite minds would never have thought of a plan which God described in John 3:16,

    "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

This verse shows us that the holy God is a God of love, quite different from the erroneous views mentioned earlier. Love is proven, not by what we say, but by what we do. How did God demonstrate His love for us? He gave His only Son to bear the frightening penalty for the sin of all people past, present and future. By dying on the cross at Calvary, Jesus was once and for all the substitute for you and for me.

We receive the benefit of His substitution only when we repent change our minds about God the Father, Christ, ourselves and our sin, and surrender to Him. When this takes place, we are born again. We are made members of God's family with all of its attendant blessings: "wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption" (I Corinthians 1:30).

John 3:16 makes it very clear that some people may perish by going to hell. Surely we should not overlook the words "everlasting life." This means that some people will not go to hell, but will enjoy fellowship with God here and now and eventually go to heaven. Such people enjoy the "peace of God"as well as "peace with God." The word "perish" in this verse refers to the repulsive experience God has revealed concerning the person who has not believed in Christ as the Son of God and accepted Christ as his or her own personal Lord and Savior. The future of such a person is an everlasting future in hell without God. Hell is a place filled with suffering which is the just penalty for sin.

So, our God, the God of the Bible, is a loving, holy God, not sitting in the heavens knowing nothing and caring nothing about the events which are taking place upon the earth.

Why is all of this important to us? Please see if you can find yourself in John 3:16. This verse divides the world into two groups the believers who are on their way to heaven, and the non-believers who are on their way to hell.

The answer is one must know and act upon this information in order to be saved and go to heaven.

If you have questions about any of this material
and would like to discuss it, please contact me. -Todd

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