Believers love to sing and speak of the kindness of God. Indeed, He is a kind God. Romans 2:4b (NAS) tells us that “the kindness of God leads you to repentance.” But there is a caveat to God’s kindness. God’s kindness is absolute, but it is so much more than just simple feel-good fluff.
Romans 2:1-11 gives a fuller picture of the kindness of God, what it truly is all about (here from the NAS): “1Therefore you are without excuse, every man of you who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. 3And do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment upon those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? [my emphasis]. 5But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6who WILL RENDER TO EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11For there is no partiality with God” [Greek=Gentile; non-Jewish].
Those are not easy words. At least to someone who may be unsure of God, or thinks that “all He does is sit in Heaven waiting to pounce on me.” God is the ultimate in holiness and righteousness. As such, He has to hate evil. He did not create evil; evil is the opposite of good. Evil, the opposite of good, was “birthed,” as it were, when man first sinned in the Garden of Eden; probably in actuality it was birthed when Lucifer became prideful and fell from grace. More on that in a bit.
“Well, why do we have to die because Adam sinned? It wasn’t our fault!” Adam was our first father; his nature was passed on to us through DNA. Sin became incorporated into Adam’s spiritual DNA; it is naturally passed on, generation to generation. We have no choice in the matter. Romans 5:12 (NAS) tells us, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Sin entered the world through Adam’s sin. When Adam sinned, his physical body fell out of grace and began the aging process. Adam also died spiritually; he would have to seek forgiveness to return to God. Scripture does not say that he did that, but on the other hand, it does not say that he did NOT do that. But because of that original sin, we are all born spiritually dead. There is no doubt a period of grace for children, until they reach an age of understanding, but we all must have a spiritual birth to be enabled to live forever with our Yeshua/Jesus. That is being “born again.” We do that through calling upon Him, repenting of sin, seeking forgiveness, undergoing water immersion, and living for Him daily, seeking Him daily, and finding a body of faithful Bible believers to join together with. The invitation to live that life is offered freely to all; that is the kindness of God. To reject that free gift is to turn away from Him; that is when judgment will fall, either in this life, or in the Day of Judgment.
I believe that very possibly the Garden of Eden was first given to Lucifer, who became prideful and fell into evil, becoming hasatan (satan), the adversary. He became jealous of Adam and Eve, as new humans taking over the Garden, and came up with a way to try to destroy them, to try to destroy humanity, and regain control of the Garden. Maybe that is what happened; we do know that this adversary has hated mankind all throughout history. When God came up with a secret plan of redemption, hasatan was all out to try to stop it. We know how that’s going. But sadly, the adversary has ruined many, many lives in the meantime. How cruel is that? Why would anyone want to listen to his stinking, festering lies, if they had a realization of the truth of his vileness? But people’s eyes are blind, there is a veil over hearts that can only be removed by the love of God.
We must realize that a day is coming when God will right all wrongs; the adversary will be cast down, and righteousness will rule. To do this, God must judge evil. There is no other option, no gray areas. J.I. Packer, in his awesome book Knowing God, wrote the following concerning God the Righteous Judge: “The character of God is the guarantee that all wrongs will be righted someday; when ‘the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed’ (Romans 2:5) arrives, retribution will be exact, and no problems of cosmic unfairness will remain to haunt us. God is the Judge, so justice will be done.”
People cry out for justice, but do they want true justice? God is not a puppeteer, so there is evil in this life, because we basically want it, or we would turn totally to Him. We were given free-will from the beginning. People get angry at God when bad things happen, but generally fail to turn to Him when things are going well. Consider that this nation has kicked Him out of public schools by removing Bible reading and prayer; has removed His basic Law, the Ten Commandments, from public display; has legalized abortion, which is nothing but murder of an innocent unborn victim; has legalized gay rights, gay marriages; on and on. Concerning abortion, forget about that health of the mother thing, that’s a small number in comparison to the total number of abortions since Roe v Wade was first enacted; 62 million mothers were not sick. Most of those needed the “convenience” of an abortion, so they could continue being immoral. I’m sure that the adoption system in this nation is also out of whack; can’t we see that also as one more ploy of the adversary of all of us?
Packer continued, “The truth is that part of God’s moral perfection is his perfection in judgment. Would a God who did not care about the difference between right and wrong be a good and admirable Being? Would a God who put no distinction between the beasts of history and his own saints be morally praiseworthy and perfect? Moral indifference would be an imperfection in God, not a perfection. But not to judge the world would be to show moral indifference. The final proof that God is a perfect moral Being, not indifferent to questions of right and wrong, is the fact that he has committed himself to judge the world.”
If people would just admit to the truth of God’s kindness, what a much better shape this world would be in. God blesses those who serve Him; God blesses nations, people groups, etc, who put Him first. There are reports of small municipalities, small island nations, and so on, who have given God the glory, and they have prospered.
There is a little book in the Old Testament that probably a lot of people have never heard of, and no doubt that few have read. Here is a word of God that the prophet Nahum gave to an enemy nation of God:
Nahum 1:2-8 (NAS): “2The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD is avenging and wrathful; the LORD takes vengeance on his adversaries and keeps wrath for his enemies. 3The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and the LORD will by no means clear the guilty. His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. 4He rebukes the sea and makes it dry; he dries up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel wither; the bloom of Lebanon withers. 5The mountains quake before him; the hills melt; the earth heaves before him, the world and all who dwell in it. 6Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by him. 7The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. 8But with an overflowing flood he will make a complete end of the adversaries, and will pursue his enemies into darkness.”
That can sound pretty frightening, but it is nothing but solid truth. God has a limit on what He will allow; He has been patient for a long, long time with humanity; He does not wish for anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NAS, my emphasis), probably one of the best-known verses of the Bible. Malachi, the final book of the Christian Old Testament (the Jewish Tanakh (Hebrew Old Testament) ends with 2 Chronicles), relates that the Day of the Lord is great and terrible (Malachi 4:5). What does that mean? It means it will be a great day for those who have loved and served God, through Messiah Yeshua/Jesus. It will be a terrible day, a fearful day, for those who have rejected Yeshua, rejected the Laws of God.
At the final judgment, at the end of time, there is a lake of fire that has been reserved for hasatan and his cohorts. Sadly, Revelation 20:15 relates that “if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” There is debate as to whether that is eternal, or if one just finally simply disappears. That matters not, really. What does matter is that it will be a time of terrible punishment – awful punishment. People need to be aware of that. The other option is to believe in and accept Yeshua/Jesus as Lord and Savior, Master and Redeemer, and live in eternal glory with Him. There is no gray; there is no “ignore it and it will go away.” There is no “put it off until later.” Now is the time of decision. A wise Jewish Sage once taught his disciples that they should repent of all sin one day before their death. When asked how does one know when that is, the teacher replied that they had better repent today, for tomorrow they may die. We have no way to know if our death will be sudden, or if we will have a chance to say goodbye.
Years ago, and some may remember, Glen Campbell made popular a song entitled, “Try a Little Kindness;” the chorus lyrics are: “You got to try a little kindness, yes show a little kindness—Just shine your light for everyone to see—And if you try a little kindness then you’ll overlook the blindness—Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets.” It wouldn’t hurt to live by the law of kindness these days; so many people today are very uptight because of current events. In fact, now is a perfect time for all who call on the Name of Yeshua/Jesus in particular to live by this admonition, from Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (ESV). Many people today do live this way; would that all had such a desire.
And here is a good admonition, from Paul, in Romans 11:22 (ESV): “Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.” Kindness is one of the Fruit of the Spirit, as found in Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV): “22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
The truth of the matter is this – God loves you! He wants you to be with Him eternally. All He ever wanted from the beginning was a relationship with us, His creation. If you’re not serving and obeying and following Yeshua/Jesus, you really should accept that gift now. There will come a time when it will no longer be offered. Right now it is available to anyone who will receive it. It takes a response on our part. Allow me to repeat what I wrote above: “We do that through calling upon Him, repenting of sin, seeking forgiveness, undergoing water immersion, and living for Him daily, seeking Him daily, and finding a body of faithful Bible believers to join together with. The invitation to live that life is offered freely to all; that is the kindness of God.” As I said, someday that offer will be withdrawn. Isaiah 55:6-7 (ESV) says, “6 Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; 7let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
What will you do with that today? If you already are a Yeshua “freak,” then Hallelujah! And never take lightly His kindness; never give up, never give in.
“You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger, Your name is great, and Your heart is kind. For all Your goodness I will keep on singing; Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find.”
Those are lyrics from Matt Redman’s great song, 10,000 Reasons. Listen to it here:
Thanks for reading, be blessed