The Good Judge
In years past, the Lord was often depicted as the supreme Judge, seated in heaven, ready to dish out vengeance for all evil and disobedience. Today, the image of a good and loving God has taken precedence over a wrathful one. Although both aspects of His nature are true, the human mind has trouble comprehending how they can co-exist in the same Being.
From our limited earthly perspective, the Lord may not seem good. People who struggle with accepting His goodness often look around and wonder why He doesn't stop the evil and suffering. Or they look ahead to the coming judgment and wonder how He could ever condemn anyone to hell. The irony of this reasoning is that it finds fault with both the Lord's present tolerant permission of evil and His future intolerant judgment of evil in eternity.
In reality, both ends of this spectrum prove His goodness. In the current era of grace and mercy, God doesn't immediately zap everyone who rejects or disobeys Him; instead, He patiently waits for all to repent and accept the forgiveness of sins that is available in Christ alone. But in the final judgment, the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. If He did, He would cease to be good.
Only when we get to heaven and see God face to face will we comprehend His absolute holiness and the depth of sin's depravity. Then we'll understand the necessity of hell and the goodness of a Savior who died to rescue us. In the meantime, rejoice in the knowledge that your Judge is good.
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.