“O child of God, be more careful to keep the way of the Lord, more concentrated in heart in seeking His glory, and you will see the loving-kindness and the tender mercy of the Lord in your life.”
― Charles H. Spurgeon, Grace God’s Unmerited Favor
One of the most common lies that the world tells (and often believes) about Christianity, is that it’s an intolerant, hateful religion. That the gospel was created by holier-than-thou people and a God that probably doesn’t exist. (and if God does exist, He’s a hateful, intolerant god who they want no part of.) That Christian’s believe that we’re saved because we’re better than everyone else, because we’re the first ones at the alter or because we live a certain way and we’re God’s little puppets. The people that believe this have not ever truly read the Bible, nor have the ever known my Jesus. These people were probably taught wrong by the people in their lives or have been led to this belief because of hard times in this world. And yes, they are dead set on believing that Christianity is evil and so is God. They say they’ve read the Bible, but really, they’ve only read what they wanted to read, just to “make their point better.” That’s very similar to the God is love, Joel Olsteen type of “Christian’s” who cherry pick what they like – God is love, Heaven, God’s grace, forgiveness…but they very conveniently leave out things like repentance, Satan, Hell, sin...
The Jesus in my Bible is far more tolerant than we deserve, but yes, He will judge, just like He said.
Jesus forgave murderers. Thieves. Idolaters. Adulterers. Liars. Prostitutes. Even people possessed by demons were forgiven and made whole by Jesus Christ. He is the friend of sinners, our Heavenly Lover, our Intercessor. He is full of Agape Love, forgiveness, grace…He will forgive anyone, no matter what they’ve done. All He asks of us is to repent of our sins and follow Him. To me, that’s a pretty fair trade. He asks us to get rid of the sins that kill us and ruin our lives. He asks us to follow Him and be made whole by Him. I’ve never regretted my decision to follow Jesus, I have regretted my choice to sin and turn away from Him. No matter what I do, He is always faithful to me. That, my friends, is tolerance at it’s finest. You see, people get so caught up in two extremes – one being God is love, the other being God is intolerant and hateful. But they forget to read the rest of the Bible and see what He truly is. He is a jealous, wrathful, powerful God. He is a forgiving, graceful, loving God. You can’t have one half and throw away the other. Just like you can’t have Heaven while you are continuing to go down the path of Hell. Like you can’t have salvation without belief, following without repentance.
Yes, God is far more loving than we deserve. Lord have mercy on those of us who demand more and more, though we don’t deserve even a portion of what we already have.