DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: My sister and I are having a debate about what God is like. Is he basically kind and loving (which is what I think), or is he strict and judgmental (which is what she thinks)? It probably doesn’t matter, but I’d still like to know. Can you help? — T.N.
DEAR T.N: Let me assure you that what we believe about God does matter! The reason is because if we have a false view of God, we may end up believing a lie about him, and that would be tragic.
Is God basically kind and loving, or is he basically strict and judgmental? The answer is — both! We have a hard time understanding this, because we aren’t usually this way; we’re either kind, or we’re strict. But God is both, and it’s important to realize this.
On one hand, God is absolutely pure and holy. Because he is, he hates sin, and he has promised to judge our sins. He judges them now, by making us bear the consequences for our sinful actions, and he also will judge them in eternity. The Bible warns, “God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day” (Psalm 7:11).
But listen: On the other hand, God loves us with an everlasting love, and because he loves us, he has provided the way for us to be forgiven and cleansed of our sins, so we can go to be with him in heaven forever. That way is Jesus Christ, who by his death and resurrection paid for our sins and offers us the gift of eternal life.
Have you received this gift — the gift of salvation — into your life? You can, by turning to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith and committing your life to him. I pray you’ll do so today.
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