Universalism, Liberalism, Justice: What is the True Gospel?
Who is GOD? GOD is Holy… but what does that mean?
I see dusted all over the place, GOD is LOVE. Jesus LOVES you, All you need is LOVE to win the lost. And I notice there is relatively little about the justice of GOD; and yet, Jesus will return to judge the nations (Matthew 25:31).
Well, first of all, what IS LOVE?
I Corinthians 13:4-8a defines LOVE as the following:
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”
Love is… and is not:
LOVE isn’t soft. It isn’t excusing. It isn’t cruel but nor is it without standards.
LOVE prevails… is not self-seeking. It isn’t for our pleasure that we love but for other’s welfare. Real love wants the best for the object of our love.
There is such a thing as tough love. Our children need it sometimes; our pupils in schools definitely need it. Sometimes, love isn’t gooey and all-accepting. Sometimes love has hard edges. Likewise, GOD must sometimes demonstrate tough love towards us.
Love is NOT ALL He is.
The Gospel message isn’t just that Jesus is love. He also stands for justice. He whipped the market sellers in the Temple (Matthew 21:13). He accused the Pharisees of their hypocrisy (Matthew 15:7). He scolded his disciples: ‘Have you seen me so long and yet you do not know me?’ (John 14:9)
Love has a moral standard. And furthermore, GOD isn’t only love. He is love, but he is also just. The Just shall live by faith and the faithful shall have a standard or else their claim to faith is dead (James 2:14).
The Full Gospel:
And so, if we are to preach and teach others of GOD’s love, we must also balance that with the Truth of His justice. Otherwise, we are saving souls by our standards rather than by His… and then many will hear from Jesus at his return, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23).
The full identity of GOD is not Love, but also Justice, Mercy, Truth.
We must stop deceiving people into thinking He is all-kindness, all-love, all-gooey. Whether or not we have standards, GOD, the Creator of the Universe, has standards. He is all-forgiving, but there must be repentance. He is all-loving, but we must take responsibility for our actions. And so, we must also preach the same. He is Truth. And the truth is: we are born with a sinful nature and must come to Him to repent. It is through the sacrifice of Jesus’ life, determined by God the Father and Jesus the Son, that we can inherit eternal life, not only because GOD is a GOD of love, but also because through His sacrifice and our repentance, His justice is satisfied.
GOD IS LOVE. But He is so much more, and to define Him as only LOVE, we miss our responsibility and His perfect justice and righteousness.