How tolerant is God?

We know that God is all powerful, having created the entire universe and everything in it, including mankind. (Gen. Chapter 1) We know that God is a loving God, for in I John 4:8 we read, “He that loves not knows not God, for God is love.” God loved us before we loved him. In fact God loved us so much that he sent his one and only begotten Son to die for us, that we might have eternal life through him when our earthly sojourn is over. (John 3:16, I John 4:19)

We also know that God wants all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, for his word tells us exactly that. (I Tim. 2:4) God is very patient in his dealings with man, so there is no reason that any should be lost. He waits long and patiently for each of us to come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9) So if God loves us, wants us all to be saved, and waits patiently for us, why are many lost? (Matt. 7:14) Could it possibly be that the fault lies with us and not with God?

The old testament was written that we might learn the nature of God by his dealings with mankind through the ages.(Rom. 15:4) Since it was written for our learning, maybe we should go there to learn more about the tolerance of God.

As the children of Israel journeyed in the wilderness, in the desert of Zin, they had no water. In Numbers 20:8, God tells Moses to gather the assembly together and speak to the rock in front of the people and it would bring forth water that the people and cattle might drink. A simple enough command, just speak to the rock and God would give them water. But Moses lifted up his rod and struck the rock twice and out came water in abundance for the people and their cattle. (Num. 20:11) Moses didn’t do exactly as God commanded, but the water did come forth, so no big deal, right. Wrong, when God commands us, we must give him the credit by doing things his way. For this “small” infraction, Moses was not allowed to enter the promised land with the people. Don’t seem quite fair does it, that Moses who had done so much, should be shut out for just one little thing. When we are dealing with God, there are no little things, all His commandments are big things. “And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron took either of them their censer and put fire and incense thereon and offered strange fire before the Lord which he had not commanded them. And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.” (Lev. 10:1-2) Since fire is fire, what difference could it possibly make to the Lord where they got the fire. Do you mean to tell me this loving, long suffering God, who wants all men to be saved, would kill two young men simply for disobeying him in this one “little” thing? Here we can clearly see the higher nature and righteousness of God.

“Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done, there is no respect of persons” (Col 3:24-25) For the Lord to be righteous and just, he must meet out punishment for evil, as well as reward for good. The Lord says, “If you love me, keep my commandments,” (John 14:15) so if we love Him, why not keep them? We learn from God’s word that He is a stickler for detail, so maybe we should just stick to what He commands even in the minutest of detail. When He says “Hear” maybe we should hear. When He says “Believe,” maybe we should believe. When He says “Repent,” maybe we should repent. When He says “confess,”maybe we should confess. When He says “Be baptized.” for the remission of your sins, maybe we should be baptized, for the remission of our sins. And when He says live faithful until death and I will give you a crown of life, maybe we should just live completely faithful until death, doing exactly as He says.

God is now very tolerant of our choices on this earth, but the time is coming soon for each of us to die, and then comes the judgment. (Heb. 9:27) We will be judged, by the most high and righteous judge of all, for every single thing we have done while on this earth, whether it be good or bad. This judge’s say is final, there can be no appeal to a higher court. Sentence will be carried out immediately, and last for all eternity. (II Cor. 5:10) Maybe we should all think about that now, while there is still time.

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