I have heard people preach what they consider “the Gospel” in a way that totally contradicts its essence.
The manner in which they present the Gospel contradicts the very definition of it.
Some make it complicated, hard to grasp, harder to want and intimidating.
They paint the picture of a God who is perpetually angry, eternally grumpy, irreconcilably upset, cyclically frustrated and grossly incompetent in His attempts to “get people in line”
Unfortunately, many people have been repelled by that very wrong picture of God. Most people wouldn’t hang around another human being who can be so described, how much less would they want anything to do with a God they can’t see?
The God of our salvation is not agitated and anxious, frustrated and frazzled. He’s secure, strong, rich in mercy, full of love.
He extends grace to the worst of sinners and the vilest offenders.
Does He condone sin?
Does He gloss over it?
Does He endorse it?
What He did on the cross tells you what He thinks about sin.
He judged sin on the cross. Condemned sin in His flesh through Christ on the cross.
He didn’t gloss over it. He executed judgment on it.
He dealt with the sin nature so that we can receive His own new nature by faith in Jesus’ name.
But isn’t God a God of justice.
He sure is.
It’s important to know that both His mercy and His justice flow from His nature- LOVE.
Without mercy, there will be no redemption.
Without justice, there will be no effective administration.
Without mercy, no one will survive because no human is “good enough” to scale the moral standards of a God who is entirely and completely Holy, whose thoughts and intents are eternally pure. :
Without justice, no one will survive because the perpetrators of evil and wickedness will be left to roam and wreck havoc and eventually destroy their own selves through suicide or other forms of sabotage.
So, mercy and justice aren’t opposite. They flow from the essence of God’s love, co-facilitating His redemptive plan.
That’s why that LOVE must be the motivation for every sermon we preach, every song we sing, every platform we build and every program we host.
LOVE is the ESSENCE.