2What is God really like?Will I be comfortable spending eternity with Him?Am I ready to meet Him?How does my view of God affect my behavior?
3And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.Genesis 3:2-5
4This is way Satan started to create his campaign to create confusion about the character and behavior of God.What was Satan saying:- You won’t die.- He is trying to keep something good from you.- God is being unfair to you.- God is not a good person.Satan has spent the rest of the time since then convincing mankind about his version of the character of God.He has spent the last six thousand years convincing us of another gospel.
5“Our infinite God has been accused of untrustworthiness “Our infinite God has been accused of untrustworthiness. But God has answered this accusation. And the way he has met the charge is the most convincing evidence of his utter worthiness of our faith.The Bible is a record of the long and costly demonstration of the trustworthiness of God. If trust could be produced by claims or exhortation, the Bible would be a very different book. But claims of trustworthiness are worth no more than the trustworthiness of the one making them. Thus even when a person has been falsely accused, mere claims or denials prove nothing. Only by the demonstration of trustworthiness over a long period of time and under a variety of circumstances can trustworthiness be convincingly established.”Can God Be Trusted by Graham Maxwell, p. 10.
6The Good News (the Gospel) is that God is not the kind of person Satan has made him out to be.
7It cost heaven an infinite price to bring us the Good News and confirm it with evidence that would stand for eternity. No wonder Paul was moved to speak so strongly in its defense. Just like the loyal angels, Paul was jealous for the character of God. To him it was unthinkable that some of his fellow ministers would, in effect, lend their support to Satan’s charges by attributing even the slightest trace of arbitrariness to our gracious God.It was this same perversion of the Good News that stirred in Jesus most deeply. He was gentle with the worst of sinners – with Simon in his dastardly treatment of the woman who anointed Christ’s feet; with the woman taken in adultery; even with his betrayer, Judas. But when some of the religious leaders, respected teachers of the people, denied
8The Good News and echoed Satan’s lies about God, Christ uttered those awful words,” You are of your father the devil” (John 8:44).There was no disagreement between Jesus and those teachers as to the existence of God, or the story of Creation, or the authority of the Ten Commandments, or which day it was the Sabbath. Their disagreement was about the character of God. Jesus came to bring them the Good News, a picture of God that would enable them to go on doing many of the same things but for a different reason – a reason that would make it possible for them to be obedient and free at the same time. But they killed him rather than change their view of God – then hastened home to keep another Sabbath.
9There is nothing more diabolic than to suppress and pervert the Good News about God. And this can be done even while apparently presenting Christian doctrine. As God is represented in some pulpits, the doctrine of the Second Coming is certainly not the good news. The prospect of spending eternity with such a deity would be forbidding.There are explanations of the death of Christ and of his intercession in our behalf that put God in a most unfavorable light, less gracious and understanding than his Son. Such subjects as sin, the law, the destruction of the wicked, the requirements for salvation, are sometimes presented in such a way – including the voice and manner of the preacher – as to leave the people with precisely the picture of God that Satan has been urging.
10As followers of Christ, it is our desire to be counted among God’s loyal people, described in Revelation as obedient to his commandments and faithful to the truth revealed by Jesus.But if in our eagerness to obey we may have left the impression that we worship a legalistic and arbitrary God, then we have not witnessed well to the Good News. And if by our teaching or our way of life we may have led some to think of God as the kind of person Satan has made him out to be, we have not shown ourselves to be trustworthy friends, either of them or of God.Can God Be Trusted by Graham Maxwell, p
11How has God responded to this? Why didn’t he destroy Satan and Adam and Eve immediately?Are we going to be comfortable spending eternity with God and Jesus?What is God really like? Do you really want to spend time with him?
12Are there other characterizations of God in the Bible? Are they all as positive and easy to understand as the sermon that Jesus lived with His life?Do I represent Him well each time I speak and act in my daily life? Would I feel comfortable if Jesus were here with me right now?Let’s take a look.
14And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.Exodus 33:17-23 (KJV)
15A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, A wonderful Savior to me; He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, Where rivers of pleasure I see.A wonderful Savior is Jesus my Lord, He taketh my burden away, He holdeth me up and I shall not be moved, He giveth me strength as my day.With numberless blessings each moment He crowns, And filled with His fullness divine, I sing in my rapture, oh, glory to God! For such a Redeemer as mine.When clothed with His brightness transported I rise To meet Him in clouds of the sky, His perfect salvation, His wonderful love, I’ll shout with the millions on high.Refrain: He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock, That shadows a dry, thirsty land; He hideth my life in the depths of His love, And covers me there with His hand, And covers me there with His hand.
16And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?Revelation 6:15-17 (KJV)
18Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. John 14:8
19Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?John 14:9 (KJV)Jesus replied: Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don't you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father?John 14:9 (Contemporary English Version)
20And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.John 8:2-6
21So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.John 8:7-11
22So What is God Really Like? He is gentle and trustworthy.He does not embarrass us even if we deserve it.He wishes to serve us.He loves us enough to give us the choice about which side we will join.He is willing to do anything to set things right.
23And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.Revelation 21:1-5
24That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.Isaiah 65:16-18
25And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.Isaiah 65:19-22
26They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.Isaiah 65:23-25
27And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.Revelation 22:3-6
28Face to face with Christ, my Savior, Face to face—what will it be, When with rapture I behold Him, Jesus Christ Who died for me?Only faintly now I see Him, With the darkened veil between, But a blessèd day is coming, When His glory shall be seen.What rejoicing in His presence, When are banished grief and pain; When the crooked ways are straightened, And the dark things shall be plain.Face to face—oh, blissful moment! Face to face—to see and know; Face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ Who loves me so.RefrainFace to face I shall behold Him, Far beyond the starry sky; Face to face in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by!
29So, do you want to spend eternity with Jesus? Are you comfortable with what God will expect of you?Are you looking forward to sitting with Him and getting better acquainted with Him?Are you ready to tell others what a wonderful eternity we have to look forward to?