The enemies of God are attacking Christianity, much to the detriment of humankind. These enemies are primarily other-worldly agents–commonly called angels–as well as those humans who have rejected God.
However, these human enemies of God are probably not really the enemies of the God of the Bible. They are enemies of their concept of the God of the Bible.
Concept Is Key
Satan’s misinformation machine does an insidious work. All he has to do is get you to accept a false concept of God that you can comfortably reject so you won’t bother to go looking for the true God. He has done this successfully since the beginning of time.
An inaccurate perception of God leads to false ideas about God which leads to inappropriate thoughts and feelings toward God. It all starts with lies about God and a misconception of God’s behavior.
So, what have you been told about the God of the Bible?
Are you afraid of that God?
Even Christians are not immune to this fear, and that is what makes it so terrible. Those who claim to follow God and acknowledge His love can be afraid of what God might do if He is not appeased in some way.
You can give your love to God, but if it is given out of fear, it is not real. Love cannot exist where fear exists.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love (1 John 4:18, NLT).
It is completely understandable to be afraid of the God that is described by His enemies. If you are afraid of God, or do not like Him, it is because you have been convinced by the lies told about Him. You have embraced a false picture of the God of the Bible, and we need to shine some light into the darkness.
Science and reason conclude that the God of the Bible is the Creator God of humankind. We have shown that the Creator of humanity helped compose the Bible. We can be confident of its other claims, then, such as “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
God’s enemies claim He is not a God of love.
Let us use the Bible, then, to dispel the lies about God and get an accurate picture of God.
Listen to what Jesus says about God the Father:
“No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is truly God and is closest to the Father, has shown us what God is like” (John 1:18).
This is an amazing comment, given what we read in the Old Testament. It means that every time God interacted with humanity, we were not seeing “what God is like.”
It was not until Jesus walked this earth that humanity got an accurate and full picture of what God is like. Any past revelation of God was only a partial revelation. How can that be comforting or relevant?
the Serpent And The Savior
Imagine you have taken your child to the park. You are talking with another parent there while your children play together. You become distracted, but hear a man’s voice in the distance call out, “Kids, come here.”
You look up to see a man walking toward your children. He is a stranger. He has what looks to be a disturbingly inappropriate interest in your child.
How do you view this strange man headed toward your beloved child?
You naturally become anxious, rising from the bench and heading to intercept your child. But the man is half the distance to your child as you, and they are so far away.
Thankfully, your child has not obeyed this strange man. She is still playing with the other children, not paying attention to the man.
The man’s pace quickens. He yells at the children: “Get over here, now!”
You are now completely panicked and desperate. You are sprinting, but there’s no way you will reach your child in time.
You fumble for your phone, hoping to be able to dial 9-1-1 while sprinting to save your child from this angry, violent man.
The man screams hysterically, “You come over here right now, or I will beat you!”
Your child finally stops, looking up at the man in fear, and begins walking toward him, crying.
“No!” you scream, tears stinging your eyes.
What are you thinking and feeling about this man right now?
It is too late: the man scoops up your crying child and runs away.
How do you view this angry, violent man, who has just kidnapped your child?
But, wait… instead of running away, he stops at a nearby bench and sits your child down. The man kneels down and begins to comfort your child, wiping her tears, and gathering the other children who came to him.
“It’s OK. It will be OK,” you hear him say.
You are almost collapsing from the sprint, and your heart is racing. The adrenaline surges through you, helping you hobble toward your child.
As you angrily stomp toward this man, he points in the direction your child was headed just a few seconds ago. You look, and there, a few paces away, a rattlesnake lies coiled, ready to strike.
How do you view this man now?
Your child was running toward certain death.
At first, the man tried to calmly beckon your child away from the serpent and certain death, but your child would not obey. The man raised his voice, and still the stubborn child toddled toward death. Finally, the man raised his voice and resorted to threats of violence to get your child’s attention. Only then did your child turn and was saved.
Now that you have all the information, how do you view this man?
He saved your child.
The angry, violent kidnapper has become the hero.
Upon reaching your child, you collapse onto the bench and hug your child. You thank your hero profusely. You do not stop thanking him. Your tears of madness have turned into tears of joy.
The cops show up and you explain everything.
The man is a hero.
This is the same man who, just seconds prior, you thought to be an “evil, violent kidnapper and child abuser.”
How To Save A Life
Would you ever yell like that at a child that was not yours?
What if this man was too afraid of being seen as “evil” and “violent?” What if he had followed social convention and not yelled at a child who was not his?
Your child would be dead.
So, be clear about this:
The man was willing to be misunderstood to save that child.
Yes, he had to scream. He had to threaten. He had to scrunch his face up in an angry grimace.
He was dealing with an immature, stubborn child who was headed for destruction.
What else was he supposed to do?
Nothing else worked! The child could not be reasoned with.
The man did not care what others thought of him in that moment; he just wanted to save the child.
He did not consider the future consequences of those around the park who might have seen his angry storming toward a child and determined him to be a violent child abuser. Their ideas about him were irrelevant.
He looked like an angry, violent man wanting to kidnap a child. But he was misunderstood.
Don’t miss that point.
GOD IS WILLING TO BE MISUNDERSTOOD TO SAVE YOUR LIFE.
What if, in that same scenario, there was another person sitting with you telling you that the man going after your child was violent and evil, had a history of kidnapping and abuse, and that he only wanted to kidnap your child and sell her into slavery. It would have been a lie, but you would not have known that at the time.
Now you know.
There is an enemy lying about the God of the Bible.
This enemy has deceived almost the entire world about the God of the Bible.
As God goes about saving humanity, He sometimes has to resort to yelling and threats because we are stubborn and immature. We are infected with a disease called “selfishness,” and it is sometimes hard for us to relinquish control or submit to authority.
But God wants to save us, so He resorts to sometimes seemingly “unloving” behavior to do so.
However, everything God does is done in love.
God Fully Exposed
If you think God is violent and angry, you do not have the whole picture. I would ask that you take a while, stop listening to God’s enemies, and discover for yourself who He is.
God is involved in a great controversy. He is, literally, trying to save humanity from a deadly serpent, and He will do anything (short of violating our free will) to save us. Anything He does, He does in love to save us, even if it means we will misconstrue or misunderstand His behavior in the moment.
The only way to get the complete revelation of God is through Jesus.
The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God (Hebrews 1:3).
The NIV puts it this way:
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being (Hebrews 1:3, NIV).
Jesus is the exact representation of God!
Of course, this does not mean that God looks like Jesus. God is infinite, and there is no way a finite mind can perceive of or even conceive of infinity. It means Jesus reveals God’s character or glory, in full.
Christ is the visible image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15, NLT).
Jesus shows us what God is like. God is invisible to us here, but Jesus completely reveals what God is like.
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God (2 Corinthians 4:4, 5, NLT).
I also like how the Contemporary English Version (CEV) puts it:
The god who rules this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers. They cannot see the light, which is the good news about our glorious Christ, who shows what God is like (2 Corinthians 4:4, 5, CEV).
We did not see God before Jesus. Now that we see Jesus, we see God.
The entire Bible has all the information you need to view God in the proper light. A great starting point is the gospel accounts of the New Testament: the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Start there and watch Jesus as He interacts with humanity.
Jesus, God the Son, treats people the same way that God the Father treats us.
In the Old Testament, God was often dealing with stubborn, immature, at times evil, human beings. Sometimes, he had to resort to yelling and threats of violence to get their attention… to save their lives.
GOD IS WILLING TO BE MISUNDERSTOOD TO SAVE YOUR LIFE.
To save us, Jesus had to come to earth and complete the process Adam could not. He had to show us who God is by dying on the cross so we would not be afraid of Him. Jesus came to dispel the lies of the devil about God.
If that was the only way to save us, then what else could He have done?
The man’s behavior–his yelling and angry face–was a last-resort attempt to convince a stubborn, immature child that there would be dire consequences if the command was not obeyed.
Imagine if the child had not obeyed and walked into the viper’s nest. She would have been bitten. Would the man have then punished her? Of course not! The man would have taken her to a hospital to attempt to save her life.
The threatened punishment never would have happened.
God is not threatening you when He sees you headed for death. He is trying to get your attention that if you keep going that way, you will die–not by His hands, but by the bite of the enemy!
For the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
Selfishness (sin) kills.
If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die (Genesis 2:17).
When God says, “You are sure to die,” He doesn’t mean He is going to kill you. It means, if you do not do what He says, you will walk straight into the serpent’s path. You will get bit, and then you will die.
Right now, many people are walking toward the serpent. A great darkness of deception prevents them from seeing the truth about the God of the Bible.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep darkness the peoples; But the LORD will rise upon you And His glory will appear upon you. Isaiah 60:2 (NASB)
It is our purpose to shine the light on the truth of God as revealed in the Bible, so you can make a proper judgment of Him. Without an accurate perception of God, you cannot have appropriate thoughts and feelings about Him.
Our purpose is to rid your mind of those false beliefs of God, to shine a light on the truth, and to benefit your life for good.
We can only point the way and walk with you.
It is up to you to pick up a Bible and start reading about the God who loves you.