"God in the Old Testament is a god of vengeance and wrath, while in the New He is loving and kind."  "How could a loving God cast people into hell?"  These are common questions that deserve some thought. With wars and crisis around us how could God be loving or even care?

But what does the Bible actually say? It is clear that God is not an either/or God but a God who is both.  God's vengeance is seen in the Old and New Testament as in this NT verse that quotes the OT. Heb. 10:30 says, "For we know Him who said, "VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY." And again, "THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE." " 

God's love is also illustrated in both testaments. The OT Hebrew word "Chesed" is commonly translated "loving-kindness" and refers to His "love." Psa. 118:1 is one of my favorite verses. "Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting."  Well known NT passages like John 3:16 remind us that God's love (Gk. agape) is primarily expressed through Christ's sacrifice on the cross for sinful man. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."

Since God is absolutely just He, in his love, must deal with the sin and corruption of this world. Some feel like He has not. But the book of Revelation makes it clear that He will deal with all sin and corruption eventually upon Christ's second coming as we have been studying in Revelation 6. The scariest place you could ever be is as in the hands of God when He deals with sin. "It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb. 10:31).  He will eventually deal with all sin.  But the most wonderful place you could be is under the protecting love of the Good Shepherd's fold (Jn. 10:14ff).  That can only happen when we come through repentance and faith to Christ who paid the price for our sin.

The picture my son Caleb sent shows a building destroyed by war in the area of Ukraine we visited recently.  The building pictures what sin does to our world. But the beautiful blue sky reminds us about the promise of Christ's second coming in the clouds to deal with the corruption of this world and give His own the hope of heaven.  What a picture!

 Building destroyed by recent war in Slavyansk, Ukraine. 

Building destroyed by recent war in Slavyansk, Ukraine. 

Pastor Mark


Don't miss our annual noon Memorial Day Picnic at the Marshall home on Fox Island (684 6th Ave).  Bring your own meat to grill, and a salad or dessert to share.  Beverages and tableware provided.  Stay for the afternoon and enjoy various outside activities and games for kids and adults.  Dress for being outside most of the time.

In case you missed it, here is a video about Camp Gilead that was shown a few weeks ago. It is has been consistently rated the best Christian camp in the NW for the last three years. Time now to register at www.campgilead.org for summer camps.