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  • Writer's pictureMark


One of the criticisms about Christianity is that the God of the new testament is different from the God of the old testament. I object!

“But Mark, in the new testament God is all about love and forgiveness and the old testament says He’s an angry judge.” Not so.

Exhibit One: Ezekiel. Specifically, chapter 33.

In verse 11, God says He doesn’t like roasting the wicked. He’d rather they saw the light and turned away from their evil ways. A few verses later He says if someone is guilty of something and turns away (aka “repents”), nothing he has done will be held against him by God.

That’s the thrust of the new testament. Repent of your wrongdoing and turn toward God.

People who don’t believe in Jesus don’t think they should be held to His standard. “I’m a good person. Why should I be sent to Hell?”

Okay, how about Ezekiel 33:20. “I will judge each of you according to his own ways.” Meaning the standards used by non-Christians will be used to judge them.

The thing is, not only does humanity fail by God’s standards, we fail by even our own. That’s why we need a Savior. Jesus died for our failures to meet even the low standards set by fickle humanity.

We can cover that “fickle” part another time.

Just think about when you’re driving. Someone doesn’t use the blinker when changing lanes or turning off the road. “Hey, what’s the problem? Out of blinker fluid?” And you laugh. Ask yourself if you’ve ever failed to use your blinker.

The same could be said of every judgemental statement you’ve ever made. “What an idiot.” But have you ever done that idiotic thing? I know I have. Over and over again.

That’s why we all need a savior. I fail my own tests, so I can’t even begin to live up to His. But, according the His rules, someone has to pay. Jesus did that.

The agony of being scourged wasn’t it. Having a crown of thorns rammed onto His head and smacked by a club to drive them in further wasn’t it. Being beaten to within an inch of his life wasn’t it either.

The true agony came when God turned away from Jesus and that’s when our Savior cried out.

That’s the true punishment of the death of Jesus, and that’s the true agony of what it will be like in Hell. Everything good comes from God, and without God there will be nothing good in Hell.

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