Two Sides to God Rom. 11:22 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Paul said in Rom 11:22, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God…”. God is both good and severe. There are, therefore, two sides to God. Men generally only consider one side or the other. However, God is balanced. Notice the two sides to God’s:
Mercy and wrath – 1 Tim 1:15-16; Jn 3:36 – God extended mercy to the worst of sinners and yet his wrath abides on those who are not saved. Lost men who don’t think they need to be saved, who think they are good enough to get to heaven without repenting and trusting Jesus Christ as their Savior, are counting on God’s mercy and ignoring his wrath. God will extend his mercy to anyone who trusts Jesus Christ, no matter how bad they are. But God will also execute his wrath on all sinners who reject Jesus Christ, no matter how good they are.
Love and hate – Rom 5:8; Ps 5:5 – God loves sinners and he hates sinners. In other words, God loved us enough to give us his only begotten Son, who died for our sins while we were yet sinners. However, God’s attitude toward sin and sinners is that he hates sin and the workers of iniquity. So, when you get saved, God wants you to turn from your sin and live in his righteousness. It is a big mistake to think that just because God commended his love to you as a sinner that he doesn’t mind you continuing in the sin for which his Son died.
Rejoicing to do good and rejoicing to destroy – Deut 28:63 – it is impossible for us to imagine how God can find joy in the two extremes of doing good to Israel, on the one hand, and yet destroying them, on the other. Israel brought their own destruction upon themselves by disobeying the voice of the Lord. Furthermore, the Lord destroyed them because they wouldn’t serve him with joyfulness and gladness of heart [Deut 28:47-48]. God has been awfully good to us. But if you murmur and complain [1 Cor 10:10-11] and refuse to obey his New Testament commands [Jn 13:34-35; 1 Thes 5:16-22; Eph 4:24-32, etc.] you are liable to see a side of God that you never knew existed.
Goodness and severity – Rom 11:22 – the God that is good is also the same God that is severe. You see his severity against Israel when he broke the natural branches off the olive tree. And you see his goodness toward the Gentiles when he grafted the wild olive branches, contrary to nature, into the olive tree. But the day is coming, in the Tribulation, when God’s goodness turns to severity. It is so simple to be saved today by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ. However, in the Tribulation, during a time under the severe wrath of God like this world has never seen, it is going to be very difficult to “endure to the end,” [Matt 24:13] and be saved.
Conclusion: As much as God loves, he hates, and to the same degree. You don’t have to see his wrath to believe it. So, please remember that his wrath abides on the lost. Right now is the time to preach the gospel to those to whom the Holy Spirit has been wanting you to witness. The opportunity they have to receive the free salvation we enjoy will soon pass. And if you have been toying around with sin in your life, consider how much God hates that sin and quit it. Don’t take his mercy and love for granted. There is another side to God.