I have heard, oh so often, that God is love.
I have heard that the God of the Old Covenant is all about destruction and violence and rules, but the God of the New Covenant is all about love.
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I have also heard that there are false teachers and that those who sin and teach others to sin will be in big trouble when they have to explain what they did to God.
And the reason they will be in big trouble is that although God is a loving God, he is MUCH more than that.
He is the Creator of everything, which includes right from wrong. He is also the Judge of the Universe which (for the record) includes Earth and all that live on the Earth. In fact, he is not just the judge, but the jury and the executioner, as well.
God is holy; he is so holy that he is the holiest of all that is holy, and as such he is also faithful to his word. When God tells us that disobedience will be met with punishment, because he is holy, he must dish out that punishment to the disobedient.
Where his love comes into play is that even when he punishes, his love for all of his creation will result in a punishment that is actually merciful, meaning it will still be terrible, but not as terrible as we actually deserve.
For example, his love for Israel (the Northern Kingdom) was the only reason that he waited so long before punishing them: he was giving them time to repent. But once God reached the end of his patience, his punishment was, indeed, terrible; but, he did not totally destroy his people, as they deserved. In fact, he sustained them even after they were spread throughout the Diaspora, and he promised to return them to their homeland one day.
For the past 75 years, we have seen this regathering happening and it is wonderful.
People are so happy to hear about God’s love for them just as they are, which is misleading people to believe that because they are loved God will allow them to continue to do just what they have always done. This is the message that traditional Christianity sends, which ignores all the laws and regulations necessary to receive blessings.
You’re right, God will bless those who do not do everything in the Torah because he is a loving God, and sometimes in order to bless the righteous, the sinful get blessed too- it’s like collateral blessings. On the other hand, when the sinful are punished (sad to say) the righteous are sometimes collateral damage (Everyone Gets Rained On) and suffer along with the sinful.
The bottom line is that God makes the rules and because he is holy, faithful, trustworthy, and never-changing we can depend, absolutely, on his also judging according to HIS rules (not what any religion says), punishing those who have rejected his instructions exactly as he said he would in the Torah.
God does love each and every one of us, and it is because of that wonderful and infinite love that he will punish those who do wrong. Not as a means of enforcing his will, or out of the kind of prideful anger that humans feel when they are ignored or rejected, but because the only way a sinner will turn to God is when that sinner realizes the consequences of the sin he or she is doing. And the consequence of sin, as Shaul (Paul) tells us in Romans, is death.
God punishes the guilty out of love so that they will have every possible chance to turn from their sin (do t’shuva) and by turning from those sins, be able to remain alive and live eternally in peace and joy.
The big lie from Christianity is that we are all okay because God is love; the truth is that because God is love us he will punish the guilty.
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!