As our world gets further and further away from God, it should not be surprising to hear of people who are upset at what the Bible actually teaches.
Many fail to see why the Bible was given to man in the first place. Somehow, the idea that the Bible is just about God’s love has taken preeminence over the fact of God’s justice. God’s book tells us of how he brought salvation to man and how we are to live.
Man was created to love and worship God but with the ability to choose to do so or not. God’s love for man is seen from the very beginning of the Bible. God created a world prepared for man to inhabit, and when the world was ready, man and woman were created. Even in this paradise where God placed man, there were things to do and not to do. Man was not to partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The third chapter of Genesis tells how man failed to follow God’s commands: “Unto the woman he said, ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’ And unto Adam he said, ‘Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, ‘Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return’” (Genesis 3:16-18). Man also was cast from the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22–24).
When God gave man the first written law, the law of Moses, at Sinai, it was added because of the sins of the people. “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator” (Galatians 3:19). The New Testament tells man how God must be obeyed (Hebrews 5:8-9).
Jesus taught during his time on Earth that man is to do the will of God. “Not everyone that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: Depart from me, ye that work iniquity’” (Matthew 7:21–23).
God does love man. He gave his son for man’s salvation (John 3:16), but God also is just. His justice demands obedience to his word and punishment for those who do not obey. The Bible teaches that there is a right and wrong, that there is a thing called sin that leads to eternal death (James 1:13–15). Those who have not studied the Bible may not realize that many of the things that are commonplace in our culture are considered sin in the sight of God (Romans 1:19–32; Galatians 5:19–21).
Yes, the Bible tells of the great love God has for man, but it also tells of his justice, and this must not be forgotten. God loves the sinners but not the sin they commit. He is willing to forgive all who would obey his will.