God’s Patience

Back in the first century, some of the new converts to The Way, were starting to get antsy. I mean, Jesus said He’d be back, but so far, nothing had changed. Wasn’t that a sign that they’d simply believed a lie?

The same accusation gets thrown out today, more likely from atheists, though: If there really is a god, where is he? Why hasn’t he showed himself? Didn’t he say he was coming?

The truth is, God specifically said in His word that He was not delaying His return as some people think, but He is actually waiting.

Waiting? Waiting for what?

For the completion of the Church. He’s been waiting for us and for any people who come to Christ after us:

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 2:9)

Some people see God as intolerant and impatient, but the opposite is actually true, as Paul clearly stated in Romans:

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? (Rom. 2:4)

If the problem is not God’s, then it must be us people. Paul makes that clear, too:

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS (Rom. 2:5-6; emphasis mine; all caps indicate a quotations of an Old Testament passage)

It’s really silly for people to point the finger at God and say that the mess we’re in is His fault. Suffering, for example, or evil, death, hell. God’s fault, they say. He’s too cruel to be believed.

But these kinds of indictments against God are actually a sign that we are getting closer and closer to the end, to the judgment. Scripture makes it clear that as we move further from God we will flip the script and call evil, good, and good, evil. So our good and holy God? With more and more frequency people say that He is the opposite of who He actually is.

It’s bad enough that what psychology—not religion or theology, though those disciplines undoubtedly concurred—used to call deviant sex, is now legalized, protected, celebrated, promoted. Evil, good.

Or how about the strange idea that a person can simply decide what sex they are. Never mind that there are all these physical gender markers. Never mind that once upon a time feminism faulted society for creating gender attributes. Now a person can simply declare that they “feel” like a male or like a female, never mind what gender they actually are. Never mind that they mutilate their bodies in order to become who they feel like they are. This too is nothing but the script turned on its head.

I haven’t mentioned abortion or sex trafficking or pornography or greed (it’s just business) or anxiety or addictions or any number of issues that are no longer sin. They have either become good or they are a sickness, out of our control—certainly not sin.

At different times when God was going to bring judgment on a place, He waited until “the fullness of time”—until sin had become the operating system that dictated the cultural behavior and beliefs. Nothing’s changed.

God is in the process of giving Western 21st century culture exactly want we want—enough rope to hang ourselves. Which is good news and bad news. It’s good news because it means those who God’s been waiting for are almost all in the fold. It’s bad news because we are surrounded by the sins of a culture that no longer believes in sin.

Our job is cut out for us, I think. As long as God delays His coming, He’s showing His patience and His kindness toward those who need to repent because “[He] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4)”

That’s the God Christians serve, not the false caricature thrown out by those who don’t know Him.

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Published in: on August 9, 2018 at 5:46 pm  Comments (10)  
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  1. I hate that caricature of God, as a “genocidal maniac,” (as the haters like to often say.) Of course, painting a picture of HIm as that lets them off the hook for their disbelief in their minds. But, that’s off track, sorry. The real point is that, even then, God was never capricious, impatient, or unreasoned in His sometimes harsh seeming judgments. He always offered ample time for repentance and another chance. Those prophets of old weren’t’ just sitting around having dreams, they were preaching! Noah wasn’t just building, he was preaching! Even when destruction would come, there was still the offer of a way out(Think Noah, Lot and Rahab.) Good stuff, Becky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love this, Wally! Yes, yes, and yes. You gave great illustrations that demonstrate God’s patience. And if we were still in doubt, there’s Nineveh which did respond in repentance to Jonah’s preaching, and God spared that generation.

      Becky

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “Soon and very soon.” I rejoice with you my sister in the fact that even though this world distort all of who is and has created. We will soon see him face to face and He is truly good, kind and rightous. Men will (unfortunately) have to face the results of their sin but in His kindness and grace many will come to know Him and spend eternity worshiping Him.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “It’s bad enough that what psychology—not religion or theology, though those disciplines undoubtedly concurred—used to call deviant sex, is now legalized, protected, celebrated, promoted. Evil, good.”

    This is a prime example of an attitude that I reject. Even if God did exist I would not like to follow such a bigoted religion and a God that will forgo his claimed and professed love for everyone to target a group of people as evil.

    I could never understand why Christians should only condemn people for sexual orientation, however for one example, divorce is also a sin and it is said God hates divorce, however the divorce rate for Christians is comparable to that of non-Christians. Christians ignore divorce, but the Bible clearly states marriage as being sacred “what God has joined together, let man not separate.” I see this as a double standard.

    As far as your god coming to Earth, it is only inside your head Becky.

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    • “God that will forgo his claimed and professed love for everyone to target a group of people as evil.”

      Again, Steve, if you would read the source material for yourself, that is not correct Christian theology. It’s just not. God has not targeted any group as particularly evil. Those wit”h same sex attraction are welcomed into God’s family the same as any other sinner. Like any other sinners, they should also desire to cease the sinful behavior.

      “Even if God did exist I would not like to follow such a bigoted religion”

      Exactly. He does, and you have freely chosen.

      “I could never understand why Christians should only condemn people for sexual orientation, however for one example, divorce is also a sin and it is said God hates divorce, however the divorce rate for Christians is comparable to that of non-Christians. Christians ignore divorce, but the Bible clearly states marriage as being sacred “what God has joined together, let man not separate.” I see this as a double standard.”

      Now Steve, being as you are not currently saved by the grace of God, please don’t drop dead when I say this: I am going to give you that one. To a certain extent, the church has tended to single that out as being of a particular evil, and ignored the sin of things such as divorce.

      Now, having said the above, understand that it remains ANY sin which has created the gulf between us and God. The smallest of them separates us, yet even the biggest may be forgiven.

      “As far as your god coming to Earth, it is only inside your head Becky.”

      That is a statement of faith. You are FAR more religious than either Becky or I. You state your faith-based statement as fact, and expect people to believe it just because you repeat it over and over. Oh, and don’t start waving your studies around, as none you have produced have proven or even claimed that faith believe begins in the mind.

      Last thought. You don’t understand Grace, or any of this at all, Steve. Your repeat the atheist talking points fed to you by your atheist preachers, and Richard Dawkins, your atheist Messiah. You are better than this. I read quite widely and am not scare of it. I have “The God Delusion” on my very own bookshelf and have read it a couple of times. My faith has yet to waver. Seems that, in the interest of full knowledge, you would also read the Bible. Yet…you steadfastly refuse to do so.

      Who is really indoctrinated and scared here, Steve?

      Liked by 1 person

    • //This is a prime example of an attitude that I reject. Even if God did exist I would not like to follow such a bigoted religion and a God that will forgo his claimed and professed love for everyone to target a group of people as evil// And yet I just demonstrated, Steve, that the “bigotry” did not stem from religious thought but from psychology, meaning that society at large recognized same sex attraction to be a perversion. I mean, think about it, nature itself rejects the idea of same sex unions. So far men are not impregnating men, are they. So for the survival of the species (isn’t that what you evolutionists believe in) the concept of same sex unions out to be anathema. But I guess you conveniently over look such minor little details because they don’t fit into your nice, neat paradigm: religion, evil; science, good.

      Steve, I’ve evidently lived longer than either you or Wally, but within my lifetime divorce was looked down upon by society at large, then as it was more and more accepted, by the church. The latter came to realize, however, that divorce was painful and divorcees had big needs, both spiritual and physical, so a number of churches, mine included, began divorce recovery ministries. What got lost in the attempt to make the divorced feel welcome and loved and that the church was a safe place, was teaching against divorce.

      So are we to repeat that error now with the homosexual community? I think many in leadership are trying to do a better job of dealing with the needs of the sinner and the error of the sin.

      The fact is, which I’ve said many times, is that we are all sinners, and that goes beyond sexual immorality. That’s one kind of sin. But when someone says, I’m going to hold on to my sin but I have come to Christ and accepted Him as my Savior, there’s a problem. Repenting of sin simply means a turning away from it. So how can someone repent of sin and still cling to it? Not possible.

      As for Jesus coming to earth, Steve, this is not “inside my head.” I could not ever have dreamed up something so amazing. In fact, the Bible, which you won’t read or you’d know this, is all about God coming to earth. The Old Testament promised a coming Messiah, and the New Testament proclaims His arrival, based on eyewitness accounts. Sure, I know, atheists find reasons to disbelieve the eyewitnesses, but that’s pretty sad. Those excuses for not believing are what is actually made up. They ignore facts in order to cling to a false belief. Sad.

      Becky

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked your statement so much, Becky! That “we are surrounded by the sins of a culture that no longer believes in sin.”

    And this reflects Christians in the church, too. Sin has been whitewashed in our minds. (I know this movie is rated ‘R’, but . . .) We sometimes think of sins as ‘mistakes’ that we might not have to answer for. But Hebrews 10: 26-31 says different.

    Unbelievers should be able to see that our God deals with believers, too. And Hebrews 10 also says we Christians need to be salt to each other, to correct one another in love, all to prevent the lukewarmness that will cause us to be spit out by Jesus on that final day.

    We Christians are sinners saved by grace alone. And confession to a forgiving God is the only way to be forgiven, even of divorce, or homosexual acts, or murder. A habit of surrender in Christians is a must in today’s world since we are so influenced by it. . . as in the days of Noah and Lot.

    Liked by 2 people


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