Some people picture our God as all love and gentleness. Some even go so far as to say that no one will be lost in eternity. But let us look at the matter from the scriptural examples and make sure we understand just what, and who, God loves and those that he does not. Everyone loves to quote Romans 11:22 to prove their point and it is a very good quote by Paul, explaining the nature of God.
Just be sure that you do not pass over, or ignore, the last phrase in that passage. That refers back to the first part of sentence, i.e. "...on them which fell, severity...". And bear in mind, the usage of the term 'which fell' means they died. And many times in the Old Testament, the term is used that one be 'cut off' from his people and that also normally meant that he should be killed. So Paul rightly describes God in that quotation as showing God's goodness and severity.
Let us count some ways of proving God's love for mankind.
When God created man, he was good enough to make him in His own image...that of haveing an eternal soul that would never die. As little as some think of that, it was indeed a great thing, offering man eternal happiness and bliss for only obeying Him for a meager life time. Read this in Genesis 1:27. And in verse 26, just before that one, he gave man dominion over all other creatures.
And even before the creation, God knew that man would have a rebellious nature and would sin. So, his plan included the factor that he would send His Son to provide a way for man, any and all men, to be forgiven of their sins. John gives us the truth of the depth of God's love as follows:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV).
And Paul adds to that, this: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us“. (Romans 5:8 KJV)
Notice that in all of these scriptures there are steps which God has taken...for the singular reason of giving man every opportunity to have his sins removed and then to spend eternity in heaven. Why else but love would God go to such lengths to save those of whom would obey Him? Here are other factors which He went to great lengths to assure that man had what he needed to be saved. For instance, He gave us the gospel message:
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature“. (Mark 16:15 KJV)
Then Paul told the Christians in Rome, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Romans 1:16 KJV)
In fact, He preserved the entire biblical writings of the Bible so that man would be without excuse in knowing what he would have to do to be saved. Read this one:
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV)
And even after all of that, He knew man's weaknesses and so he extended his grace to all men who would make their best effort to avoid sin, but when we do sin inadvertently, His grace kicks in and those unintentional sins are not imputed to us.
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men," (Titus 2:11 KJV) and "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin." (Romans 4:8 KJV)
And biblical history points out to us that Jesus was indeed a good man and full of love. And we know that his love was exemplary to that of God, since he was God in the flesh.
Yet, with all of that goodness, He is a just God and His rebuke towards sin is often swift and severe. Let us simply look at a few instances of those who ignored, or willfully disobeyed Him.
In the beginning, God had placed Adam and Eve in a wonderful environment. They were literally care free, all their needs were taken care of and they were given very little restrictions as to what they must/must not do. Yet, after God had instructed them not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree in the midst of the
garden. One needs to read the entire 3rd chapter of Genesis. Although these were His new creations and the only people on earth, because of their disobedience, they were driven from the perfect life into a life requiring their hard labor and eventually death. Up until that time they were within the care of God who was watching over them, placed them away from His presence.
As the population of the earth grew large, they became very rebellious towards God and evil was rampant. God wiped away the entire population except for eight souls, by sending a world-wide flood. Again, this was not evil from God, but rather recompense for their disobedience. Read Genesis 3.
There are numerous other instances where God's wrath was brought upon man for their disobedience. Even men of whom he had great respect. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorah in Genesis 19. He refused to allow His devoted servant, Moses, to enter the land promised the Israelites, because of his presumptuous sin, in Numbers chapter 7.
He has promised a day of judgment, in which man will be divided. Those who have been obedient shall enter into eternal life with Him with peace forever. Read Matthew 25:31-46. Or better still, read the entire chapter.
God is, indeed, good and had extended great and precious promises to those who obey Him. But, to be a just God, he must be firm concerning his promises of punishment for the wicked. He cannot be just if he gives the same reward to those who have ignored Him, cursed Him and lived their lives in evil activities, as he gives those who have striven to obey his will to the letter.
His word is sure and certain, so make your minds up today to follow the doctrine of Jesus Christ and the apostles. You cannot go wrong.
"I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me." (Proverbs 8:17 KJV)