Many of us live our lives with the idea of God being all good and all loving and all kind. I personally grew up in a belief system that blows up the idea of God being a "Loving God". Everything else comes second to it. Sins become less dramatic and repentance more unlikely since we all get into the stupor that our "God is Love". We picture Him as a loving Father who always has open arms for all his prodigal sons and daughters. It doesn't really matter HOW we live our lives because the God we have in our imagination is a god who loves and will keep on loving no matter what!
I once made a video in my old Facebook account dedicated to those in my friends list who loves a drinking spree and become drunk of alcohol. I asked them in that video if they ever considered Jesus coming back on the day they are drunk! I made that video because I was so concerned that a whole lot of people in my list profess to "love God" yet are proud to post in their facebook accounts the pictures of when they are drunk and wasted!
I also remember having a short chat with an old friend of mine about the kind of life he was living. He has been struggling with homosexuality all his life and has eventually reached a point of giving in to the desires of his flesh. I remember saying to him that God abhors this sin and even considers it an abomination. I shared to him that he needed to rethink his ways and ask God to forgive him and help him to turn from his ways. I still vividly remember what he said to me after that. He then told me that the God he knows is a "loving God" who does not condemn people. So, is that your god, too?
The verse that we all run to when it comes to this character of God is 1 John 4:8. The bible tells us in this verse that "anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." We all run to this verse over and over again to make ourselves feel better. There's really nothing to worry about or be guilty and feel remorse about because God is equivalent to forgiveness and total understanding. Or is He really?
Unfortunately, we are taking this verse totally out of its context. It is so important for all of us to spend time with God's word because it is where we would encounter God's truth. If we read the entire fourth chapter of 1 John, it actually talks about testing the spirits of Truth and Error in many "prophets" that have come out in the world. Many "teachers" and "preachers" are out there giving so called "lessons" about God but we ourselves must TEST them according to God's Word. The 8th verse that mentioned about "God is Love" actually pertains to what we would see in a person who has been born of God. The FRUIT we see in the person's life who claims to know God is that they would have "Love".
The love of God in this context does not talk about his embracing us and accepting us amidst our sinfulness. The love of God that has been mentioned here is His love for this sinful world that He sent His only Son to become the "propitiation" of our sins, so that we might live through Him. The love of God in the bible is a "saving" kind of love to those who believe in His Son whom He sent to die for our sins. We all deserve to die "the second death"(Rev. 21:8) and perish in Hell for the sin in our lives but God so loved us that He didn't want any to perish that is why He sent Jesus, His Son, to die in our place. So, read the following verses carefully:
"Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother." ESV (John 3:8-10) emphasis added
So, what kind of a god did you make for yourself? What kind of a god do you send your prayers and petitions to? Is he a loving one? An understanding one? A forgive-and-forget-easily one? Listen, my friend, the God of the bible is loving, yes, but most of all HE IS HOLY. We must not continue to fool ourselves and make an idol of a god in our hearts and minds that does not hold us accountable for our sins. The God of the bible is a Holy God and he has no room for compromise! He HATES doers of inquity. (Psalm 5:5) God's wrath is REAL towards those who continue to do evil. (Ephesians 5:6) He requires us to REPENT and live holy lives!
"But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." KJV (1 Peter 15-16)
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" (Hebrews 12:14) KJV
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." (John 3:36) KJV
We need to sit down and check ourselves and see which god is it we have in our lives. Is it the god in our imagination or the God of the bible? It's really worth your everything doing so, because eternity is sure a long time to spend regretting that you have been worshipping a god in your imagination instead of the true Holy God in the bible.