June 8, 2010
Loving God Today
“The LORD keeps all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy.”
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How many times have you heard someone say that a truly loving God would not send anyone to hell for an eternity of suffering? Well, we should all ponder Psalm 145 again. God has already told us in this Psalm that the LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds. Does that mean that God’s kindness will stop Him from destroying the wicked?
God does not want anyone to perish. You may recall the famous verse, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus died on the cross because God the Father gave God the Son (Jesus) as a gift of love to sinners. God never intended that anyone should perish, because God is not willing for any to perish, but for all people to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). But, everyone who rejects the salvation offered exclusively through Jesus Christ by faith alone has been judged already (John 3:18). The wrath of God abides upon every unbeliever (John 3:36). In the future, unbelievers will be raised to judgment (John 5:29).
In contrast to the wicked, everyone who loves Jesus will be kept by God. The Psalmist writes that “Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Psalm 121:4). God has a very special way of “keeping” everyone who loves Him. As I sit at the beach, I see parents keep a very careful eye on their little children as they play near the waves. They love their little ones and protect them. In Psalm 121, God emphasizes that He will not allow the sun or the moon to smite His people, but He will protect His loved ones from all evil, and will guard their going out and coming in (Psalm 121:1-8).
Notice the contrast here: one group loves God and the other group He just calls “wicked” (Psalm 145:20). Either you love God, or you are in the wicked group bound for destruction. This word “destruction” means that God will “exterminate” (Isaiah 13:9) sinners just as He promised to “destroy” (Deuteronomy 31:3) the nations in the promised land before Israel occupied it. God does not mean that He will make the wicked cease to exist, but rather they may look forward to conscious punishment in darkness with “weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 8:12) and later thrown into a “lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15).
As God spoke of His righteousness, so He also warns the wicked that He will destroy them. Instead of keeping them safe, He promises them destruction. We can truly appreciate that all of us deserve destruction, for we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Only by the grace of God do we escape the punishment and destruction we deserve. By faith we believe that Jesus has delivered us from the penalty of our sins and given us eternal life (Romans 6:23).
Application for Today
Today I will feel God keeping me because I love Him. I will praise Him for his lovingkindness to me and the constant care He shows to me. Jesus helps me to love Him. I only love Him because He first loved me (1 John 4:19). Only the people born again by the power of God will love God (1 John 4:7). Will you feel God keeping you today and praise Him?