“I don’t think God would do that.”

God threeWhenever I hear this, I get a little tense.  And usually I have to tune out of the conversation for a few minutes and determine if what they’re saying is accurate to the way the Scriptures reveal God.

These are people who think of God like a grandpa:

  • “The Lord will never let me go bankrupt.  I don’t think God would do that.”
  • “The Lord will save my marriage; He won’t let it fail.  I don’t think God would do that.”
  • “God is love and a loving God could never send people to hell.  I don’t think God would do that.”

Then are those who think of God like a big grump:

  • Like Zeus: a fickle “god” waiting to strike down pathetic, groveling sinners for His own sadistic pleasure.
  • Like a speed trap: laying in wait for humanity to screw up, only to play a cosmic game of “gotcha”.
  • Like a kid with an ant farm: all-powerful but more curious about how much we’ll try to rebuild the trashed sand piles of our lives when He wrecks them.

And make no mistake, my dear reader: your concept of God is not some esoteric, abstract theological construct.  On the contrary, it will affect how you live, why you live, and your eternal salvation.  Know this well: your theology of God affects everything else you believe.

Jesus said in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

When we know the truth about the nature of God, we understand (among other things) our need for a savior, instruction, hope, peace, punishment, grace, and mercy.  We know why we share faith, why the world needs it, and why they are eternally doomed without it.

Do we immediately understand some of the complex issues of the theology (for example, why do those who faithfully follow God suffer so much?)?  Probably not, but when we understand His nature and character, we certainly have a better idea of why He allows some things and stops other things.

Next week, we’ll start looking through these amazingly praise-worthy characteristics of the God of the universe who loved us so much He gave His own Son to die our death so we may live (cf. John 3:16-18).

But until we get there, do you tend to think of Him as Grandpa, Grumps, or God?