The Lord is often depicted as the supreme Judge, seated in heaven and ready to dish out vengeance for all evil and disobedience. But He’s also presented as a good and loving God who’s quick to forgive. Although both aspects of His nature are true, the human mind has trouble comprehending how they can coexist in the same Being.
From our limited earthly perspective, the Lord may not always seem good. People who struggle to accept His goodness often look around and wonder why He doesn’t stop all the evil and suffering in the world. Or they look ahead to the coming judgment and wonder how He could condemn anyone to hell. The irony of this reasoning is that it finds fault with both the Lord’s present tolerant permission of evil and His future intolerant judgment of evil in eternity.
In reality, both ends of this spectrum prove our heavenly Father’s goodness. God doesn’t immediately write off everyone who rejects or disobeys Him; instead, He patiently waits for us to repent and accept the forgiveness of sins that is available in Jesus Christ alone. But in the final judgment, the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. If He did, He would cease to be good.
Only when we get to heaven will we comprehend God’s absolute holiness and the depth of sin’s depravity. Then we’ll understand the necessity of hell and the goodness of a Savior who died to rescue us. In the meantime, rejoice in the knowledge that your Judge is good.
Bible in One Year: Ephesians 4-6