Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness with favor.
Several years ago, I wrote a book entitled “Hell? Yes . . . And Other Outrageous Truths You Can Still Believe.” Reactions were mixed. Some people were very kind; others were not so kind. In fact, I went to Amazon.com just to see what some people had said about my book, and one headline caught my attention: “Worst book ever written!” This is how he closed his review: “God would never be so narrow-minded and cruel, as Jeffress portrays Him to be. I hope Jeffress will be the one who suffers eternal punishment for writing such a horrible book that blasphemes the true nature of God and Jesus.” How is that for tolerance? Although it is politically incorrect to say that God still sends people–even good people–to hell, it is nevertheless true. Jesus certainly talked about hell, yet there are people today who reject what He said.
The number one argument against hell is that God is too loving to send people to hell. Have you heard that before? Underneath that objection are two fatally flawed presuppositions. The first is that God is as tolerant of sin as we are. In our culture today, the greatest virtue is tolerance of other people’s behavior, no matter how wrong or perverse it is. But the reason we are able to tolerate the sin in other people’s lives–and in our own lives–is not because of our righteousness; it is because of our unrighteousness. We make a great mistake when we assume that God is just like we are. In Psalm 50:21, God Himself says, “You thought that I was just like you.” God is not like we are, and of all the ways that God is different than we are, at the top of the list is His inability to tolerate sin–any sin. Habakkuk 1:13 says, “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness with favor.”
Think about God’s relationship to His own Son, Jesus. There is no one God loved more than His own Son, Jesus Christ. And yet, when Jesus came to earth and He willingly took on the sins of the world, how did God react? The Bible says God had to turn away from His Son in disgust. In fact, that is why Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil, even the evil that His Son willingly took upon Himself. But it does not stop there. God not only turned away from His Son; He poured out His harshest wrath and anger upon Him. Jesus took on our sins, and God had to judge that sin. Nahum 1:3 says, “The Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” God must punish sin. That means God’s holy nature demanded that He pour out His anger and wrath on Jesus Christ. On Calvary, Jesus experienced hell so that we could experience heaven one day. Do not miss that first part: He experienced hell. He experienced the full blast of God’s wrath and fury upon Him. If the cross of Jesus Christ tells us anything, it tells us that God has zero tolerance for any kind of sin. Do not make the mistake of thinking God is like we are.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Answers To Those Who Say, ‘Hell? No!’” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.