November 2021 Student Newsletter

Is God Too Strict?
Russell Haffner

There is no doubt that God is loving, compassionate and merciful. He has done everything possible to save us from our sins (John 3:16). But, we should never assume that God's desire to save man overrides His attitude toward sin. In the same context as John 3:16 we find:

"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:18-19).

Our God loves us, but we must come to the light to have a relationship with Him. This is why Paul said, "Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off" (Roman 11:22). The God who loves and cares for us is the same God who upholds justice. Our responsibility is to "continue in His goodness."

It is true that God is rigid and strict when it comes to His law and obedience. He will not change His law to accommodate us. However, this does not mean He is not merciful, kind and compassionate. It would be wrong to think that God is just waiting to punish us as soon as we get out of line. God is longsuffering and patient. He is giving us time each and every day to turn our backs on sin, and turn to Him in obedience. However, if we refuse to turn our backs on sin, God cannot have a united relationship with us. Some may see this as God being too rigid and strict, but what they fail to realize is that God cannot have fellowship with sin. It goes against His very nature. When we sin, God does not leave us, we leave Him.

Isaiah 59:1-2 says, "Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear."

We cannot negotiate with God concerning His attitude toward sin. We must approach Him through our Savior Jesus Christ with an attitude of obedience and deep repentance, understanding that we are sinful and in need of His forgiveness. He is always eager to forgive us when we obey Him. He is like a loving parent who forgives His children when they admit their mistakes. Parents are often strict, but they love their children and want the best for them. The Father's strictness does not take away from His love.

Fifteenth Bible Land Passages Video Now Available

Have you ever wished to visit the Bible lands? If you are not able to make the journey yourself the next best thing could be watching these programs. These instructional video presentations, shot on location, let you explore many of the religious and historical sites in Israel, Jordan and Palestine. They are produced by WVBS and are completely free to view online. completely free to view online.

"Passage 15 | Shiloh: The Place Where God Once Dwelt" - Nestled deep within the heartland of the West Bank in Israel lies the biblical city of Shiloh; the place where God’s tent of meeting was located for over 300 years. Today this storied city lies in ruin, but archaeologists are determined to unearth its secrets. In recent years a number of important discoveries have been unearthed in Shiloh and Bible Land Passages was there to document the evidence, discuss the significance, and provide faith-building lessons from the land of the Bible.

These videos may be found under the “About” option on the blue menu bar by clicking the “Recommended Videos” link. When you click this button you will be taken to a page which will be continually updated with information concerning free videos available for online viewing which may be of interest to you.