Just because someone thinks he knows God, that does not mean he really does. God can be known through His Word (Jn. 17:3; 1 Cor. 2:9-13; 1 Jn. 2:3-6), but God is who He says He is, not who someone may imagine He is. God said, “…Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee…” (Psa. 50:21). Let us not be quick to assume anything about God, based on our own feelings or experiences, for God says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9; cf. 2 Kin. 5:10-12). With that in mind, please consider the following regarding some controversial topics:
- If you think God will usher homosexuals into Heaven without penitent obedience, you do not know God (Acts 2:38; 17:30, 31; 26:20; Mt. 7:21; Rom. 1:26-32; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; Heb. 5:9; Jude 7).
- If you think God approves of people staying in unauthorized marriages because “they love one another,” you do not know God (Mt. 19:3-12; cf. Ezr. 10:11, 19, 44; Neh. 13:27).
- If you think God is simply love and has no severe aspect to His nature, you do not know God (Mt. 23; Lk. 12:5; Rom. 11:22; Heb. 10:23-31; 12:28, 29).
- If you think God is pleased by all the religious divisions known as denominations, you do not know God (John 17:17-23; Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 1:10-13; Gal. 1:6-9; 1 Tim. 1:3; 2 John 9-11).
- If you think God would never require you to choose Him first before family, you do not know God (Mt. 8:21, 22; 10:34-39; 12:47-50).
- If you think God would not condemn anyone for refusing to assemble faithfully with a local congregation of Christians, you do not know God (Heb. 10:23-31; cf. Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 16:2).
- If you think God would not condemn anyone for breaking the civil law, you do not know God (Rom. 13:1, 2).
- If you think God approves of women preaching with authority over men or serving as “pastors,” you do not know God (1 Tim. 2:11-15; 3:1-12; 1 Cor. 14:34, 35).
- If you think God would not condemn someone for just one sin, you do not know God (Gen. 3; Mt. 26:14, 15; Acts 5:1-11; 8:18-24; Gal. 5:2-4; 2 Tim. 2:15-18).
- If you think God will accept worship from everyone in every way, if they are sincere, you do not know God (Lev. 10:1-3; Prov. 28:9; Mt. 15:9; Jn. 4:23, 24; Col. 3:16, 17; Heb. 11:4; 1 Jn. 3:12).
- If you think God would not require water baptism for salvation, you do not know God (Mk. 16:15, 16; Jn. 3:5; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-6; 16-18; Col. 2:11-13; 1 Pet. 3:20, 21; cf. 2 Kin. 5:10-14, etc.).
- If you think God will allow you to enter Heaven just because you “feel saved,” you do not know God (Prov. 14:12; 16:25; Jer. 17:9; Mt. 7:21-23; Gal. 6:7; Col. 3:25; Jam. 1:22; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).
- If you think God would never command withdrawal of fellowship from erring children of God, you do not know God (Mt. 18:17; 1 Cor. 5; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14, 15).
- If you think God would never send anyone to Hell, you do not know God (Mt. 25:41, 46; 2 Thess. 1:7-9; 1 Pet. 4:17).
- If you think God will allow most people to go to Heaven, when most are not faithful to Him, you do not know God (Mt. 7:13, 14, 21-27; Heb. 5:9; 1 Pet. 3:20).
- If you think God could never forgive you, even if you repented and obeyed Him, you do not know God (1 Tim. 1:12-16; 2:3, 4).
- If you think God wants you to go to Hell, you do not know God (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8-10; 1 Tim. 2:3, 4; Heb. 2:9; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 John 4:9, 10).
God does love us, even more than we can understand, but the same God who loves us so dearly also absolutely abhors sin (Heb. 1:9; cf. Psa. 7:11; 119:104, 128; Rev. 2:6, 15). The same Jesus who healed the sick also wielded a whip, overturned tables, and gave scathing rebukes! (Mt. 23; Jn. 2:13-17; Rev. 3:19). If one cannot understand or relate to this side of Jesus, spiritual growth is desperately needed before kneeling before Him on Judgment Day. Man must allow God’s Word to shape his understanding of God, taking heed when God explains Himself or His Law. Man must allow his mind to be changed by God’s Word, rather than changing God’s Word to match man’s mind (Rom. 10:17; 12:1, 2), and man should certainly listen with great care when God has given His conditions to enter Heaven and avoid Hell. Friends, do not simply assume that you know God—study His Word to make sure you know Him and are accepted by Him! (Acts 10:34, 35; Rom. 8:16; 2 Cor. 13:5; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Pet. 1:10; 1 Jn. 1:6—2:6).