This is just a short reflection on God and judgment.
Last night at work as I was cleaning dairy equipment (filler machines—the machines that fill all the milk jugs with milk that you buy in your local grocery store) the thought occurred to me that it is really important to affirm that God in Christ is love! For some reason I was thinking about my former dispensationalism and how God’s judgment is going to be poured out on the Jews in the coming Tribulation period (according to dispy thinking). Immediately, as I pondered this, I got this sense of fear; a sense of if God is a wrathful vengeful God who is going to pour out his wrath on unbelieving Israel (for their initial rejection of the Messiah), then why should I think that I am any different? For some reason this idea (which I have know for a long time) just hit me with existential force, in a way that this kind of conception of God came with a kind of palpable and ever present dread. It was as if this idea of God seemed completely foreign to me, and yet the prospect of this being a possibility—that he is wrathful—scared me. And yet in light of this, it was as if the Spirit immediately brought to mind the theology that I have been advocating for with new and intense optics. What came to mind was that, yes, sin does require judgment, but not a judgment that would ever occur outside of God’s own life for us in Christ. In other words, because God is love, he took humanity’s judgment in himself for us (as our high priest and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world). It is this perspective that allows me to view God without being afraid of him, as if he is two or three or four different kinds of gods; and instead to view him as my loving Father who I can call ‘Abba’.