I have often heard people say they have problems reconciling the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament. In the Old we see Him kicking Adam and Eve out of the garden for simply eating something that was against His rules. Then we see God sending Cain out as a nomad with nowhere to call home all because he killed his brother Abel. And then when everyone has decided to live according what they think is right (sounds like something from the 21st century), God tells Noah a flood is coming that will destroy all humanity. Because Noah is a man of righteousness, God commands him to build an ark that he, his family, and a few chosen animals might survive the deluge. These are just a few of the examples that cause some people problems with a God who seems so unforgiving and unwilling to give anyone a second chance.
As I read the whole Bible I see something different. I see a God who consistently deals with people in the same manner. I believe the Old and New Testaments give us an unchanging picture of God. Over and over in both testaments we see pictures of God’s gracious patience. Never do we see an immediate outpouring of His righteous wrath. Throughout every story we can see His patience in not wanting any to perish, but all to come to a saving relationship with Him.
In this past Sunday’s message—Pictures of Grace—we looked at the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain, and the flood in order to see pictures of God’s grace. In each of these instances we can see how God patiently withheld what would have been just punishment to give ample time for all to repent and live in a loving relationship with Him.
If you have struggled with understanding what appears to be a different God in the Old and New Testaments, then I would encourage you to listen to last Sunday’s message. Simply follow this link, Pictures of Grace, and then click on the arrow pointing down. After that you will be able to choose between listening online or downloading it to a mobile device.
If you need to know more about becoming a follower of Jesus please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you are looking for a church home, please join us on Sundays at 10:45 a.m. You can find out more about our church at WWW.LOBC.NET.