The Skeletons in God's Closet
Is God a sadistic torturer? Coldhearted judge? Genocidal maniac? There are some questions no Christian wants to be asked. Many today believe hell, judgment and holy war are ‘skeletons in God’s closet,’ tough topics that, if looked at closely, would reveal a cruel, vindictive tyrant rather than a good and loving God. And we aren’t comfortable with the answers we’ve been given.
“How can a loving God send people to Hell?”
“Isn’t it arrogant to believe Jesus is the only way to God?”
“Why is there so much violence in the Old Testament?”
We’ll pull these bones out into the open to exchange popular caricatures for the beauty and power of the real thing. We’ll discover these topics were never really skeletons at all…but proclamations of a God who is good ‘in his very bones,’ not just in what he does, but in who he is. We’ll fling the wide the closet door and sing loudly, boldly and clearly: God is good and coming to redeem his world.
Christians often struggle with what seems like a lot of violence in the Old Testament. How do we make sense of the wars and conquests in light of the goodness of God? When we see that God is protecting the weak and vulnerable from forces of evil, it gives us great hope because we too are weak and in need of a Savior!
The idea that the whole world will stand and be judged by God at the end of time is something that's tough for a lot of our culture to swallow. "Will God really bring all you Christians to heaven while all the non-Christians are sent to hell?" they ask. But God's judgment isn't the skeleton in God's closet that we think it is. We actually need His judgment and His judgment is good news for
The popular idea of hell is that its location is underground, its purpose is torture, and its construction is a chamber. The problem is that it's not how the Bible talks about hell. In order to get hell right, we also have to understand how heaven and earth fit into the story. When we do, we find that hell is much less an underground torture chamber and more a reflection of God's goodness and mercy.
Is God a sadistic torturer? Coldhearted judge? Genocidal maniac? There are some questions no Christian wants to be asked. We fear that if we peek into God's closet and take a close look, we might not like what we see. As we begin this series, we'll see that not only does God not have skeletons in His closet, but that He is good in a way that we can't even imagine.