“Do you know what I think?” he said as he turned to me. “I think God hates mankind. He puts all these obstacles in our way and expects us to climb over them. He’s just downright mean. I don’t think I want to become a Christian. I hate to think what eternity with Him would be like. I hate Him for what He does to us.”
People tend to reject Christianity because they think they hate God. Primarily, they think He hates them so they are going to hate Him right back. What they really hate are their thoughts and concepts of God; He’s mean and is just waiting for them to mess up so He can really let them have it. To tell you the truth, I hate those thoughts and concepts too! Unfortunately, these notions and perceptions have been given to people from prominent Christian leaders. Such ideas as “Hurricane Katrina was sent by God to punish New Orleans for its wickedness.” Or that God dispatched AIDS to “chastise homosexuals.”
Are these really the deliberations and sentences of God? Or, does He contemplate something altogether different but is blamed for the musings men have entertained? God is a helper and deliverer to those introuble, a light to guide us through the darkness in this world.
We should never allow the world to define God, nor Christianity. Let’s allow the Bible to reveal to us the thoughts and nature of God. Let’s begin our exploration with Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
The New American Standard Version reads: For I know the plans that I have for you, declared the Lord, plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope.
God should know what He thinks and plans.
Have you considered John 3:16?
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, thatwhosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“But, I thought He hates me.” Perish that thought. Better yet, why not replace that thought with the exhortation in Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Why would God have you think on what He does not think on Himself? Here is something else to think on.
This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare untoyou, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. ~ 1 John 1:5
It would seem some of these Christian leaders have received a different message. I, for one, would rather think on the message from 1 John, wouldn’tyou? I did not consider Hurricane Katrina as light.
Let’s examine the record of Jesus and his disciples in Matthew 8:23-26:
And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch the ship was covered with waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
If God was trying to punish the disciples, why did Jesus stop the storm and cause a great calm? The disciples were alarmed and cried out, “Lord, save us: we perish!” People think if there is a God, why doesn’t He do something? He has… “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Don’t perish in your own thoughts. Let there be a great calm and believe in Him. There is an old proverb that goes, “your thoughts are the seeds for your words and deeds”. What have you germinated in the recesses of your mind through the thoughts you entertain? If you hate to think that God would punish sin with sickness, stop thinking those thoughts. I hate thinking that too!
So why don’t we replace those thoughts with Psalm 103:10: He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
Or, 3 John 2:
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
The children of Israel were rapidly moving into captivity because of their own vain thoughts. They hated the position they were in because they clung to negative thoughts that were lodged in their minds. God sent pastors to teach them His thoughts and care for them; but, they rejected the teachings. He had the prophet confront them in Jeremiah 4:14: O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest besaved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge with thee? Don’t ward off salvation to cling to unprofitable thoughts that are not true, nor what God thinks. Don’t reject Christianity because you think God hates you. His thoughts are “of peace and not of evil“. His plans are “for your welfare, and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope”. If you think on these things, a great calm awaits you. ~