Where Was God’s Mercy?

Q. I was reading my Bible again, (I’m trying to read the whole thing), and I was going from Genesis through Exodus. I used to wish that I could have lived during those times, but now you couldn’t pay me to go there. It seems like every time Israel messes up, they get wiped out. But then I started thinking; I’m just as guilty as they are, because I haven’t always put God first. I feel that I wouldn’t have lasted one day before being killed for my sin. I mean, if one sin is enough to kill us, how much more do I deserve to die? The New Testament is filled with God displaying His mercy and forgiveness, and I am grateful for that, but I can’t figure out why He is so easy on us, when He was so tough on the Israelites.

A. God is just and righteous and has to punish every sin. The difference between the Old and New Testaments is the cross, where Jesus died for all our sins.

“For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in him (Jesus), and through him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).

Because of the cross, God is now at peace with us, and while the Church is in the world judgment will be delayed. But after the Church leaves, the End Times judgments will begin, because the only people left on Earth will be those who refused His offer of peace. Life will be like it was in the Old Testament again. During the judgments, people will still have a chance to be saved and many will change their minds and do so, but many others will not and will perish. Paul said, “They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thes. 2:10).

“God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His Grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6-7). No other group ever has or ever will be blessed in the way the the Lord has blessed the Church.

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