sMany people say they want to know and love God. They say they’re searching for truth. But I don’t believe it. All people really want from God, and from those who say they’re Christians, is kindness. They don’t want biblical truth or divine justice, just worldly kindness that they define as (1) God loving us as we are so there’s no need to change, or (2) God loving us too much to send us to hell. They think, “I haven’t sinned that badly. God will overlook this sin. Nobody’s perfect.” This “kindness” is spiritually lethal! It has sent millions of people to hell. It also violates the character of God.
God is good, holy, and just. But he’s not kind, not like the world defines it. If God were “kind,” he would never have forced sinful Adam and Eve out of Eden. He wouldn’t have revealed his holiness on Mount Sinai. God wouldn’t have sent unrepentant Israel to Babylon as punishment for sin. And He certainly wouldn’t have sent us a Savior. Jesus Christ would not have come to earth if he were “kind.” Instead, he would have let us lull our sinful selves right into hell.
The true kindness of God is much better. It leads to salvation, holiness, and heaven – not worldly sorrow, death, and hell (2 Corinthians 7:10). We must first agree with God that
- We are sinners by nature and have sinned in our persons.
- God’s law is just, holy, and perfect but we’ve broken it.
- The just punishment for sin is eternal death in hell.
Then we must believe Jesus has paid the full penalty for our sins. Finally we must throw ourselves on Jesus, our souls and lives. God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). Not until after we break our hearts and mourn our sins will God give us spiritual comfort (Isaiah 61:2, Matthew 5:4). If we don’t repent, we can’t expect the kindness of God.
Since 2005, I’ve experienced the truth of God’s holiness and justice and it has been painful. In my sin I continually sought kindness, love, and mercy. But all I received was severity. God hasn’t been kind to me. He knows I needed roughness, anything to wake me up from the lethal sleep of sin and make me repent. I thank God for it now. “He’s not a tame lion – but he’s good.”
Most people aren’t like me. They’re deceived by “nice” words and “kind” intentions, both from sinners and so-called Christian preachers. The latter don’t preach the truth of sin, law, and hell anymore – just cheap love, grace, and forgiveness. There’s no forgiveness without repentance. There’s no grace without truth. And there’s no love without hatred of sin.
People say they want truth. But they really want the candy of sin. Truth is poison to them so they just spit it out. In order to receive the good food of divine truth, we have to be born again. God then magically changes our taste buds so that truth becomes candy and sin becomes poison. Yet all people really want is a pretty package. It doesn’t matter what’s inside as long as it’s pretty. It doesn’t matter what you say, just how you say it. However, truth in an ugly package is still truth. Lies in a pretty package are still lies. And all that glitters is not gold.
The Prince of Morocco discovers this in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice.” He’s deceived by a gold casket that he thinks holds the key to Portia’s heart. But when he opens it, the prince reads a poem that begins with this line: “All that glitters is not gold.”
Unlike the two princes before him, Bassanio isn’t deceived by appearances. He chooses the bronze casket and is rewarded with the precious key and a portrait of Portia: “You that choose not by the view, / Chance as fair and choose as true!” Only Bassanio gets the girl.
The plot of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) is rather silly. It’s not biblical or historical. I don’t think the Holy Grail ever existed. If it did, it did not contain the blood of Jesus Christ or everlasting life (a spiritual metaphor). Yet this film reveals basic spiritual truths, just like Shakespeare’s timeless play.
Indiana Jones’ nemesis Marcus Brody wants what he thinks the grail offers: everlasting life, on earth. Just like the Prince of Morocco he’s deceived by a gold cup Dr. Elsa Schneider gives him. When Marcus dips the cup into the bowl of living water and drinks it, he rapidly ages and dies on the spot. I had to turn my head from the screen.
Indiana Jones is different. He realizes that Jesus was a poor carpenter and wouldn’t have used or owned anything gold. So, like Bassanio, Indiana chooses a wooden cup. When he drinks the water, nothing happens and that’s good! Indiana then takes the cup of water to his father, who drinks from it, and pours the water onto his bullet wound. The father is healed instantly.
Are you searching for the key to Jesus’ heart? Are you seeking living water? If so, don’t be deceived by pretty packages and the lies of “kindness.” You’ll only find heartache here on earth and an eternity in hell later. Instead, choose the bronze casket. Choose the wooden cup. Choose the poison of truth and let God transform you so it becomes sweet candy to your soul. Choose the goodness, holiness, and justice of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. Only then will you find what you seek – biblical kindness and love. Only then will you be saved and enter heaven.