God is loving, but He is not only loving. Isaiah says, “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted…. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings…. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty Isaiah 6:1–3 Notice that the angels before his face day and night do not cry, “Love, Love, Love is the LORD Almighty.”

Lest we believe that God’s love in the New Testament eclipses His holiness in the Old Testament, the final book of the Bible reveals the present and future in a picture similar to Isaiah’s vision: “Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8

God did not cease to be uncompromisingly holy when Jesus came into the world. God’s eternal character does not change (see Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). That means the following Old Testament declarations remain just as true now as when they first appeared in Scripture:

“Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?Exodus 15:11

Who can stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God?1 Samuel 6:20

Your ways, O God, are holy.” Psalm 77:13

Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; He is holy…. You were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy.” Psalm 99:5, 8–9

Of course, holiness is not God’s only other attribute, which makes it all the more important that we refuse to reduce Him only to love. But we can distinguish holiness from love, so it serves as a good example. Notice how Joshua appealed to God’s holiness, not His love:

You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, He will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after He has been good to you.Joshua 24:19–20

To demons, God’s defining characteristic is His holiness. A demon said to Jesus, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!Mark 1:24

Only one attribute of God forms part of the name of a member of God’s triune person—not the Loving Spirit, but the Holy Spirit. The angel announcing Messiah’s incarnation referred to all three members of the Trinity. Note the prominence of God’s holiness and power:

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of GodLuke 1:35

When Paul alludes to two godlike qualities, the Lord’s righteousness and holiness come to his mind:

“Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness Ephesians 4:24

It is imperative we remember that God cares as much that we share in His holiness as in His love:

God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness…. Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the LordHebrews 12:10, 14

Biblical prophecy reveals that persecution of Christians will escalate as we get closer to Jesus return. We are already seeing intense persecution of Christians. Apostasy is one of the major “end times” signs and we see that occuring at a rapid rate as much of the institutional church compromises with the world’s values that are contrary to God’s Word: gay marriage and homosexual pastors are just two that standout.

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9-14

Make sure you are one of those that proclaims the Gospel until the end, whatever that might be, knowing that He will be with you no matter what.

Extracted from an article by Randy Alcorn “God Is as Just and Holy as He Is Loving” on http://www.patheos.com November 21, 2022.

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