Article by John Warren Antalikaat GraceLife London
Questions about the identity of God are the kind of things that polite people in Britain just don’t discuss, but thankfully things are changing, and there is really nothing polite about ignoring a subject like this that lies at the heart of our whole worldview, not to mention our eternal destiny!
Some people, on the other hand, are all too happy to debate the identity of God, but get angry if anyone dares to claim to know the truth. If God hadn’t revealed himself — all our opinions would be just that — opinions, and we would have to agree that claims to know God are somewhat arrogant, but the truth is that God HAS revealed himself.
The Bible claims to be the self-revelation of God, and if we distill the teaching in the Bible about the identity of God, we can say that God reveals himself as: (1) the Creator who began the world, and (2) the Judge who will end it. He’s (3) the Sustainer who keeps this world going, and (4) the Redeemer who can save sinners, and make a new world!
1. God is this world’s wonderful Creator
According to the Bible God is the One who spoke the universe into existence (See: Genesis 1:1, Psalm 33:6, 2 Peter 3:5) and the God who made us in his image (Gen. 1:26). He said “Let there be light,” and there was light. And he said, “Let us make man in our image” and human history began! So whatever has been made, according to the Bible it’s God who spoke... and it happened.
2. God will be this world’s Judge
In the Bible God reveals himself as one who is not happy about what we have done with the world that he made! He is holy — He hates sin and evil, and he has committed to judge the world. Jesus told a parable in which he compared the world to a field at harvest time, with both wheat and weeds in it. He said that: “Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age...” and that God’s angels were going to “gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace.”
“In that place” —said Jesus— “there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 13:40-42) Our great need, as sinners, is to be right with the Judge, which is the heart of the message in the Bible!
3. God is this world’s supernatural Sustainer
This world is not going to end until God says so, because according to the Bible, God is the one who is holding this troubled world together. He is the Sustainer. The Bible speaks of God “preserving” the creation (Nehemiah 9:6), and the fact that he “upholds the universe” (Heb. 1:3). If you stop to think about it, the reason your heart doesn’t stop is ultimately because God keeps it going! As the Apostle Paul said to the Greek philosophers, “In Him we live, and move, and have our being,” (Acts 17:28).
4. God is this world’s only Redeemer!
The Bible says that although God will Judge the world, the reason he keeps sustaining it is that God is patient with us, not wanting people to perish but to come to repentance (1 Tim. 2:4, 2 Pet. 3:9).
This same God who made the world, and promises to judge sinners, also gave his one and only Son — sending him into the world to save sinners! Thankfully for us, God can redeem people who repent and come to him for forgiveness because Jesus’ death on the cross pays the price for their sin.
God is still saving people today, and making them ready for the day of Judgement — the day when he’ll remake this world with no more sin, and death and evil. If we are to be among those who are saved from his wrath and included in the blessing of His Kingdom to come, we must be those who repent, and put our trust in His redemption through Christ’s cross. If you haven’t yet done this, there is no guarantee for tomorrow, but God does call everyone to repent today! There really is no time like the present.