The question before us is, how big is your God?
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." — Genesis 1:1
You think about that, the impact of that one verse, what does that tell us about God?
- Acts 4:24
The apostles said in a prayer, "Thou art God, which has made heaven and earth and the sea and all that in them is." What does that tell you about? The majesty of God, the power of God, the omnipotence of God.
How big is your God?
He is bigger than a lot of people think. You know some try to deny that there is a God. You know, I can close my eyes and say that there are no people in this room. Some men close their minds and say that there is no God, even though there is abundant proof thereof.
- Psalm 14:1-3
The fool says there is no God. Yet, most people who have ever lived, believed in God, at least in a god you might say, but over the years, people have had various attitudes about God and what He is like.
Some years ago there was a popular theory that God is dead. People have the wrong attitude about God from time to time. Even many adults, many people, have thoughts about God that are just not correct.
Some Ideas People Have About God
Some Say God is a Cosmic Cop
Some people view God as simply a great cosmic police officer. They consider God as a nagging inner voice, holding them back. You know,
"Man is in constant fear that God is standing behind him with a club in hand, ready to strike him." — Martin Luther
That is not a correct view of God, certainly, but yet that is an attitude and a thought that many people have that he is a cop just waiting for you to mess up. And so, He can whack you upside the head and drag you to jail.
- Psalm 34:10
You know, the Bible doesn't picture God as someone that just wants to strike us dead the moment we sin. God is pictured always as a God that is long-suffering. A God that loves, a God that gives us the chance to do right, that gives us the chance and the opportunity to turn back to Him. S
Some people treat God also like a policeman because they only go to Him in times of trouble. If you're in trouble, if you're being chased by a bad guy, you want to run to where the police are. You want to find that protection. And likewise, people, sometimes only go to God in times of death or sickness, heartache, and sorrow.
You think about the rich man and the story of the rich man in Lazarus. He went to God, but it was too late. He wanted to send Lazarus back to speak to his brothers, but it was too late.
You think about Sampson [he] turned back to God, but it was too late for him to continue in life. He turned back to God in the end when he brought down the temple.
But, a lot of times though, people, don't look to God until they need him for something, not recognizing that we need God every day. And so, some people's misplaced view of God, as I said, he is just some kind of policeman that wants to drag us off to jail.
- A Scolding Parent
Others view God simply as a scolding parent. You know, some people have the same bad attitude toward God that they have toward their own parents. They resent their authority. They don't have respect for them. There is no love. They obey out of necessity to keep from getting punished. And that's the way you know so many people are with their families, with their parents.
Some people have that attitude toward God. They resent His authority. Remember Pharaoh says, "Who is God that I should do whatever it is that I should let his people go or that I should let you go?", [Exodus 5:2]. Who is God? Who gives Him the authority? Or, why does He have authority over me?
I've had a friend once tell me that I won't serve anything that I'm supposed to be afraid of, that I am supposed to be in awe of. I'm not gonna serve a God that I'm supposed to fear. Again, he resists the authority. There is no respect or love for God.
Some obey out of necessity. They're afraid not to obey. It is not because they love. God. You know, the Bible teaches that we should obey from the heart.
- John 14:15, 21
- 1 John 5:3
- Matthew 22:30
Some see God as just one who is a scolding parent. They don't respect or love Him, but the Bible teaches that we love Him, we obey Him because we love Him. We don't obey Him grudgingly.
Some Say God is a Grand Old Man
Another wrong view of God is that He's just this grand old man who lived a long time ago and doesn't know anything about our age. To many people, God is only a historical figure. They say, well, Jesus, He wore sandals, He wore long robes, and He rode on donkeys while He was here on Earth. And so, they say, well, he doesn't know anything about the problems on Earth today. In other words, they're saying that God, Christ, and the Bible are out of date, they're old-fashioned, they were good in their day, but now they are useless to man.
But, We need to understand that God is up to date and so is His Word, the Bible.
- Hebrews 13:8
You know, God has not changed. His Word has not changed. Man has not really changed. You know the clothes we wear, the way we move about, those things have changed. But, people themselves are the same. Our physical way of life may change, but in the real needs and trials of life, they're all the same. We need to eat. We need to drink. We need food. We need shelter. We need love. We need compassion. Yeah, we need all of these things.
Jesus and God are willing to treat us the same way they treated people in the first century. He has the same love and saving power for each and every one of us. He has not changed in His attitude towards sin. Our Savior and God are perfect. Therefore, they do not change. God is not out of date. He is just as real to us as to any people who ever lived.
- 1 Timothy 6:17
- 1 Timothy 4:10
God has the same love for us that he did for people thousands of years ago. God has not changed. We may change, but God has not changed and His will has not changed. His love has not changed. He cares about us. Even as He cared about people of old.
Some Say God is Easygoing
Some say they view God as He's just easygoing. They feel, and say that God is good, and He will not punish mankind very much, if at all.
Some imagine hell is not like we think it is. It's not all bad. They say people reason like this; how could a God of love and mercy punish anyone by casting them into hell with a devil? Many people conclude that God would not really do it, so therefore, they see no reason to be a Christian.
People have this general idea that nothing very bad will happen to them if they don't become a Christian. If I don't obey God, nothing really bad will happen. Because, you know, we tend to generalize things. We tend to put the best spin on things. Sometimes, we need to understand, God is meek and mild, but God is also just and holy.
He is as much a God of wrath as He is a God of love. Both of those aspects of His character have to be appeased.
- Romans 1:18
His wrath is against all ungodliness. His wrath is against all sin.
- Ephesians 5:6
You know, the children of disobedience are those that simply disobey God. It's not something that's inherited. It's not that these people over here can't help but be what they are. It is those simply that choose disobedience; are the children of disobedience. So his wrath is against them.
- 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9
God is a God of love. He wants all to be saved and come into a knowledge of the truth. He wants all to come to repentance. He wants everyone to go to Heaven. But He is not just going to overlook sin and, and leave it unpunished. And so, God is not simply a God that is easygoing and who is going to overlook sin.
Some Say God is Rule Book Author
Others view God as simply a rule book author. They think that God or His Word is simply a book of rules, which He wants us to follow perfectly. You know, after a man has tried to live the Christian life for a while, he's gonna discover that there is still sin in his life and sometimes still sin in his heart. Therefore, a lot of folks, when they realize that, give up. They say, what's the use? I can't be perfect and God expects me to be perfect, therefore, I'm just going to give up.
Then, when they see anyone else who professes to be trying, they say, well, that's just a hypocrite. You're just a hypocrite because you're, you're like me. You're full of sin as well.
God is perfect, and since He created us, He knows that we are weak and sinful creatures. He knows that, but He has given us His Word to help us.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
He's given it to us so that we can be perfect. Not in the sense of sinlessly perfect, though that is the goal. But the Word, perfect, just means here in verse 17 just means, complete. It's from the Greek word, artios, only found here in this verse, by the way, which means, fitted or completed. It is from the word that means a limb or a joint. It's like we are in joint. It's like a shoulder that is out of joint is in joint now. And so, it operates properly, it functions correctly. It is complete in the sense that it is doing what it ought to do.
And so, the Word of God gives us the ability to do what God commands.
- Philippians 3:12
And again, this word doesn't mean sinlessly perfect. This word here, the Greek word teleioō, means having reached its end, finished, complete, or perfect. It is used for a person's primarily physical development than with ethical import, one who has fully grown or matured.
Again, Paul is saying, I have not yet, reached the end of my growth. I've not yet reached, the end of what it is I'm striving to do. I'm not perfect in that way.
- Matthew 5:48
And so what does it mean to be perfect? Well, it doesn't mean sinlessly perfect. But it means to be complete or fully mature.
- 1 John 1:10
- Matthew 5:48
The requirement of trying to be perfect keeps us in mind of our infirmities. As I strive to be like God, it reminds me of how far I have yet to go. And so that's what keeps me at work, recognizing there is a standard that I have not achieved, that I'll go through my entire life and not achieve. But it keeps, uh, it keeps me going, keeps me striving. Like Paul says, he is ever striving towards that. He's pushing towards that perfection.
Our standard is not the perfection of great and heroic men, although I would love to be compared to people like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, or someone like that. But that's not the standard. But the standard is the Infinite Creator Himself. It is God.
- 1 John 2:1
Again, God does not want us to sin, but He's also giving us an Advocate for times when we have sinned. And so God is not simply a rule book.
Some Say God is A Cosmic Clock Winder
God is not simply a cosmic clock winder, as some would say.
This is the idea, really the idea behind deism. You know, God controls the universe. You know, they say, but He is not interested in me as an individual. And so, that's the idea of deism.
The idea is that God wound up the world like a clock and that it is ticking down. It's running down. Time is just going by. They believe that God is out there watching but is not going to pay too much attention to little people like me and you. These people don't believe God is concerned about the individual. They don't think God really cares that He just created the universe, set everything in motion, and He's just sitting back watching.
- Matthew 10:29-30
As insignificant as the birds of the sky are, the small sparrows, about the smallest among birds, least significant among birds, and yet God cares about them. And He's numbered the very hairs on your head. God cares.
- 1 Peter 5:6
We have a caring God.
- Luke 10:20
God knows us as individuals. If we are faithful Christians, our names are written in Heaven. My name is written in Heaven. Your name is written in Heaven as an individual.
We're gonna be judged individually on the things that are done in our body, whether good or bad.
- 2 Corinthians 5:10
You know, God does deal with us individually. He cares about each one of us as individuals, not just mankind as a whole.
- John 3:16
He loves the world, referring to the people in the world, but individually, whosoever, that's individual, each and every individual. God is not just someone that set the universe in motion and is sitting back watching with disinterest. God cares.
Some View God as An Earthly Rewarder
Some, view God really as an earthly rewarder. They feel that God should reward or punish here and now for what we do. You know, that was the mistaken idea.
You know, that Job's three friends had.
- Job 4:1-7, (paraphrased)
They thought that God only works in the here and now and only punishes in the here and now, only blesses in the here and now. You know, this seems to be the way we do things. And if God does not do it this way, we become disappointed and hurt. We think that we should have the reward now.
But God's ways are not our ways.
- Isaiah 55:8-9
You know, we are not promised an earthly reward. We're not promised that at all. Sometimes earthly rewards result, but not always.
- Daniel chapters 3 & 6
- Acts 7
Sometimes, God rewards us in this life, sometimes not. Sometimes we get treated horribly by this world because of what we do in standing for Christ and standing for God. God is not an earthly rewarder. You know, the reward is coming for the faithful. It may not be here on this earth. We cannot model God from what we know of the man. Man is an earthly rewarder, an earthly punisher.
Remember that if He is God, He is above men. But also that He is, as we said before, He is interested in men, He's interested in us. He is going to bless us or punish us, as necessary.
- Ephesians 3:20
What is the Correct View of God?
You know, we understand that God is all-powerful and omnipotent.
He created the heavens of the earth and all that in them is, everything in this universe [was] created by God? He is all-knowing. He is omniscient. He knows even the number of hairs on our very heads. He knows when a sparrow falls to the ground, He is omniscient.
And He is everywhere. He is omnipresent, all-seeing, always the same, and immutable. Jesus Christ the same today, yesterday, and forever.
He is faithful, Holy, and pure, full of mercy and grace, and full of love. When we understand and know that God is love, we're going to love Him.
- 1 John 4:19
You think about all that God has done. When we understand that, how can we not love God who gave His only begotten son? You know, what is the love of God?
- 1 John 5:3
You know, serving God out of love is not a burden. It's not grief. If we love God, why won't we obey him? When we think about all that God has done and all that He is, how can we not love Him? When we truly understand God, how can we not love Him?
And if we love Him, how can we not serve Him? Jesus said, if you love me, keep my commandments. Think about what Jesus has done. You know, the wrath of God is revealed against all unrighteousness., Romans 1:18.
We have all done unrighteousness and the wrath of God is at one point against us, and yet Jesus gave Himself upon the cross so that we can be free of that wrath so that we can appease that wrath of God. He made that sacrifice to appease the wrath of God.
All we have to do is put on Christ, believe that he is the son of God, and based on that belief, repent of our sins, confess our belief, be baptized to have our sins washed away, and to put on Christ.
If you're not a child of God today, we urge you today to become a child of God, to be baptized, to have your sins washed away, be added to the body of the saved, the church.
If you are one who is a Christian but who has not been faithful, we urge you to come back to Him and repent.
We would love to help you draw closer to the Almighty God, please contact us.