I came that they may have life and have it abundantly
I find it interesting from time to time to follow religious or theological discussions that occur at non-religious sites. Of course, there is value in listening as people of different faith backgrounds discuss whatever issue may be at hand. But of more value, in my opinion, is watching the interchange between believers and non-believers on any number of theological or religious topics. There is always insight to be gained. In addition, there are always surprises. Invariably someone will offer an unexpectedly penetrating comment. It happens every time. But what also happens every time is that someone—or a group of “someones”—demonstrates a profoundly ignorant perspective on God. It never ceases to cause me to wonder what happened in a person’s life that he or she has developed such a twisted view of God. To be frank, if God were what some people have made him out to be, I do not think I would believe in him either. The god they describe is not the God of the Bible.
There are all sorts of opinions on God, and all sorts of thoughts about how he is to be known and approached. Ultimately, however, we make contact with God through his Word. In fact, God has gone to supernatural lengths to ensure that we can know him. Isaiah confirms for us that God has sent forth His word from His mouth in holy expectation that it, in God’s own words, “shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Is. 55:11). He wants to be known, so he makes himself knowable. He makes himself able to be approached.
This great God we serve is not a God bent on destruction, oppression, and misery, as some would have us believe. On the contrary, it is humankind that is obsessed with working these evils. These things are the natural result of human choice. Sin has a profound effect on the world. In contrast, God has sent his Son in order that people may have life—full, abundant, and real life.