Romans 2:4-11 gives incredible enlightenment to the issue of God’s Judgment and God’s goodness, kindness, mercy and grace:
Do you show contempt for the riches of God’s kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to a change of heart and mind (repentance). Because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God “will repay each person according to what they have done. ( ) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality He will give eternal life. But those who are self-seeking, who reject truth and follow blindness (evil) there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the gentile; but glory honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism.
God’s righteousness is not God’s holiness or “right behavior” but it is having a “right heart” toward all creation. This “truth” sheds light on the confusion between judgment or anger and wrath of God and kindness or mercy and grace of God. God is only angry, when we refuse or show contempt for the “riches of God’s kindness, forbearance and patience”. This sheds light on forgiveness and the shadow cast on the unforgiving or unrepentant. Not even God forgives a person until they enter a “season of honesty about their behavior and openness to be “unburdened of their wrath and anger” and to “receive the mercy and grace that transforms the heart”. Regeneration is not about believing in God’s forgiveness but receiving God’s forgiveness and transforming grace.
People often labor between “having to forgive an offense” with the result that there hurts and pains are silenced or “not forgiving” by which they are imprisoned in shame and guilt for “not forgiving”.
What makes any of us think that we have to do what God cannot do. To forgive someone who is not transformed from darkness of their own denial, into the light of self awareness is worse than what a Japanese proverb calls “writing on water”, it is being flooded with shame and disillusionment.
What we are to do is “to have a heart of forgiveness” which spares us of shame and shifts the responsibility of transformation from the offended to the offender while removing the offended shame or guilt for un forgiveness. God who forgives all in his heart does not forgive anyone until their heart is healed of its own wrath and condemnation. So it is with us as well.
More on this tomorrow!!!