Lessons from Abel's Grave
God is Jealous
Why does the Bible say that God is a jealous God? After all, isn’t jealousy bad? James 3:16 says "For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice." And yet, God also identifies as jealous. He does not do so discretely or with embarrassment…He is quite emphatic: Deuteronomy 4:24 says, "For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God."
This is one of many Scriptures where God identifies as jealous. It may seem petty that a infinite cosmic being would be jealous of His creation. In fact, many skeptics and nonbelievers point to this attribute as their number one reason to not believe in the Bible. The seeming contradiction is that jealousy is sinful for us but okay for God. What are they missing when they form such a conclusion?
In this episode, we will consider the following questions:
(1) What is jealousy?
(2)How can jealousy be good or righteous?
(3) What is God wanting to communicate to us when He describes Himself as jealous?
(4) Is there a "negative" side to the jealousy of God?
(5) Does God’s jealousy help us?
There is a reason that the Bible uses the concept of fire in association with Hell. Fire is awful, painful, and terrifying. C.S. Lewis said of hell, “There is no doctrine which I would more willingly remove from Christianity than [hell], if it lay in my power.” But he also recognized that hell is a necessary part of God’s goodness and justice.
A skeptic or enemy of Christianity may hear that and ask, "Why would a loving God send anyone to Hell?"
Can a reality of hell be compatible with a good God? Let's study the Bible together.
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