“But your iniquities have separated you from your God.”
Isaiah 59 : 2
by Mark Karapetyan
About six months ago, as I was getting ready to present the topic of God’s Dilemma to a group of Christians from Virginia, an irritated church elder, who was also a board member suddenly approached me and quietly whispered the following statement in my ear: “Excuse me, Mark, but how dare you lecture on this topic? No one, and I mean no one; can put God in a dilemma.”
“I agree with you, no one can I replied, “but doesn’t it say ‘somewhere’ in the Bible that we need to be quick to listen, slow to answer and slow to become angry?” I asked. “Besides, I’m speaking on this topic tonight because your sins and my sins have, in a way, put God in this dilemma, but God has dealt with it and solved it brilliantly; I would like for all of you here to hear about it” I continued.
Red-faced and a little embarrassed, the man questioned, “how so?”
“I’ll give you the short version in few short minutes” I responded.
“Suppose you break the law and receive a citation for speeding on the highway. You appear in court, stand in front of the judge, and defend yourself. If you are found guilty, the judge then decides the punishment for your infraction. Of course, the magnitude of the verdict will depend on the severity of your violation. Let’s assume that the judge finds you guilty and orders you to pay a $100 fine. You oblige, thank the judge and go to the cashier to pay for your penalty. As far as the judge is concerned, you broke the law of his state, received judgment by his court, and paid for it yourself, so justice is served IN FULL and no further action is required.
You see, when you sped up at mach 5, you broke a finite law of a finite state, appeared at a finite court in front of a finite judge (a man), and received a finite sentence, and you (a finite being), paid for it, and justice was served as simple as 1, 2, 3.
The difficulty arises when the law broken is not just a “state law”, the judge is not just “a man”, and the fine cannot just be paid “by you”. In other words, the entire process requires a totally different approach when the crime committed is against a higher being, God Himself. An infinite Holy God that transcends time has an infinite Holy law that also transcends time. His law is His nature, so to violate His law is to violate Him personally. As a just lawgiver and an infinite arbiter, He must punish sin. He can’t just ignore it. This is exactly where God is faced with a dilemma. Why? God is simultaneously infinitely loving and infinitely just. Because He is a loving God, He must have mercy on us and forgive us when we sin. At the same time, because He is a just God, He must punish us for our sins. The dilemma is that if God decides to judge, we receive the capital punishment since the wages of sin is death. If He forgives and turns a blind eye to our sins, then He is not infinitely just. (This is why He didn’t just simply forgive Adam).
We humans can’t receive both love and justice at the same time. We either receive punishment and eternally die, or receive forgiveness and eternally live without punishment. We just can’t have them both concurrently. It’s logically impossible because of the Law of Non-Contradiction. The justice of God demands punishment and His mercy demands forgiveness. What then, does God do to solve this predicament?
He willingly and lovingly, chooses to pay the fine Himself to redeem mankind by sending Jesus to die on the cross. By sacrificing His son, God acts as a loving father, and as a Just Judge at the same time. The beauty of it is that we get mercy, He gets justice. PROBLEM SOLVED.”
When I was done explaining this dilemma to the man, he almost had tears in his eyes because he eventually realized how serious our sins are against God. Because of His mercy, however, Jesus carried all of the sins of the world on His shoulders so that you and I could live.
Only human blood can save another human; animal blood cannot do that. Only at the cross of Jesus Christ is the universal human sin problem dealt with logically and mercifully. Other faiths like Islam, Mormonism, pantheism, etc, cannot rectify this conundrum. They teach that our ‘good deeds’ must outweigh our ‘bad deeds’ to receive forgiveness and a passage to a heaven. The fact of the matter is that no amount of any ‘works’ we humans do can bridge the gap between us and God that Adam’s sin and our sins created. It’s impossible because we can’t do infinitely good works. Getting baptized, going to church, helping others, and feeding the homeless, for example, are very good and kind acts, but they cannot and will not save us from God’s wrath. Only a mediator between a Almighty God and man can do that; His name is Jesus, The Son of The Living God.
God Is loving. He Will Not Judge Us.
I have talked to hundreds of Christians from different places and ages who actually believe that God will not judge them because He is “too loving”!
After discussing this topic once with one of my Christian friends (a mother of two) , she disagreed with me by saying “Mark, God is too loving to judge me or anybody else. I believe that it’s totally okay for me to have sex with my boyfriend because God knows my heart and how much I love my boyfriend, and more importantly, God wants me to be happy. So I won’t be judged.”
WOW… It is really heartbreaking that my friend (whom I hope will read this one day) fails to realize that BECAUSE God is loving, He must also discipline and punish wrongdoings, no matter what we think or believe. She is a loving mother herself; I know this for a fact. Does she not chasten and correct her two kids when they err? Does she accept “Mom won’t mind if I steal money from her purse because she is too loving and she knows my heart” as an answer from her two sons? Not at all! Similarly, why would God accept her sinful sexual activity?
It is very dishonest and hypocritical when most people who think and live like my friend are outraged when others violate their absolute morality. However, they have no issues what so ever violating God’s absolute morality and justifying their unethical depraved acts to fit their lifestyles.
It is true that God infinitely loves us, but let’s not forget that like a good parent, He will not allow sins to go unpunished. Let’s not play the “Too Loving” card to justify our sinful depraved behavior. God can never be mocked!
Does the Punishment Fit the Crime?
Many people, including Christians, get up in arms and complain that the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. “Eternal hell for a few seconds of sinning is too harsh and absurd” they claim.
The answer to this difficulty is that it’s not the length of the crime that determines the length of the punishment. It’s the seriousness of it and who is it committed against.
Suppose I steal $3 from you in one year. Chances are I’m not going to jail for life for this crime. But if it takes me four seconds to shoot and kill you, then everything changes. I am now, worthy of receiving capital punishment. The severity, not the length of the crime determines what and how long the punishment. When we sin against an infinitely powerful, Holy God, we must infinitely pay for it; because we can’t, however, Jesus does it for us and takes our place on the cross.
Do you now see why it is so crucial to put your faith in the person that willingly sacrificed Himself for you?
Do you now realize how vital it is to trust the person that died in your place so you could live? Did Muhammad, Buddha, Joseph Smith, or any of the others die for you?
“When Jesus knew that it was not possible for the cup to pass from Him, with love to God He held it fast, and with love to man He drank it all”
APOLOGETICS - ARTICLES AND INFORMATION
- What is Apologetics?
- The Lost Truth
- Logic & Reasoning
- Truth & Reality
- Does God Exist?
- The Cosmological Argument
- The Design Argument
- The Moral Argument
- Who is Jesus?
- Satan’s Wish!
- God’s Dilemma!
- Did Jesus Rise From The Dead?
- Does God Answer Prayers?
- When Were The Gospels Written?
- Was Noah's Flood Real?
- Are Miracles Possible?
- The Apostle Peter
- Does Archaeology Support The Bible?
- Science & The Bible
- How Can Jesus be the only Way to Heaven?
- Don’t All World Religions Teach the Same Thing?
- Undesigned Coincidences
- Are All Men Created Equal?
- Is the Bible Really the Word of God?
- Amazing Bible Facts
- The Blind Atheists
- Jesus Meets Einstein
- Did the Gospel Writers Tell the Truth?
- The Evolution Fairytale
- The Day Common Sense Died!
- The Philosophy of Jesus
- The Report (Part 1)
- The Report (Part 2)
- Are All Religions True?
- Are There Contradictions in the Bible?
- Are All Religions True?
- Why Does God Allow Evil & Suffering?
- Bible Prophecy
- New Age Christianity
- The Wager
- When God Cried
- What Happened to America?
- Don’t All Good People Go to Heaven?
- Jesus at the United Nations
- False Teachers
- The Conference
- Jesus & the Woman at the Well
- The Day You face God
- Was Jesus Really Crucified?
- The Blind & the King
- Is Jesus God?
- The Meaning of Life
- Hero & the Fake
- The Insanity of Pluralism
- Who is God?
- The Tree of Good & Evil
- The Confused Agnostic
- Lazarus Come Forth!
- When God Seems Silent
- Case #1101
- The Proposal
- The Prayer
- Roman Catholicism
- Jesus Meets the Pope
- First Century Jesus
- The Patterns of False Religions
- Timid Christianity
- The Foolishness of Life without God
- An American Thanksgiving
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