I know we're supposed to love God, but how can you love someone who's going to judge you and maybe send you to hell? To be honest, I don't love God; I'm afraid of Him. I think about this all the time.
Let me ask you a question: Do you think it’s possible to love someone whom you also respect? Of course it is; in fact, if we don’t really respect someone, I doubt if we can really love them.
And this is how we should see God — as both worthy of our respect and worthy of our love. Yes, we should respect God — in fact, far more than we respect any person. He is the sovereign ruler of the universe, who gave us life and watches over us every day. And yes, He also is the sovereign judge before whom we must appear. The Bible says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).
But listen: God also loves us! How do I know this? I know it because God came down to earth in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, who gave His life to open heaven’s door for us. God doesn’t want us to go to hell, but provided the way of escape through Jesus. The Bible says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16).
Don’t think of God as a cruel, harsh judge gleefully waiting to crush you, because He isn’t. He is instead the loving Father who yearns for you to be with Him in heaven forever. Don’t trust your own goodness for your salvation, but put your trust in Christ today.