Do you remember the song of Moses? Exodus 15 – When was Exodus 15? The plagues were all over now. God had warned and warned and warned Egypt. In fact His judgment of Egypt in the death of the first-born had fallen. But then God lured Egypt. I use that term advisedly. His judgment was going to be final. His judgment on Egypt will be Universal. This is IT – and He says, Come Pharaoh, you wanted this, now you shall have it, and Pharaoh like and insane maniac follows after Israel to the Red Sea and there the final judgment came upon Egypt. I mean the final of the final, and all the troops of Egypt, men that had dedicated themselves to defy God had died in the Red Sea, and the next morning as Israel stood on the far side of the Red Sea, having come through it, and they saw everyone who had sought their destruction, and defied God to the end, they saw them laying on the shore, and it says, then they sang. Miriam grabbed the tambourines and said, ‘The Lord has triumphed and cast our enemies into the sea.’
That sounds to us, almost terrible. Let me say this, and I hope you understand it. But our ideas of the terribleness of God’s judgment and the way sometimes we talk about His judgment as if we are saying: Do you know God, I do not think you are so much love. I have a problem with your judgments.
Hold it, think about it for a week.
Those ideas we have about God’s judgment in our sloppy sentimentality about it is borne out of the fact that we live in a society which has no absolutes and there are no laws, and any man can do what he wants and get away with it. And if we do believe in law, then I am the absolute. If a man is as good as me, he has got to be alright. And I can’t see why God should judge, he is as good as me. Aren’t we really made at God for judging him because if he is judged, I’ve had it too. So I get mad at God for judging him. When I walk into the Bible I meet a God who says, this is absolute. You violate that and you have violated life. Violate life and you meet death. You violate that and you violate love, and that is death. Violate light, you are in darkness and confusion. A God that doesn’t judge is not God. I stand with horror and awe before the judgments of God but I have to join with the song of Moses and sing, ‘Great and marvelous are your works Oh Lord, Righteous and true are your ways’ If God did not judge we would not have a God. If God does not judge there are no absolutes, there is nothing right, there is nothing wrong. It is all neutral, it’s a blur. - Malcolm Smith
This makes me think of those who make light of God's law and relax it to where they believe they are able to keep it, ever so subtly sneaking in ideas of being right with God apart from faith in Jesus Christ.
It also causes me to think of the ridiculous notion that God will not punish people for their sins if they reject Jesus Christ. Whoever is not in Christ is under the law and will be judged according to their works.
Is fear of hell a bad thing? Not at all! If not for fear of hell, thousands -- millions would not have been saved. Fearing hell is not a bad thing for the unbeliever. But for the believer, fear of hell makes no sense. How can I fear hell, yet believe Jesus has saved me at the same time? Then I am stripped of the confidence I am urged to have in the book of Hebrews.