Let’s establish that God’s desire is for every sinner to turn from their ways,
“Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.”
However, there’s this verse that some may consider to be a biblical contradiction to God’s merciful character.
“Do not pray for this people or offer any plea or petition for them, because I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their distress.”
Jeremiah 11:14 NIV
If God is merciful, why in this case would God not listen to their plea for help?
This is not a contradiction, but a statement that judgment is due, coming from a standpoint of foreknowledge. God sees that some people will never come to repentance. In some cases, going through a disaster is the only way some will come to acknowledge God.
“Calamity upon calamity will come, and rumor upon rumor. They will go searching for a vision from the prophet, priestly instruction in the law will cease, the counsel of the elders will come to an end. The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with despair, and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. I will deal with them according to their conduct, and by their own standards I will judge them. “’Then they will know that I am the LORD.’”
Ezekiel 7:26-27 NIV
Most godless people do not want anything to do with God. People without regard for God have no value for life that has nothing to do with theirs, nor do they have mercy. People such as these seek to control the whole world.
It is a scary thing indeed for God to judge merciless people according to their own conduct! This is part of what happens in the coming 7-year tribulation. The other positive part is that people will come to know the truth and be led to repentance during this tumultuous period granted they don’t take the mark of the beast (Revelation 14:11-12).
“because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
James 2:13 NIV
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
Matthew 5:7 NIV
Image 1 : Grinch Shirt (Celebrate Together via Kohl’s)