Comment: It seems as if...

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It seems as if...

...your approach here is to ignore all the Scripture that does expand on God's Love and to only focus on the judgements or other violent occurrences recorded there, ripped out of the broader context of ultimate reconciliation.

"For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD..." (Ezekiel 18:32; and the same idea is repeated in Ezekiel 18:23, 33:11)

He "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (I Timothy 2:4)

"For by Him [Christ] all things were created, both in the heaven and on earth...It was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself...whether things on earth or things in heaven." (Colossians 1:16,19,20)

And here is a description of God's perfect Love for you:

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

"Love never fails...faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." (I Corinthians 13:4-7,8,13)

Now regarding the bear episode: first off, it was actually recorded in the Old Testament as occurring while Elisha was traveling between locales (see II Kings 2:24), and it is arguably translated as 'young men' rather than 'little children'. It is in the probable context of a mob (there were 42 hurt/mauled by the bears, so probably a lot more than that were there who fled without being hurt) coming out of the town of Bethel to violently assault him (by the way, I understand that Bethel was a major center of Baal worship at the time, involving human sacrifice, etc.; not a happy place.) All this to say that it probably wasn't the 'sunshine and lollipop' brigade that you seem to picture.

That said -- yes, there is plenty of death and suffering at the hands of God's wrath and judgement, either directly or indirectly, recorded in the Bible as having occurred, and as yet to come (assuming those who take Revelation, Daniel etc. as involving things not yet fulfilled are correct). But again, you are ignoring (or unaware of) all of the counter verses which talk about the restoration of nations and people, and ultimately ALL THINGS in creation, after the judgements and exiles.

I am worried about people bringing down suffering on themselves due to the consequences of their actions or experiencing it at the hands of others. If you hold out the hope that someone can recover fully from a stroke after long rehabilitation, does that mean you don't care that they went through it or that you don't care about helping others understand how to possibly prevent it? Just because I hold out the hope that despite growing tyranny in the world, Liberty will triumph again at some point -- does that mean I don't care whether people go through the suffering under such a tyranny in the meantime?

Just because I have the ultimate hope that a God whose love never fails will indeed reconcile ALL THINGS in heaven or on earth (straight from the Bible), doesn't mean I minimize the suffering and the pain and the wandering through the wilderness that many will face, perhaps even for eons, until they "come to the knowledge of the truth" and stop wallowing in the pigpen of self-induced misery, like the prodigal, and return home to the Father who is waiting with open arms.

And to all those who say 'what about the eternal fire and punishment and death?': I say, yes indeed, the 'old man' will pass away and remain in eternal judgement, while the 'new man' will rise like a pheonix from the ashes to find God's eternal love unquenchable.