Avoidance of God's Severity

by Frank Jones

"There was another conjunction of truths in Ryle's ministry which was being downgraded in the nineteenth century. 'Behold the goodness and severity of God', we are commanded in Scripture. But increasingly it was the 'goodness' alone which was heard from pulpits, love but not wrath, heaven but not hell. Yet no one spoke more often and painly of hell than the Lord Jesus Christ. ...

Ryle viewed with dismay how too many were condoning the omission of plain, New Testament language, and never warned their hearers:

Beware of manufacturing a God of your own, –a God who is all mercy, but not just, –a God who is all love, but not holy, –a God who has a heaven for everybody, but a hell for none, –a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and bad in eternity." (Iain Murray, J.C. Ryle: Prepared to Stand Alone, 138, 139)