Read Romans 5:9-11
9 Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (NRSV)
It is sad that some people have as their core idea about God some vengeful deity just itching to hurl a thunderbolt or two at those who displease him. God is an angry tyrant who grudgingly forgives people because he has vented his anger on Jesus instead of us.
This is a serious distortion of the truth. And yet we should not substitute one distortion for another. There are those who figure God is a kindly sort of gentleman who loves people so much he doesn’t worry too much about human sin and cheerfully welcomes us all into heaven. Another serious distortion.
God and sin are like oil and water. They can’t mix. God has to act against human rebellion. Jesus took on the whole weight of human sin so we could be spared the consequences of it. He saved us from God’s just condemnation. Not that God hates sinners, but he can’t abide their sin. So the fact that he doesn’t hate anyone doesn’t mean he can relate to everyone. Sin gets in the way.
In a reasonable desire to avoid harshness, some have veered into soft sentimentality. And that sort of faith has been described as “a God without wrath bringing people without sin into a Kingdom without judgement through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.”