Proverbs 11:21 ESV Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.
The author of Proverbs largely speaks of the here and now, although behind everything he says there is the sense that he is also and ultimately thinking of that Day when Christ comes and exercises perfect, holy justice. This is what we see in the verse quoted above.
Right now, in this present life, the fact is that evil people do go unpunished. The righteous and their offspring are not delivered. Nevertheless, this truth is truth. It is a fact. Anyone who pursues a course of evil can expect to be punished. And those who love Christ, raise up their childen in Him, and pursue righteousness can expect the Lord’s deliverance. These things sometimes come sooner. Sometimes later. But be sure of it – they will come.
2 Thessalonians 1:5-8 ESV This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— (6) since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, (7) and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels (8) in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
Permit me to let you in on something – the older you get, the faster time goes by. The days rush by! Another week races along and it is Monday again! Yesterday you were 30 years old. Today you are 70. Wow! When did that happen! You begin to realize that when the Bible tells us this present life is a vapor, like a desert flower that springs up, blooms, and then is gone – it is true! And this means that the Day when Christ comes and renders perfect justice – for the oppressed and against the oppressor – is hurrying toward us. Nothing in this present world, no evildoer or evil thing is going to last forever. No cruel, reviling, abusive, lying person is going to get off the hook and just keep on laughing at God. Such people have no fear of the Lord, but you can be sure of it – on that Day they will!
The church in this world is given the mission from the Lord of being an earthly outpost of the New Creation. Think of it! We are to model heaven here on earth. The world is supposed to see Christ and His kingdom in us. In our words, in our values, in our love for one another – and in the practice of God’s justice. Therefore, the local church and the life of every person professing Christ, is to be a visible model of what is coming. This means then – think of it – that the wicked are not to be tolerated in the church. That is to say, the typical wolf in wool who parades as a member of Christ’s flock, must not be allowed to be among the sheep. An evil person unpunished is not even to be named among us. Furthermore, the righteous are to be blessed, not cursed.
All of this, you see, is why this devilish business of churches allying with abusers against their victims is so repugnant to the Lord, and to us. It presents a picture of Christ and His Kingdom that no sane person cares to be part of. It destroys the very energy of evangelism. It is an appearance of godliness which denies the power of true godliness.