Be Sure that Justice is Coming

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.

Is Social Justice only for the liberals?

I am a conservative, Bible-believing Christian, and I intend to remain one.  I have had to make many changes in my thinking in the last few years, especially as I have learned about abuse, but those changes are in me, not in the Word of God.  God’s Word is truth.  It stands forever.  Every jot, every tittle, shall be fulfilled.  Trust God’s Word and it will never fail you.  Our problem is that we so often get our word, or man’s word, jumbled up with God’s Word and then we are in trouble.

In past years, when I heard or read about the topic of domestic violence, I skimmed over it.  I was largely ignorant of it’s real nature and of it’s prominence, and how erroneous teaching in my own arm of Christianity was contributing to it.  So I blew it off as far as my ministry went.  But there was another reason for my blindness to it, and I think that this reason is something that Christians like myself need to name, claim, and own up to.

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Lessons from Laodicea

Compare these two churches –

1. Laodicea

Revelation 3:14-17, “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation. (15) “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! (16) So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. (17) For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”

2.  Smyrna:

Revelation 2:8-10, “And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: ‘The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. (9) “‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. (10) Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

Things are rarely as they seem to be.  By all outward appearances, the Laodicean church had God’s blessing upon it.   Just look at all of its finery.  They probably were well thought of in their community.  They didn’t upset anyone.  They stuck to a definite middle-of-the-road Christianity.  And Smyrna?  Well, those people had a problem.  They weren’t growing in size or finances.  They were hated not only by their community, but especially by the other “faith communities” in their town. They were radical and stirred up trouble.  They brought all of their troubles upon themselves.  Outward appearances, you see.

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