Wednesday, May 23, 2012
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19 KJV).
In the biblical words of a bygone preacher, “Payday, someday!”
Today’s Scripture and its context (verses 17-21) explain that whenever God’s righteousness is offended (sinned against), His justice enforces appropriate punishment (His wrath). Thus, we need not retaliate when people mistreat us. Those sins will either be dealt with at Christ’s cross (if these people trust Christ or have trusted Christ), or if they do not trust Christ, they will suffer for those deeds forever in the lake of fire.
According to 2 Thessalonians 1:4-9, the believers in Thessalonica endured persecutions and tribulations (sound familiar?). Notice the comfort the Apostle Paul gave them: “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;” (verses 6-9).
To “recompense” means, “to pay back in kind.” When Jesus Christ returns to earth at His Second Coming, He will pay back His (and thus, our) enemies. A literal fire will precede Him, and it will consume them. This is the wrath mentioned in today’s Scripture (cf. Matthew 3:7-12; Luke 3:16,17; Psalm 2:4,5).
But, notice that fire will then give way to “everlasting destruction” (this is when these people die, and go to hell and, ultimately, the lake of fire). The lake of fire is where God’s wrath against sin is eternally poured out on those who chose to reject Christ and remain dead in their sins (“them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”).
For sinners, “Payday someday.” Either at Christ’s cross… or the lake of fire….