Vengeance Belongeth Unto the Lord #4

Thursday, May 24, 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).

Injustices abound. The wicked are applauded and often go unpunished while the righteous (God’s people) are despised and penalized. As the cliché goes, “God never sleeps.” All wrongs will be righted one day (today’s Scripture).

When the Lord Jesus Christ went to Calvary’s cross, He purchased our salvation. There, He suffered God’s eternal wrath against our sin: “He became sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21; cf. Isaiah 53:10; Matthew 26:46; Galatians 3:13). Once we trust Christ Jesus alone as our personal Saviour, Christ’s finished crosswork for our sins is applied (imputed) to us, and we will never suffer God’s wrath (Christ suffered that wrath for us).

However, those who physically die without having trusted Christ will remain forever dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23): physical and spiritual death. Thus, they must pay for those sins by suffering the eternal wrath of God against sin (the everlasting lake of fire; the “second [or spiritual] death” [Revelation 21:8]).

For the past 2,000 years, God has been offering the world His grace and peace. But, when this the Dispensation of Grace ends (at the rapture), God “shall speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure” (Psalm 2:5). During that seven-year Tribulation—“the day of the LORD’s vengeance (Isaiah 34:8), “the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:2), and “the days of vengeance (Luke 21:22)—our wicked world will finally experience God’s righteous wrath. According to 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9, Christ’s Second Coming will conclude those seven years, and fire will further execute vengeance on God’s enemies (Christ-rejecters).

“God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked…” (Nahum 1:2,3).

Indeed, “vengeance belongeth unto the Lord….”

Vengeance Belongeth Unto the Lord #3

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….