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….”

Stand in Awe of the LORD

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

“Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him” (Psalm 33:8 KJV).

Who stands in awe of God today? Very few. For the past 2,000 years, our world has grown very comfortable in its sins. After all, in this the Dispensation of Grace, God is not imputing the world’s trespasses unto it (2 Corinthians 5:19). God’s attitude toward the whole world today, saved and lost, is “grace and peace” (the expression with which Paul began every epistle). Alas, rather than gratefully accepting God’s grace, man has taken advantage of God’s grace.

Ecclesiastes 8:11 explains man’s overall attitude toward God in the Dispensation of Grace: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” Today, scoffers mock God and blaspheme His name, with no immediate judgment. They ridicule His Word and persecute His saints. Operating under the false impression they have gotten away with it, they sin even more.

Look at how harshly God dealt with rebellious people in time past (Noah’s contemporaries, Sodom and Gomorrah, et cetera). Today, God does not pour out His wrath and judgment. The day is coming however, when God’s wrath will be executed. Our world is headed for the Tribulation, “the day of the vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61:2; cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:4-10).

We who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour, we have submitted to God’s authority. We saints humbly stand in awe of God, our Creator, our Saviour, and our Head, awed by His grace, love, and mercy. We respect His power and authority. But, most of the world, lost and headed for hell, hates God.

Nevertheless, the day is speedily approaching when, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10,11). In that day, ALL will be forced to kneel in awe of the LORD!

No Thanks, God! #1

Monday, December 26, 2011

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2:4 KJV).

As the Christmas Season wanes, unwanted gifts that cannot be refunded are being discarded. Imagine all the time, money, and energy spent purchasing those gifts for their ungrateful recipients. There is a worse tragedy! We, sinful humanity, deserve coal, the riches of God’s wrath (Romans 2:5,6,8,9); thankfully, we have been given the riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 1:7). Predictably, there are unappreciative individuals who have already eagerly tossed out something worth far more than material possessions—God’s grace.

A noted outspoken atheist, who recently “met his Maker,” described prayer as “meaningless.” During his last year alive, even while cancer-stricken, he had a hardened heart toward God. As far as I know, he died without Jesus Christ. That man, like billions of others before, beheld God’s grace, and haughtily declared, “No thanks! I do not need You, God!” Today’s Scripture describes the attitude of most people: “[They] despise [hate!] the riches of [God’s] goodness and forbearance and longsuffering.” Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for them and God’s love and grace are worthless to them.

In Israel’s program under the Mosaic Law, God utterly destroyed such people. But, for nearly 2,000 years, God’s wrath has been in abeyance. Today, in our Dispensation of Grace, God is “not imputing the world’s trespasses unto it” (2 Corinthians 5:18,19). That will change…

Once our dispensation (time period) expires, during Daniel’s 70th week, the seven-year Tribulation, God will righteously judge this rebellious world in His wrath (Psalm 2:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4; et al.). God will finally retaliate and take vengeance (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). The antichrist will deceive those who received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

Do not toss away the gift of God’s grace and salvation through Jesus Christ. Accept that gift by faith and escape that wrath to come!

The Little Flock #4

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32 KJV).

When Jesus Christ came to the nation Israel, He came to fulfill hundreds of Old Testament prophetic statements. He was the Messiah-King of whom God’s holy prophets had spoken for centuries. Israel’s long-prophesied kingdom was finally going to be established!

But, most Jews rejected Jesus as King-Messiah (John 1:11), eventually demanding the Romans crucify Him. In John 19:15 they cried, “We have no king but Caesar!” The few Jews who trusted in Jesus as their Messiah received John the Baptist’s water baptism (Matthew 3:1-6; Mark 1:1-5). They became Israel’s believing remnant (this was “the church” that followed the twelve apostles’ doctrine in early Acts [2:41-47]; cf. John 21:15-17).

John also warned that Jews who refused his message and water baptism would be “baptized with fire” (Matthew 3:7-12; Luke 3:7-9, 16-17). We know this as the period of God’s wrath, the seven-year Tribulation. The twelve apostles in Acts chapters 1-8 were unsuccessful in converting every Jew (a prerequisite for the kingdom). Now, God was about to pour out His wrath on rebellious Israel. But, God temporarily paused Israel’s prophetic program, and postponed that wrath and earthly kingdom.

Today, we live the Dispensation of Grace, separate from Israel’s kingdom program. But, when our dispensation ends (at the rapture), God will return to Israel and begin the seven-year Tribulation. God will continue the “little flock” by saving one-third of Israel, bringing them through that wrath (Zechariah 13:8,9; Matthew 24:15-21; Revelation 13:6,14-17). But, unbelieving Jews, as John predicted, will burn up in God’s wrath (cf. Matthew 24:36-44).

After Christ’s Second Coming to conclude the seven years, the “little flock” of the Tribulation will join the resurrected members of the “little flock” of Christ’s earthly ministry and early Acts, and the resurrected Old Testament believers. This entire group will inherit that earthly kingdom (today’s Scripture; Matthew 25:34).

The “little flock” should not be confused with us, the Church the Body of Christ. We believers in this dispensation will inherit God’s kingdom in the heavens (2 Corinthians 5:1; Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6,7; 2 Timothy 4:18).

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Thursday, November 17, 2011

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1,2a KJV).

In today’s Scripture, the author of Hebrews encourages believing Jews to endure the adversity and persecution of the future seven-year Tribulation.

The “great cloud of witnesses,” not our loved ones watching us from heaven, is actually the people of faith of chapter 11—Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, et cetera. God promised them an earthly kingdom (Matthew 25:34), yet Hebrews 11:39 says, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise.” These saints are still waiting to see their kingdom, thousands of years later!

Believing Jews living during the seven-year Tribulation will be reminded of those saints of old who endured persecution and yet God was faithful in delivering them (Hebrews 11:33-38). These Tribulation saints are encouraged to endure those seven years—“the race” of today’s Scripture—by following the ensamples of the saints of old (that “great cloud of witnesses” of God’s faithfulness).

Hebrews 13:5,6 says: …for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

Hebrews is not written to us members of the Church the Body of Christ, but we are comforted in that just as God will not forsake those Jewish believers enduring the horrible Tribulation, He will not abandon us in Christ (Romans 8:35-39).

God will keep His promise to those saints to bring them through the Tribulation and into their earthly kingdom, so we can be sure He will keep His promises that He made to us in Paul’s epistles! If God will comfort those believing Jews during the worst period of human history, surely, God will comfort us in our Dispensation of Grace, to one day deliver us and usher us into our heavenly kingdom. 🙂

What is the Lord’s Day?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,” (Revelation 1:10 KJV).

In Christendom “Lord’s day” is a commonly used term. It only appears once in the King James Bible (today’s Scripture). What is the “Lord’s day?”

Church tradition (Roman Catholicism) polluted the term “Lord’s day” back during the first few centuries A.D. and distorted it to mean “Sunday.” Ha! Why would the Apostle John (or the Holy Ghost) think it necessary to be sure we know that John received his revelation on Sunday? That is downright absurd! The term “Lord’s day” in the Bible has nothing to do with Sunday.

The Bible uses the term “the day of the LORD” 29 times. The first instance is Isaiah 2:11,12: “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:” Verse 17: “…and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.”

According to these verses, during this period of the “day of the LORD” (not a literal 24-hour period), God will judge arrogant, unbelieving mankind. If you study the “day of the LORD” in other verses, you will see that the term actually refers to a period of God’s vengeance (Isaiah 61:2; Joel 1:15; et al.). Does God pour out His wrath every Sunday? Ridiculous.

The “Lord’s day” is another way of saying the “day of the LORD.” What is the Apostle John writing about in the book of the Revelation? The Tribulation period and subsequent kingdom. The “day of the LORD” is not Sunday but actually a long period of time: the future seven-year Tribulation and the following 1000-year reign of Christ in a literal, physical, visible earthly kingdom, when Christ is exalted as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Wow, without the religious gobbledygook, it is so clear!