Contend Earnestly: Vengeance is Mine!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Vengeance is Mine!

I am writing today in confession of sin that has been a downfall since I was young. I feel sometimes like I am like the Sons of Thunder when the Samaritans refused to receive Christ, they asked:

“Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”
Luke 9:54

In my search for how to balance the reverence (a great book to read on this subject is, The Joy of Fearing God, by Jerry Bridges) for God and the love He has for me, I have been struck with almost hatred for those who don’t seem to care about the reverence of God.

I was channel surfing the other day and ran across a “pastor” named Jesse Duplantis. He and his wife were talking about when he was caught up to heaven. What? Are you kidding? In his sermon he went on to take the Lord’s name in vain many times over before I got so frustrated I had to turn the channel. He has also stated that when you become a Christian God gives you a “blank check,” all you have to do is put in the amount, by faith, and He will give it to you. When I went back to the channel (don’t ask why) there was a man named Danny Davis who was trying to get poor souls to donate money for “No Evil Oil” that he “prayed” over for 17 days!

And constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain.
1 Timothy 6:5

I can go on and on with this kind of nonsense, but that is not the reason for this post. The reason for this is to confront my sin with how I react to these types of situations.

I feel as though I am reacting like Asaph in the 73rd Psalm and Habakkuk did when they both asked “Why do the wicked prosper?” The difference between myself and these men of God is that they both repented and leaned on God’s power and his strength instead of their own powers. Read what Asaph says at the end of the 73rd Psalm:

For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. But as for me, the nearness of God is good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.

Or Paul’s response on how we should respond to the wicked:

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
Romans 12:19

Or in Isaiah 66:24 when God says:

Then they will go forth and look on the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die and their fire will not be quenched; and they will be an abhorrence to all mankind.

Or Nahum when he says about God:

Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire and the rocks are broken up by Him.
Nahum 1:6

I think you get the idea. For me, I am learning and growing to understand that I truly serve an awesome God that is all powerful and completely sovereign, but I feel when I react in sin, against such men as these, that I am showing I truly don’t trust God to defend Himself.

I am not saying that we should not speak out against such heresies, you can see many times that the apostles spoke out against men of strife (1Timothy 1:20, 2 Timothy 1:15, 3 John 1:9) but I think we need to respond how Peter spoke of when we give an account of our hope; with gentleness and fear.

May God be honored in our ministries and may we trust Him to take His vengeance against those who abhor His name.


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