Posts Tagged ‘why does God delay judgment’

Sometimes I just don’t understand God … and maybe it’s a good thing I don’t.

Because if God shared some of His powers with me for a day – a frightening thought – I’d start zapping certain people.

Several politicians blatantly lie to the American people on television?

Zap … one of them has a heart attack on camera.

A Hollywood producer makes a film touting the virtues of perverted sex?

Zap … the cast and crew come down with a mysterious illness, killing half of them.

A board member begins spreading false rumors designed to force his pastor’s resignation?

Zap … he can’t speak for six months.

It’s long been my opinion that if God meted out a little instant divine judgment here and there, far more people would obey His commands … and take Him more seriously.

The Lord certainly did this sort of thing in both Testaments … both to unbelievers and believers:

*When Lot’s wife hesitated to fully obey the Lord, she was buried under an avalanche of salt.

*When Korah and his buddies rebelled against Moses, the earth opened up and they fell to their deaths.

*When Achan stole forbidden plunder from Ai, he was instantly executed.

*When Zechariah failed to believe Gabriel’s announcement of John’s birth, Zechariah was struck dumb until his son was born.

*When Ananias and Sapphira claimed to have given the entire proceeds of their property sale to the Lord – but kept back some income for themselves – God struck them both dead.

*When King Herod Agrippa heard the crowd yell, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man,” Luke writes, “Immediately because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.”

In Scripture, God doesn’t zap every sinner … or every sin … or else everybody but Jesus would have died.

No, He zaps people on rare occasions … and we don’t know His criteria … but everybody standing nearby goes, “Uh oh, I better do what God says from now on!”

Couldn’t we use just a little bit of that today?

I have a theory that an increasing number of people don’t believe in God because they see little or no evidence of His judgment on sin.

*They see musical celebrities engaging in simulated sex on stage … and getting away with it.

*They watch televangelists distort Scripture and harm people’s lives … and nothing happens.

*They hear about priests who take advantage of young boys … and they’re transferred to other parishes.

So many people in our day keep pushing the envelope … and walking toward degradation … all the while defying God by inwardly saying, “God, if You’re really there, You’ve got to punish that behavior!”

But there’s no punishment … and no zapping … just silence.

So many people conclude, “God must not exist … or if He does, He’s certainly powerless.”

Let’s be honest:

*I don’t mind if God zaps big sins … as long as He lays off my little ones.

*And it’s okay if God zaps people I don’t know … just so He lays off people I do know.

*And I don’t care if God zaps people for specific sins … just so He doesn’t zap me for mine.

*And it’s all right if God zaps unbelievers instantly … just so He gives believers plenty of time to repent.

But then we read 1 Peter 4:17-18:

“For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?  And, ‘If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?'”

Many of us assume that when judgment does break out on our world, God will zap unbelievers first, and partially protect believers.  Certainly Revelation 6-19 lends credence to this argument.

But Peter’s words indicate that when God does shift into “judgment mode,” He may very well start with His own people first … and we’re in no hurry for that to occur.

I heard this statement years ago: “God’s judgment may be slow, but it’s sure.”

For the most part, I agree with that sentiment.  God doesn’t deal with most sins instantly … even though He will deal with them eventually.

But I’m still baffled … and sometimes disappointed … that He doesn’t deal with everyone’s sins more quickly.

Yes, I understand that He’s not willing for any to perish, and for all to come to repentance.

But if He meted out a little justice on television, or took out a few key politicians while caucusing … and the judgments could directly be tied back to Him … wouldn’t more people believe in Him?

Maybe … or maybe not … and that’s why it’s good that I’m not God.

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