Just as I opened a new document to type this, thunder boomed from the Heavens, right on cue:
“Righteous thou art, O Lord… because thou has judged thus
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets; and thou has given them blood to drink
Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgements.”
This quote is from the book of Revelation, in the chapter where the angels are pouring out the vials and stating that people get what they deserve. Their statement is made dispassionately and somewhat coldly, the same way that the narrator prophet in Ezekiel 9 states dispassionately and somewhat coldly that people get what they deserve even as he watches the slaughtering of untold numbers, including children.
God’s judgments are perfect.
When I was a newborn-again, I remember pausing at that part of Revelation where the angels pour out the vials and wondering how they could be so emotionally detached from the pain and suffering they were causing. I wonder no more. After 23 years as a believer, I’m fully on board with whatever God doles out for people to suffer, as they have it coming. God doesn’t inflict anything that people haven’t earned, and even then he softens the blow through his renowned mercy.
There’s only been one person in all of history who suffered what he didn’t have coming, and that was Jesus. EVERYONE ELSE SUFFERS WHAT THEY’VE EARNED. You cannot be a follower of Jesus and not accept and believe this 100%.
I went to a Bible study last week. It was more a sermon than a study, as no-one but the pastor had any input into the interpretation of the chapter being studied, which was Leviticus 26.
Leviticus 26 is basically the same as Deuteronomy 28, which is Moses’ detailed laundry list of the blessings that come with obeying the Commandments and doing the right thing in God’s eyes, and the curses that come with disobeying the Commandments and doing the wrong thing in God’s eyes. Every Christian not only needs to be intimately familiar with this laundry list, but to refer to it on a regular basis, as Jesus tells us the Commandments still apply to us. Unfortunately, the pastor only interpreted Leviticus 26 as applying to the children of Israel 2000 or 3000 years ago, not to current-day Christendom. In so doing, he missed the whole point of the chapter, which was to deliver a very real and very present warning to God’s people, so that they would make their everyday life choices accordingly.
I despise cowardly pastors. I despise them the way Jesus despised them. It took every ounce of my self-restraint not to ask the pastor how this chapter could be applied to Christians and Christendom today. But most pastors churned out by Bible colleges won’t touch that application of Leviticus 26 or Deuteronomy 28 with a 10-foot pole, as it would upend their doctrine about “just believing” and “having faith” as being the only way to Heaven. If you accept that all you need to do is “believe in Jesus” and you’re on your way to paradise, then choosing to do what is right in God’s eyes is no longer a necessity, which then negates the teachings of Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28. This is precisely what mainstream Christianity now does – negate the teachings of scripture.
How you can call yourself a Christian pastor and then stop short of applying scripture to life today? This is entirely the opposite of how Jesus taught. Jesus always applied scripture to the here and now, as scripture is intended to be applied to the here and now. That’s why God inspired his prophets to write it and his preachers to teach it.
Note that I said “his preachers”, meaning those who are genuinely sent from God. There aren’t many of those around today, any more than there were a lot at any time in history. The true prophets and preachers have always been few and far between, but God provides at least one for his people, and makes sure that they can be heard by those who want to hear.
People get back what they put out, mitigated by God’s mercy. Once the Age of Mercy is over for a given people at a given time and their Age of Judgement begins, there will be no more mitigation (softening) of the earned blows – people will get the full measure of what they’ve earned. This is the scenario that plays out in Revelation 16 and Ezekiel 9: Judgement without mercy. It also plays out in the passages on the flood and in the passages on the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. I used to balk at the dispassionate coldness of those scriptural passages, but no more. People get what they deserve. Only Jesus suffered what he didn’t deserve, and he did so willingly and fully informed in advance.
God’s justice is perfect. So the next time you hear someone say “He didn’t deserve that” or “They didn’t deserve that” or “You didn’t deserve that”, correct the speaker. God’s justice is perfect.
We only get back what we put out.
We only suffer what we deserve, with Jesus the sole exception.