Judgment Still Falls

“And I will set my face against them; they shall go out from one fire, and another fire shall devour them; and ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I set my face against them. And I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, saith the Lord God.” – Ezekiel‬ ‭15:7-8‬ ‭

The bible says that because the punishment for sin does not come quickly, it is in the heart of men to do evil. I’m other words, because people think they are getting away with it they set their heart to do it. Yet eventually judgment will fall for God is just.

However, the truth is that God does not desire judgment. The very reason that He takes so long to act in judgment is because He is allotting time for repentance in hopes that His judgement not have to come. 

“And he prayed unto the Lord, and said, I pray thee, O Lord, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.” – Jonah‬ ‭4:2‬ ‭

So if God does not desire judgment, then why does it come at all? Because God is just, and He is not a man that He should lie. If He has said that the wages of sin are death then one who continues to work iniquity must be paid the wage they have been promised. Once God speaks something, it becomes law and His justice requires that He honor His words for better or for worse. This is why He sent Jesus to atone for our sin with His own life, to pay the price for us, that we might be given a clean slate, a new life, and escape the curse of the law.

However. A simple truth that few seem to realize is that unless you have been atoned for by the blood of Jesus, washed clean, born again into a new life, have repented and turned away from sin, and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God to walk no more there in, then you are actually still under a law and condemned by that law.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” – Romans‬ ‭8:1-4‬ ‭‬‬

The law did not pass away, it was simply atoned for, paid for, and fulfilled by a better covenant. There is no law for those who are in Christ but for those who are not, the law remains, and the judgment of that law remains. Though God may tarry in hopes of your repentance that you might escape the wrath of the law, if you do not take the atonement that He has provided, judgment will eventually find you. 

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,” – 2 Peter‬ ‭3:9-11‬ ‭

God has been more then merciful, but we are not promised tomorrow, nor is He obligated to continue turning a blind eye forever. However, He is obligated to judge the sins of the unrighteous who have refused His mercy and done despite to the Spirit of Grace. Don’t push your luck, don’t waste God’s mercy, don’t mock His grace. He took your place that you might escape. Don’t take it for granted, for eventually judgment will fall. Whether God wants it to or not, He must pay out the wages of unrepented sin, because He said He would and therefor He must, for He is just. 

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” – John‬ ‭3:18-20‬ 

“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. Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.” – Ecclesiastes‬ ‭8:11-13‬ ‭

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” -Hebrews‬ ‭10:26-31‬ ‭

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A Revival In Waiting 

“So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.” – Jonah‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭

Jonah finally makes it to Nineveh, walks in, and proclaims the word of God. Here is what would seem to be a very strange looking crazy little man walking through the streets crying that in forty days this city will be overthrown. Who would believe that? This was a great city, it took three days to walk across it (about 60 miles wide), with a population of about 120,000 and that is likely only the men. 

Nineveh was founded by Nimrod, one of the most wicked characters in the bible being the first antichrist archetype that appears in scripture. Nineveh was a center for Ishtar (Asherah) worship, who was the female counterpart of Baal. This was always greatly condemned by God throughout scripture. This city, from its founding was evil. Everything about it was evil. Everything it had ever been or done was evil. It was immoral, it was violent, it was vial. Who would want to save this people? No man, not even Jonah (that’s why he ran) wanted this wicked people who covered their walls with human skins and lit their streets with blazing human heads, to be saved. Surely they were too evil, surely they were a lost cause, surely they deserved annihilation. Yet in this we see God’s great love and justice shine forth. That even though all that would count themselves good saw no good in this people (including Jonah), yet God who is just still made a way for them to choose. 

These people were wicked from birth, they were founded in wickedness, they knew no truth, so God sent them a preacher. God made a way where there was no way to get the truth to them that they would be without excuse. For how can judgment justly come less a warning first be given and the choice to reject it be made? Yet we see here what no one expected, they did what no one thought they would! They made the right choice! They repented! Their sin was pointed out and the judgment for it was made clear and they truly and sincerely repented. This was probably the largest revival recorded in scripture and Jonah (this assuming preacher) had run from it! 

How many times have we given up on someone, or a group of someone’s and deemed them too evil to be saved? Immoral people, politically wicked people, violent people, people that worship false and evil gods, people just like the Ninavite’s or maybe not even as bad as they. Yet God sent a preacher to the Ninavite’s, to offer salvation, and they were saved. Is God calling you to do the same yet you are turning and going the other way like Jonah did? Are you making yourself their judge before they have even been given the justice of the truth? God is a just God and he will bring judgment on the unjust, however for that judgment to be just He must first provide a warning and a way of escape that they might choose whom they will serve.

Too often we decide that someone is hopeless or useless to God when they are the very people that God is calling us to minister to. We think they deserve judgment, we think they are too far gone, but God knows the truth. Often times the people and places that we see as a waste of time, God sees as a revival in the waiting. After all, what is your purpose but to reach to and preach to the lost? Then we’re is your mission field but among the hopeless, for who needs hope more then they? 

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority…” – Titus‬ ‭2:11-15‬ ‭

The Spirit of Ahab

“And thou (Elijah) shalt speak unto him (Ahab), saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.” – 1 Kings‬ ‭21:19‬ ‭

Ahab was a King of Isreal, he was seen as evil in the sight of the Lord though at times he repented, yet his evil was most often not so much that which he did as it was that which he didn’t do and that which he allowed to be done. Ahab had someone close to him (Jezebel) that continually hurt God’s people and though Ahab may not have participated in these acts himself, he knew about them and had the authority to stop them but didn’t. However, God was abundantly merciful to Ahab, sending him correction, words, and warnings continually for years. Yet though Ahab knew what needed to be done, he never put his foot down on Jezebel and did it. Therefor Elijah continually had to deal with them both until God’s mercy eventually ran out and judgment came. 

God grew weary of the blood that Jezebel was spilling, of the children of God she was misleading and killing, and of Ahab’s refusal to stand in the roll that God had placed him in to prevent it. So God sent Elijah once again to let Ahab know that God was placing the guilt of the blood that Jezebel had spilt upon him. Upon hearing this, Ahab whole heartedly agreed and tearfully repented! Yet nothing changed. He continued to allow Jezebel to do whatever she pleased, spilling blood and bringing shame and reproach upon the house of Israel. Therefor, his judgment came as prophesied. 

“And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot. And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country. So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria. And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the word of the Lord which he spake.” – 1 Kings‬ ‭22:34-38‬ ‭

Rather it be in this account or it be those of the church of Thyatira in the book of Revelations, Ahab is always judged, and judged by God’s own hand. Struck down by an arrow that no man guided for refusing to obey the Lord and take authority over the wickedness running rampant in his own house.

What Jezabel was doing was wrong, she was teaching and encouraging God’s people to sin while ever working against His prophets and priest. Ahab of corse knew the truth and at times even told Jezebel the truth but he didn’t make her submit to it when he had both the authority and moral obligation to do so, nor did he prevent her from acting against that truth. Therefore, Ahad’s judgement came even before Jezebel’s. 

In this we see that not only those who commit sin (which always negatively affects others) are found by God to have blood on their hands, but also those who allow it to be committed by acquiescence when they have the power to stop it. This sin falls on those who have been given the weight of authority such as parents within a home, leaders within a church, or rulers within a nation, and though God be merciful to warn and allow time and opportunity for repentance, if not heeded (by not just words but action), will surely be judged. 

“And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass; I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.” – Revelation‬ ‭2:18-24‬ ‭

They Cry Peace When There Is No Peace

Woman Praying by Tree_smaller“For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭6:13-16‬ ‭

Here lies a warning to those that fail to warn against both sin and the consequences of it. Time and time again we see God sending a prophet with an unpopular message, willingly choose repentance of sin or be forced to face judgement for sin. Yet this voice of truth crying in the wilderness is always that of the few being drowned out by the many who cry peace, peace, when in reality there is no peace.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” – 1 John‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭

God is ever trying to drive His people to repentance and all too often those who claim to speak for Him are speaking against Him and causing His people to error. God warns of judgments for sins in order to show us the dire need for repentance before the sentence is enacted. Therefore, when a preacher, evangelist, prophet, or anyone contradicts that message by telling them that all is well when all is most definitely not well is worthy of hell because not only have they errorred but they have also caused others to error or remain in error when God was trying desperately to remove them from error.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” – Isaiah‬ ‭5:20-21‬ ‭

Never allow the devil to entice you to make people comfortable in their sin or you will be guilty of the greater sin. Yes God points out sin, yes God rebukes, corrects, and warns, and yes He loves you enough to send someone to try to save you from your own choices and actions knowing that you will hate and likely reject them. Likewise, yes the devil tries to justify your sins, yes the devil flatters, yes the devil lies, and yes the devil will send someone to try to make you comfortable in your current sinful state that you ignore the mercy of God’s warnings and remain unchanged unto judgment. Beware less any man or demon in hell deceive you. For I tell you a truth, the days are dark and the time is short, repent and seek the Lord while He may be found, less judgment come upon you and you be found unaware, unprepared, and unrepented.

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” – Colossians‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” – Luke‬ ‭13:3‬ ‭

“Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way. Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭28:10-16‬ ‭

Will You Cry Out?

bowing-downEzekiel chapter 22 is a strange and disturbing, yet beautiful and insightful chapter among the scriptures to say the least. It begins with a fair and just judgment against the city of Jerusalem. The Lord will destroy it for it’s abundant sin.

Next we see a list of it’s crimes are read out to prove the justice of the judgment. Among the things listed we see violence, idolatry, vanity, selfishness, pride, oppression of strangers, lewdness, vulgarity, greed, promiscuity, rape, all manner of sexual sin, incest, usury (the charging of interest on loans), extortion, dishonest gain, profiting on the suffering and destruction of others, and intent-full vexation of the poor and needy.

The sins of the preachers of the day (the priest and prophets) were listed also as being that they were taking the treasuries of God for themselves, they were preaching lies and justifying sin for financial gain (this equated to the selling of souls to hell for prophet), they made no clear distinction between being a sinner and being holy nor between the things that be of God and of the things that be of the world, they had no reverence for God’s day, His house, or His presence, God was blasphemed and shamed among the nations by their actions, teachings, and lives, they weakened the congregation by flattery, vanity, pomp, vain glory, justifying sin, and out right lies, preaching things that God never said as though they were His word.

Yet after reading all of these sins committed by the people and the preachers alike, the verdict of the iniquity of the people at their sentencing, it is here that we get a glimpse of the true heart and character of God. When after all this He says:

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” – Ezekiel‬ ‭22:30

In this we see God’s great sorrow over not only the sins of the wicked, but also over the silence of the saved. Even in the midst of all of this, He hoped for an intercessor, just one, one person to run up and petition the court of God’s justice for mercy that He might grant it, but He found none. In this was possibly the greatest sin and travesty of this people, that not one was righteous enough to cry out on behalf of the unrighteous, not one Godly enough to pray for the ungodly, not one humble enough to intercede for these lost, deceived, and damned souls. No, not one… So judgment fell.

You see, God expects that sinners will sin, it’s when the saints will no longer pray for the sinning sinners and cry out against iniquity that His heart breaks and judgement comes. Do you pray? Do you weep over sin and for sinners? Do you cry out for mercy, deliverance, and salvation? Will you be the one the Lord is searching for? The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man availleth much. It only takes one, one willing to cry out, to weep and to wail between the porch and the alter. Will it be you? Will you cry out?

“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people.” – Joel‬ ‭2:17-18‬ ‭