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A HOLY GOD, A JUDGING GOD
by Philip Owen

            One of the key themes of the Word of God, one that is systematically ignored by modern Christendom, is that God is a holy God Who judges sin.  That so many professing Christians refuse to acknowledge the vast amount of space that God devotes to this theme in His Word is symptomatic of the ignorance and rebellion that flourish in the church world today.  To extol the love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God to the exclusion of His holiness, righteousness, and wrath against sin is to paint a picture of a fictional god, one created solely in the minds of fallen, sinful men, and not the God as revealed in the Bible.  God is so open and unequivocal about His attitude and response to sin that any fair-minded reader could not avoid acknowledging the fact that God judges unrepentant sinners—thoroughly.  Consider the following examples taken from a list otherwise too large to cite.

            The Flood.   Following the account of creation, the Word of God gives little space (approximately two chapters) to the first 2,500 years of human history until it is noted that “the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).  “The Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land . . . for I am sorry that I have made them’” (6:7).  The next four chapters camp on this cataclysmic event as the Lord methodically describes His destruction of the entire human race with the exception of eight members of the family of Noah.  Who could ignore the character of God toward sin and sinners that He is pleased to reveal to us in these early chapters of Genesis?

            The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  So well recognized was the besetting sin of these twin cities that our lexicon has adapted the name of one of them to describe the homosexual activity of sodomy.  Concerning this judgment, the Word is stark:  “The Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground” (Gen. 19:24, 25).  Only Lot, his wife, and two daughters escaped.  God destroyed everyone else—men, women, and children.

            The Babylonian captivity.  God did not exempt His people from judgment.  Because of idolatry and associated sins, the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom were decimated by Assyria.  Ignoring the warning of God both by the example of the Northern Kingdom and the explicit pronouncement of prophets, the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Benjamin descended into idolatrous apostasy and was overthrown by Babylon.  Innumerable citizens were killed, many were taken into captivity, and for seventy years the entire nation suffered in slavery to a pagan nation according to God’s divine judgment.

            The list is extensive.  We could cite the overthrow of Nineveh, the oppression of Israel under the Roman Empire including the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., not to mention the recounting of the large number of judgments that befell entire families and single individuals for their personal sins.  God is not hesitant to judge sin; He is not bashful about owning responsibility for judging it.

Our nation has banished real prayer and the posting of the Ten Commandments; we have murdered 50+ million unborn babies; we have promoted homosexuality and legalized homosexual marriage.  Secular humanism, atheism, cults, Islam, spiritism, and devil worship all flourish, and much of Christianity itself is either apostate or carnal.  All the while, faithful biblical Christianity faces persecution.

            The point is this:  the United States of America is rife with sin and ripe for judgment.  God would have to apologize to the millions who have died under the holy hand of His just judgment if He did not judge our nation.  God has not changed; His response to sin has not changed; the nature of sin has not changed.  We are not wiser, more sophisticated, or better than those we have cited above.  The words with which God opened His prophecy concerning Nineveh are apropos today.

“A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; The Lord is avenging and wrathful.  The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for His enemies.  The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished” (Nahum 1:2, 3).

By precept and example, the volume of the Book has warned us. 

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