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THE GREAT AVENGER

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       The Lord has made a way of undeserved grace for all who leave the world of sin and rebellion. For those who refuse, He must act to bring justice. He is the only one qualified who can.

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          Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? [James 4:10-12]

TRUTH, JUSTICE, AND THE MESSIAH’S WAY 

         We all understand the concept of justice. We all understand the need for it. We all know it is not right when evil deeds go unpunished, when people get away with doing wrong, and when it appears there is no remedy for such or no means toward the bringing of justice to guilty parties.

          I can assure you, however, that justice always prevails. The Lord will see to it. For now, however, He is obviously more concerned with bringing sinners to salvation. It is why He sends His disciples into a fallen world fraught with danger severed from relationship with Him. It is why He created the Good News for whosoever will, for all those who want to be free and blessed with new life, and will pay any price within His will to gain it.

         Thus, grace. All who eventually gain eternal life will have in common the fact that they recognized their need for salvation. They know they have done wrong. They hate the memories. Their conscience reminds them every day. They exist in a broken condition and they know it. The want to be the best they can be. They want to enter into a realm of good that they know must exist but they can’t find the way.

         He is the Way. Following the Lord Jesus will lead one directly into the Life one seeks.

         But for those who love this world they cannot possibly have any love for the next world or desire for it. They are content here, or at least willing to do whatever they want or think they must to make a way for themselves. It is why mankind’s history is a sordid tale of killings and theft and sexual sin. These are the actions of lustful and desperate people who place no moral restrictions upon themselves once they decide to act in an unlawful manner to get what they want. They may be moral up to a point. But beyond that point they justify sin. They no longer apply any sense of right and wrong. They make their own choices to cross over bridges into places where they act upon their own self will to satisfy evil desires.

TRAINING CAMP

          That is in part why this temporary world is a mere proving ground. We live in the flesh in what looks like a very real and everlasting world but our individual times are actually very short. This world is very much an illusion. The Word of God states that we are given at most about seventy years and that some have more time because of strength. But not much more. And many never even get that far. But even if one lives to a hundred, what is that in terms of thousands of years or eternity?

         Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin. [James 4:13-17]

        It is the devil’s job to tempt us away from God and into sin. It is the job of unregenerate flesh and its evil desires to lead us away from God and into sin. It is the job of this fallen faux construct of mankind upon this planet (the world) to distract us away from God and into sin. These are the three enemies all human beings are subjected to. There is no escape from their onslaught other than through the Lord. He knows those who want to be free. He also knows those who would rather live here than in heaven.

         And He knows justice must prevail, that all must receive their just deserts, and that He must be the Judge. I would not think that God wants the job but He knows He is the only one qualified. He must be the one to separate the sheep from the goats. He is also the only one qualified to avenge every wrong. Though the Lord may appear to be a pacifist, it is only because He desires to give everyone every chance during this Age of Grace. He is a God of love and mercy. But He also knows unrepentant sin and rebellion must be dealt with. Thus, He is not a pacifist. He is a Warrior.

         And He began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

         What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.”

        When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!” But Jesus looked at them and said, “What then is this that is written: ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone?’ Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them. [Luke 20:9-19][1]       

         © 2018 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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Unbelieving Disciples (Mass Majority)

         “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. [John 6:64-66]

         The Lord was constantly weeding out unbelievers. These were people with apparently sincere hearts who disagreed with Him, but such disagreements never came up until He taught on a certain subject. Until then, they liked Him. Afterwards, they left Him.

         As in the case of Gideon’s 32,000 being whittled down to 300, most disciples never make the cut.

         Some may think the Lord was severely hurting His own cause by being such a stickler for correct teaching. Here was a Man who put the detail in detail-oriented. Why didn’t He just leave well enough alone and give certain followers the benefit of the doubt?

         Churches are formed around certain beliefs. Various Christian churches and groups have various beliefs. Over many decades, distinct denominations have been formed that hold strictly to their bylaws. Each thinks it is correct. Each thinks other Christian bodies are wrong in some respect, or at the very least, that they are different. The Lord did not create denominations. He created ONE body of believers.

         “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46]

         It is good when we as Christians can relate to other Christians, though our points of commonality are often few. Yet, the Lord Jesus did not care about merely reaching some mere modicum of agreement. Instead, He was only concerned with getting everyone on the same page, the same single page—His Page. Going down His list of requirements, believers and churches okay certain bullet points but invariably reject others. If enough rebellious people can gather as a group, however, they collectively find comfort in their rebellion. “This is the way we believe,” they may say.

         The Lord never gave anyone the option of creating his or her own group apart from His full requirements. It was always, and remains always, His way or the highway. As followers of the Lord Jesus, we will either do everything He says and obey all his teachings, or we will only obey a portion.

         Partial obedience is okay if done in ignorance, though one must rest assured that the Lord will go to war against such ignorance and bring a full revelation of truth if the disciple is willing. Christians are comforted by thinking the Lord will cut corners in their case, or in the case of loved ones. No one knows a human heart but the Lord. Yet, the evidence of what is in one’s heart cannot be hidden when the Lord shows up. The more His presence is manifested, the greater His light will shine on error and disobedience.

         “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” [John 3:19-21]

         The light of God shines on all darkness, regardless of type. It is interesting that the Christian proponents of greater spiritual light often fight the greatest battles against those who would rather protect and defend the darkness they’ve chosen for themselves. At the end of the age, as now, unreal Christians will greatly outnumber real Christians.

         So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” [John 6:67] [1]

         The Lord’s curriculum is much more difficult and demanding than we have been led to believe. It costs us everything. It is only for the fully committed and dedicated. For the comparative few who decide to enter the narrow gate (The Door), and proceed down the difficult narrow road (The Way), their hardship and suffering will always be accompanied by spiritual victories and the presence of the Lord Himself. They will abide in His love, their joy will be full, and they will persevere to the end.

         All others are religious pretenders and unbelieving disciples, and will eventually flake off.

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.