The Certainty of Justice: Reward and Punishment
UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.
Col 3:23-25 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.
In this blog we try to give people hope. We work to give the oppressed a voice and cry out for justice. Justice for them. Justice for their abusers. But where is that justice? Sometimes we see it. Many times we do not. We hear the stories of many of you and think, what can we do? If only we had the authority, or unlimited resources we could…..
For the Christian, our ultimate and certain hope lies ahead. The Lord does work now in many ways to set captives free and to effect punishment on the wicked. But we still see evil scoffing at justice and the wicked apparently prospering. That is how it is in this present era. Things just don’t make sense so many times. Even the saints in heaven ask “how long, O Lord?”
All of these frustrations and questions will cease forever one day. That is what Paul told the Colossians, and what the Bible tells us many times: 1) God’s people will receive their reward, and 2) the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done. God will do all of this with perfect justice, showing no partiality. It will happen. It is going to happen. God has promised it, and it is impossible for Him to lie.
What does not make sense in this life will make perfect sense on that Day. All of our questions will be answered, and God will be shown to be all that He has said He is. Things often look hopeless here, but we can be assured that they are anything but hopeless for those in Christ. Our real life, in fact, has not really begun yet. Well, it has begun, but it is hidden. All that God has planned for us – we do not see yet. It is above, not below. And that is to say, it is not THIS present life that is our real life.
Did you ever see the movie with Jack Nicholson, As Good as it Gets? It isn’t recommended for everyone, but the question Nicholson’s OCD enslaved character asks is pertinent — “What if this is as good as it gets?” Christ has given us the answer. Not only is this life not as good as it gets, the life He has planned for us in the New Creation is so good, you wouldn’t believe it if He gave you peek at it right now.
In the meantime, we are called to live here in this fallen world with this great hope. And to fashion our lives in such a way that we show we are just aliens and strangers here, just passing through, camped out for a bit in tents. To live holy lives pleasing to God so that this world looks at us and says “you’re not from around here, are you?”