Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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By : Lonnie Branam [ Sermon God's Justice # 3 ]

Lonnie Branam
Nahum 1:3-5

In this passage we are told that God has His way in the tornado and the hurricane. All debris and dust stirred up by tornadoes are said to be the dust of God's feet. When the mountains quake and the volcanoes erupt the lava melts the hills, houses, trees and anything else in its path, God has His way. . Prior to saying these things, Nahum states that God is slow to anger and great in power but He will not acquit the wicked. This inspired prophet reveals that these destructive agencies of nature proceed from the justice of God. Although God is loving, merciful and slow to anger, yet He is also just and will not acquit the human race for their disobedience and disregard of His just laws. God impartially enforces justice on the human race. He distributes rewards and favor to those who conform to His law and distributes punishment to those who will not conform to His laws. However, in our present state of existence, He does not enforce His absolute justice, but in our future state at the end of time He will exercise absolute justice to all of His creatures. In the book of Job 34:10-12, this statement is made, “Therefore listen to me, you men of understanding. Far be it from God to do wickedness and from the Almighty to commit iniquity. For He repays man according to his work and makes man to find reward according to his way. Surely God will never do wickedly nor will the Almighty pervert justice.” Whether in this present world or in the world to come God will never pervert justice.

First, let us consider the way God exerts justice in our present state of existence. There is evidence all around us of how God exerts justice in our present state of existence. Although He is patient, slow to anger and longsuffering, still He wants the human race to know that there is a moral governor over mankind and from time to time He allows things to happen that causes people to look up and consider their ways. Nahum gave us one example when he said that by the whirlwind or tornado God has His way. God for the most part does not get His way by being loved and respected by the human race, but He has way in the tornado, hurricane, floods and volcanoes. Nahum says that God is responsible for these destructive agencies, but an unbelieving world can see nothing in them but events that come out of ordinary laws of nature. Sometimes the complaint is made, why does a tornado hit one town and not another?. Does it mean the town a tornado strikes is more wicked than other towns. No, not at all. There is enough evil in every city on this earth to justify any destruction these natural storms cause in any city whatever.. Whenever any city is hit, it should be a wake-up call for all cities that God is not pleased with the world that He has made.

There have been some outstanding examples in history of God's justice manifested by the punishment of the transgressors of His law. Of these I may mention the destruction of all inhabitants of the earth, except eight people, in the flood of Noah. God did not pervert justice when He brought that calamity on the human race. Evidently, He did that for the future welfare of mankind. Evil was so horrible and unbearable that God saw it best to give them a 120 year warning, end the human race, and start it all over again with Noah's family. Untold millions in this enlightened generation of the 21st century have discounted the story of the flood as a superstitious belief. To them It is nothing but a Hebrew myth that never did take place.

I am going to throw in something here a little extra. It is only my opinion and I can't prove it. But I have often wondered about the Dinosaurs, those horrible, monstrous creatures whose remains we have excavated from the earth. They once lived here, but I wonder what value such creatures could have had for the human race, other than to excite fear danger in man's heart.. .They would not have made good pets, and I doubt if they could ever be tamed. I wonder if God did not allow those animals to come into existence as an act of justice to punish an evil, morally and spiritually bankrupt human race. Be that as it may, we should all give thanks that such gigantic monsters like that are not on earth today to fill us with fear and loss of life.. Were they one of the God's punishments brought on the sinful pre-flood world? You don't have to believe that. That's an extra thought I throw in for free. It is just one of my hunches. If my hunch is right, they all perished in the flood, and none of that species may have been in the ark because the purpose of their existence had ended. The flood is the greatest single example that God's justice has been inflicted on mankind in the present state of existence.

Next to the flood would be the sudden overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and nearby towns. They were destroyed by fire and brimstone. This was God response to the homosexual and lesbian lifestyle that developed in those early times and was in danger of spreading throughout that part of the world. Only Lot and his two daughters escaped that catastrophe. San Francisco comes reasonably close to being another Sodom. Lot's wife almost escaped , but looked back in disobedience to the angel's instructions and was turned into a pillar of salt. Jesus said to His disciples then and now, “ Remember Lot's wife.” Both these calamities were meant by God's justice to be a warning to the human race till the end of time. However God stepped into time and showed the world that He is the moral Governor of the universe.


Many other examples could be given, but I will mention a few others. One was the calamities which befell the Jews in the Wilderness, the Assyrian captivity of the ten tribes, , the Babylonian captivity of the Jews, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and their dispersion throughout the world by the Romans in the first century. God also brought great judgments on Pharaoh by Moses and the destruction of Sennacherib's army by an angel. All of these events constrain people to believe that verily there is a God who judges in the earth.

All of these events demonstrate that God's justice in the present state of existence is not absolute and universal, but only exercised in a diminished or partial manner for the well being of mankind. However, absolute and universal justice will be manifested at the end of time. The general judgment is designed for the manifestation of justice, to bring out the obscurity and uncertainty which exists in this life, that all may see it and be convinced that there is no respect of persons with God. It is for this purpose that the whole human race will be convened before the tribunal of Christ. At that time the sentence will be publicly pronounced on those who have done good and those who have done evil. Their works will be produced as evidence that they are being treated as they ought to be.

Revelation 20:12 says, “I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” On the proceedings to take place on this great day, the description is figurative and borrowed from the proceedings in human court proceedings.. We are not to think that there will be an examination of witnesses to establish the facts. When it says the books will be opened, and all will be judged out of those things written in them, this is not to be literally understood. I don't understand this to mean there is an actual written record of human actions. This is unnecessary for we have learned that God is omniscient and is all-knowing with a perfect memory. What has happened in the past is as distinctly before Him as what is in the present. The books are mentioned just to assure us of the strictness and impartiality of the judgment. The final estimate of every person's conduct will be as correct, as if a register had been kept of his actions during the whole course of life. There will be a universal conviction that all is right.
(Romans 2:11-16). In Rev. 15:3 all the redeemed in heaven praise God saying, “Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are Your ways O King of the saints.”

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