vengeance is mine, says the Lord
Repayment for wrong-doing is something we expect in our society. We want to know that justice will be handled appropriately. Have you ever seen a child self-punish for his rebellion? He knows that a payment for breaking a rule is necessary and seats himself in the time-out chair or asks his parent to spank him and get it over with! Even my Corgi went running to his crate last night without being told to do so. He knew he had been bad trying to finish off the other dog’s food. We expect punishment; it is necessary in the re-establishment of proper order.
This is why God’s grace is so amazing! We DON’T get what we deserve! He put the payment of our sins upon His own Son, who carried our sins to the cross and took the penalty upon Himself. Christ chose the nails. He died for us. He rose again on the third day and secured eternal salvation and abundant life for all who believe.
Unfortunately, we only have to watch the news for a few minutes to hear reports of individuals who trample upon the grace of God. For those who do not have His law inscribed upon their hearts, they make up their own rules as they go along. The December 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut is a realization of the potential for destruction that stems from a hardened heart.
Yes, we can look at the state and federal laws, a killer’s psychiatric condition and prescription drugs, his hobbies and access to guns, but we fail ourselves and one another when we neglect to look at the source of evil. This man had a heart. Please take this personally- his heart was no different from any man’s heart at birth- evil. The human nature is evil.
I know this gets a reaction from many whose belief is quite contrary: there are good people and bad people, they say. But the Bible makes clear that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). So is there no remedy? Do we continue to live our days delicately with the reminder that at any moment, evil reigning in one’s heart may erupt, bringing destruction to themselves and others?
There is a remedy. Jesus. He is the only true remedy. Entrust your heart to Him, because his promise is to remove your heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. It is the heart of flesh that hears the Holy Spirit’s gentle voice, speaking only that which the Father has already prescribed in His eternal truth. That is why His name is Counselor; He leads us into all truth. So, if I seek to justify myself and say, I am a good person; therefore, I will escape punishment. That may be true according to my standard of good, but it is not the truth. The Judge’s standard of good is truth, and His standard is all-together righteous and above human reasoning and justification. The Counselor reminds me that Father God’s standard of good is not my behavior compared to my neighbor’s. It is Jesus.
Will I be found faultless and perfect like Jesus when I stand before my Judge? The Holy Spirit says, “Yes, Renee. You have believed upon the redeeming blood of the perfect Lamb of God; therefore, you stand righteous. Your sins are forgiven and remembered no more” (Hebrews 8:12).
Precious families, relatives, friends and community of Newtown, Connecticut, the world grieves with you. Many are praying that you know the comfort of the heavenly Father as you endure this season of trial. May there also be some comfort found in knowing that the killer, Adam Lanza, will stand before the Judge. You see, the Holy Spirit was unable to reach the young man’s heart of stone. There was no receptivity to truth. Killing himself in order to escape punishment was one among the many lies he believed.
Revelation 20:13 offers consolation to all who have been victims to his act of evil. There will come a day when the rebellious dead will be resurrected to stand before the Judge. At this time, just punishment will be administered to all who refused to accept the truth of God. Each one will be judged according to what they have done. This means that his crime will be laid bare and the punishment will be perfectly suited to his ruthless act of pre-meditated murder.
God will avenge you, dear families. In the meantime, as you grieve and start to go about the rebuilding of your lives, know that many will continue to pray for you. Know that Jesus is the mediator who lives to intercede for you. Know that the Holy Spirit is always there to speak to you and guide you with His truthful counsel. Know that God loves you. He always has. He always will.