Are our protestations prepping us for punishment?

NAA_142

All jokes aside: I cringe as I think of how the world continues to shake its collective fist in the face of God.

We may think we know better or, in the case of an adverse number of atheists et al., may even think we really are better* than God. Yet just as you can’t ignore natural laws and get away unharmed, so, too, can we not ignore the moral law within our consciences and expect to avoid the consequences.

As any student of the Bible should understand, judgment is coming to this world. It’s just a question of time. And before accusations of “fear mongering” start, let me say: Only those who do and think evil continuously and refuse to acknowledge the existence of sin need to fear.

Thank God, when we get sick and tired of ourselves and our foolish ways, we can repent. The word “repent” in the New Testament entails the idea of a change of mind, one that involves a change of mind toward God, Jesus, and fellow human beings. Anytime. Anywhere.


*Note: This, of course, is ignoring the fact that words like “better” are essentially meaningless under an atheistic/materialistic system of morality which lacks any absolute foundation apart from the mind of the individual (meaning it can’t be applied outside the body and brain that contain it).

content © 2014 Joshua Warren

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10 thoughts on “Are our protestations prepping us for punishment?

  1. Wow. I found this to be extremely poignant and thought-provoking Joshua! I enjoyed it a lot. I think that we each do this same thing in our lives. It’s so easy to get caught up in sin and flaunt it and then immediately rush to God when we have a problem. I just keep praying for God to create in me a new heart. It has to be a constant prayer for sanctification as we wait for the world to come.

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    • Thanks, JW!

      This cartoon is more about humanity in general. With all the attempts to change the limitations of marriage and to do away with gender distinctions amid all the other REALLY perverse acts that I don’t want to list here, I think we should remember that the Bible records God punishing people in order to prevent ourselves from destroying ourselves completely. Our sophisticated age may see incidents like the tsunami in Indonesia a few years ago as some random act of nature. When you factor in what I’ve heard from reliable sources about what sort of activities were going on in that very area, it may not be so random at all.

      And let us not forget that judgment begins in the Church (1 Peter 4:17). So, let’s not be surprised if we have more scandals and problems popping up over the next couple of years in all sectors (political, religious, etc.).

      Regardless, do you think that God still invokes punishment for sin in the here-and-now?

      (Only answer if you’ve got time.)

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      • God does punish sin here-and-now for sure, but I’m a bit hesitant to specify disasters in that way. It’s an interesting balance between the passages saying that disasters (natural or not) are in control of God and passages like Jesus talking about the Tower of Siloam and how it may happen to you too! (Exclamation mark signifying his seriousness.)

        I’m not disagreeing, I just think nuance is needed. Anyone who completely denies that natural disasters are in God’s hand seems to stand against Scripture, however.

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      • I agree. And let me add that I’m in no position to say for sure whether or not any recent natural disaster is the direct result of God’s judgment. (Sorry if I seemed to have painted that clear of a picture.) I have no inside information from God about that. It’s more or less me pointing out for the sake of discussion that you have an abundance of gross, sexual sins (I’m not saying what here) in a specific place and then what has been described as “unusually” large earthquake which sparked a tsunami that caused “unusually” widespread destruction and then honestly asking out loud if there’s any connection. (But I wouldn’t press the connection too far because, as I said, I don’t have that kind of information.)

        On the other hand, I think if we had someone telling us beforehand that God revealed to them the specific time and location of a “natural” disaster directly attributed to wrongdoing AND it really happened just as they said (like OT and NT prophets did), I think that would definitely get our attention.

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  2. “in a specific place and then what has been described as “unusually” large earthquake which sparked a tsunami that caused “unusually” widespread destruction and then honestly asking out loud if there’s any connection.”

    If a large destructive earthquake occurred in an area not near the edges of any tectonic plates, such as Britain after gay marriage got legalised, then that would get our attention. As opposed to Earthquakes happening, say, alongside the San Andreas fault.

    I can’t think of any area in the world where a disaster couldn’t be pinned to some transgression by one religious group. The practitioners of many religions see deviance in their own countries and failure to follow the right God in other people’s countries. So attempts to tie any particular disaster to any particular transgression seems arbitrary at best and opportunistic/heartless at worst.

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    • The word “unusually” is in quotes for a reason. That was the word used by other, non-Christian sources to describe both the tsunami and the widespread destruction it caused in Indonesia in 2004, something which hasn’t happened since 1883. (I could add to it other words from other reports, like “rare”.) And do you know anything about the grotesque sex industry there? (I have reliable witnesses who have been there.)

      It seems you want to resort to the tired, old tactic of making all religions and all religious claims equal so that you may paint with a broad brush and dismiss all of them in one stroke. Disingenuous. Yawn.

      And to make the claim that someone asking out loud whether or not there is a connection between sin and punishment in the here-and-now is somehow “opportunistic / heartless” is to prove that you don’t really know much about the person with whom you are communicating* with nor the biblical background which prompts me to ask such a question. (*I use the term “communicating” loosely, since the record of your comments shows that you like to preach.) I love people and I try to help them whenever it’s in my power to do so. At the same time, I also hate to see people harmed or killed by the consequence(s) of their sin or those of other people (like drunk drivers; the sin = getting drunk).

      Maybe you might also read the other comments I left…

      (Note: Oh, by the way. Weren’t you a heavy promoter of global warming at one time? Are you still? I thought it was you who used to send books to people on that subject. If memory serves, it was you. And if you believe all the hype about that, that would, in a manner of speaking, make your position the very one you’re cynically rebuking here. If that wasn’t you, then forgive me and ignore all this.)

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  3. You wrote, “Yet just as you can’t ignore natural laws and get away unharmed, so, too, can we not ignore the moral law within our consciences and expect to avoid the consequences.”

    I maintain that, while moral law is within our consciences, God’s immutable spiritual law is independent of conscience. One of those spiritual laws is the Law of Sowing and Reaping, which works both in the spiritual and the natural plain. Whether we try to defy God, or gravity, we will reap the consequences.

    Regarding the question of judgment for the church’s sin, Jesus bore the world’s sin-punishment on the cross; he paid the price to buy us back from Satan, to whom we individually sold ourselves when we first sinned. But Hebrews 10:26-31 tells us, “For where we sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains any sacrifice for sins,
    (27) but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and heat of fire about to devour the adversaries.
    (28) Anyone that has disregarded Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses:
    (29) of how much worse punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and esteemed the blood of the covenant, whereby he has been sanctified, common, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
    (30) For we know him that said, To me belongs vengeance; *I* will recompense, saith the Lord: and again, The Lord shall judge his people.
    (31) It is a fearful thing falling into the hands of the living God.”

    We live under the covenant of grace, and God’s grace is indeed infinite regarding our human frailties. But I’m not sure how far God stretches his grace toward those who usurp his authority, propagate false teachings and presumptuously sin (deliberately test God’s grace). Attempting to walk the boundary between the forgivable and the unforgivable is a dangerous game pursued only by those who do not love God. But those who do stand squarely on the solid Rock of our faith, the incarnate Word of God.

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    • Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

      You actually got the point of the cartoon right on. God is very gracious to us in that we don’t get the punishment we deserve for our wrongs and the evils we commit. The Lord Jesus has endured what we actually deserve, though He was guiltless. And the point of the cartoon was to bring up the idea about how far can we (humanity as a whole) stretch His Grace and not get punished. (The goal of the punishment being corrective.)

      And seeing how wayward the world has gotten, I think He may be close to intervening, don’t you? (If He doesn’t, we’re going to end up destroying ourselves. But, thankfully, that’s not going to happen. Jesus has told us that He has shortened the days for that reason [Matthew 24:22] — so we wouldn’t end up destroying ourselves entirely!)

      Again, thanks for stopping by!

      New cartoons coming soon…

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