I read an article recently with an attached picture of a little girl who had been beheaded. I began to think how is it even possible someone could be so depraved as to follow through with such a despicable act. Instantaneously, I was filled with rage and began to feel strong resentment toward those who had committed such wickedness. Yet sadly today such news in no longer uncommon.
In the present day we live in it is very easy to get overwhelmed and feel unsettled with the distressing news that we are constantly exposed to via the media. We hear of the latest terrorist’s attack, horrendous domestic crimes and innumerable stories of rape, murder, paedophilia, and theft. At least from our earthly perspective, it seems like the force of evil and sin is gaining much greater momentum in recent times. As Christians, we know God is in control but we can be left confused as to why so much atrocity is being allowed to reign. Further, we may even feel hatred, as I did, toward such perpetrators of such wicked acts.
So how should Christians respond when they hear such devastating news?
The Bible teaches that those who are troubled by such persecution and tribulation should rest in the fact that there is coming a day when the Lord Jesus Christ will be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels. On this day He will execute vengeance on those that refuse to obey the gospel and punish them with everlasting destruction. This day is not just a theological abstraction but has implications for us as Christians living in a world full of evil.
First, this pay day enables us to freely forgive those who have committed horrendous acts. Rather than feel bitter toward those who have wronged others or take vengeance on those who have wronged us, we can look toward a pay day that is coming where God has reserved the right to render ultimate justice. Thus we should never harbour bitterness or resentment in our hearts, or retaliate to injustices, as God will one day right all wrongs and give absolutely fair rewards and punishments. In doing so, we follow the example of Jesus who when unjustly treated on the cross, committed himself to Him that judges righteously.
Second, this pay day satisfies our inner desire for a sense of justice. The future judgement assures us that in the end, God’s universe operates on a level of fairness. The Bible teaches us that God records in a book every human act that has ever been done. Since these records are accurate, God assures us the wrong doer will be paid for the wrong he has done. There is coming a day where God will execute perfect judgement and all accounts will be settled and all wrongs will be made right. The knowledge of this event should guard our hearts against the temptation to question God justice when we see injustices committed all around us.
Finally, this pay day that is coming provides a tremendous motivational factor in our evangelism. This day is a welcome reminder of the irrevocable judgement of God on all unbelievers. The choices they make in this life, and their rejection of the gospel, will affect their entire destiny. This should strengthen our resolve and deepen our compassion for such lost souls – no matter how wicked they are – who are on the fringe of dying in sin. May this day stir our hearts to pray for the lost, tell them about the Saviour and give money to those who spread the good news.
So next time you hear something tragic – remember – there is a pay day coming!
Steven Kilner is married to Jodie and has three sons, they have an eight-year-old, a six-year-old and a three-year-old. They attend Canterbury Gardens Community Church. Steven is studying theology at PTC and Jodie is undertaking a diploma in Nursing.