30 The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
When reading passages about “the righteous” and “the wicked,” it makes me thankful for the sacrifice of Jesus and the work He does in us. We are all “the wicked.” That’s why we need Him.
Without Him, there is nothing but judgment coming for us—apart from the mercy of God that is His to give as He chooses. Not that I expect mercy apart from faith in Jesus, but I like to think about the possibility for those who never knew the gospel. The final judgment is God’s domain in any case. Not ours.
That’s a side issue, so back to the point.
We who have heard the gospel have an obligation to live of the gospel. Meaning, we should live our lives as Christians to the extent we are able according to the measure of faith we are given. I believe that pursuing a change of nature that conforms to Jesus Christ is part of the gospel.
I believe this is part of the good news of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. If His Kingdom comes “not with observation” and is “within in you,” you will go through experiential knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ, as He removes the things of this world that you are enslaved to, shows you a better way, and by His Spirit provides the strength to do better. Each person according to their measure as the Father deems. “Some 30, some 60, some 100.”
There is a future coming Kingdom too. I believe that Jesus must rule on this earth and put all things under His feet in a way that everyone will see and know. I know people differ on their views of the Millennium. I am a Millennealist, for lack of a better term. Though, I do wonder about it because Jesus says that when He returns, He will “destroy with the brightness of His coming.” I’ve wondered if the fire of God is itself the “second death,” but I don’t know.
In any case, our God is a “consuming fire.” He will burn out many things within us by the Holy Spirit over the course of our lives as Christians, and all the more if we seek Him with faith that He has forgiven our sins and with faith that there is power to overcome them in this present life.
Trust and respect for the blood of the Son of God is what keeps us from judgment—and no wicked person will be able to stand.
The Judgement of God is shown through times of trouble, through the enemies of God, and through God Himself. In any case, we want to be “counted worthy to escape.”
33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. – Luke 21:33-36
How are we counted worthy to escape, and what is this escape?
I do not believe in a rapture. I believe that the rapture is a corruption of the doctrine of the resurrection. See: A Simple Rebuttal of the Rapture in Favor of the Resurrection.
We escape by having the knowledge of our Lord sealed up inside of us by the Spirit of God that “renews our mind” in Christ Jesus.
With this knowledge—and it is of the experiential sort that should affect how we live our lives—then we will have what we need to resist temptations of the enemy, stand firm in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and do whatever God calls us to do in service of Him and our brethren. This knowledge is also faith that when Jesus returns, we will be raised bodily and transformed into a new spiritual body.
When Jesus returns, all that is not of His Spirit will burn up—or a great deal of it. That’s my thoughts. They are still developing.
In any case, we want to be those who stand with Jesus—both during times of trouble when the enemies of God have more power and when Jesus returns—like the three Hebrews who did not bow to the image of Babylon and were standing with the Son of Man in the fiery furnace (Daniel 3).
Taking up the Christian faith is no light thing. Jesus is not kidding around. When He returns, it is no joke.
It is wonderful that He is merciful and patient with us. We need that because we are faulty, and thank God that we serve a God that is understanding of the frame of Man. However, we wear the blood of the Son of God on us, and it is possible to disrespect this due to sheer lack of care.
28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. – Hebrews 10:28-31
I don’t believe that any sincere believer has a lack of care, but we can all be aware of areas that are lacking and seek Jesus. God is to be trusted but feared also. Fearing God directs our steps and places us in good standing for receiving mercy and also encourages us to want to give mercy to others because we know that God is fearful and one day, He will rule this world.
Nothing wicked can stand in His presence, and if He is to rule, how will we stand?
Now, when I talk about Jesus returning, I must mention that Jesus says that he “will not come at just anytime.” We remember this lest we encourage people to accept the false Christ as Jesus.
From 2 Thessalonians 2
2 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us push on in love of the truth of the gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ
—a gospel that promises forgiveness and freedom from sin in this present world, obtaining of a Christ-like nature, and a returning King who will put all things under His authority—and no one can stand in that judgment who does not stand with Him.
This includes the false prophet, beast, and the Great Whore of Mystery Babylon. This is good news—and it is fearful news—so we should not take it lightly. Especially since most Christians today either are or have been of the Great Whore and unfaithful churches of Revelation 2-3. in some measure.
It is good for us to consider how we have been unfaithful, especially in the realm of “principalities and powers” of the Christian faith.
Jesus said this once and it is true again, “there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.”
This is part of a series of articles considering the Proverbs from a Christian mindset and applying these lessons to present-day events. You can find all of the Considering Proverbs writings here. Subscribe to receive future posts by email.