God Does Not Issue Empty Threats
By: Brian A. Yeager
You are in line at the grocery store waiting to pay for your groceries. In front of you there is a mother and her two children. One of the children starts to misbehave. The mother then gives a warning. You know, she starts the famous count of 1……2……2.1……2.2……etc. She then warns that if she gets to the number three that child is going to “get it”. The child never stops. The mother never gets to three. You shake your head. The mother should have corrected the child (Proverbs 13:24, Proverbs 22:15, and Proverbs 23:13-14). The child has learned that misbehavior is not going to be punished. The child has learned that warnings mean nothing.
That child grows up learning to ignore warnings. That child thinks that a parent’s love will always prevent that parent from doing anything corrective. Thus, when that type of person hears the warnings from the word of God, they think that God is just like mom in the grocery store. Unlike Noah, who heard God’s warning and acted upon it (Hebrews 11:7), those who think warnings are not serious ignore God like they did their parents. That is very ignorant! God doesn’t issue empty warnings. God says what He means and means what He says (II Peter 2:4-9).
God Is Not The Mother At The Grocery Store
God doesn’t lie (Titus 1:2). Notice, from some of the history of Israel, how God is not one to issue empty threats: “In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes. For so it was, that the children of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, which had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods, And walked in the statutes of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the LORD their God, and they built them high places in all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city. And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under every green tree: And there they burnt incense in all the high places, as did the heathen whom the LORD carried away before them; and wrought wicked things to provoke the LORD to anger: For they served idols, whereof the LORD had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. Yet the LORD testified against Israel, and against Judah, by all the prophets, and by all the seers, saying, Turn ye from your evil ways, and keep my commandments and my statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by my servants the prophets. Notwithstanding they would not hear, but hardened their necks, like to the neck of their fathers, that did not believe in the LORD their God. And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the LORD had charged them, that they should not do like them. And they left all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire, and used divination and enchantments, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger. Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only. Also Judah kept not the commandments of the LORD their God, but walked in the statutes of Israel which they made. And the LORD rejected all the seed of Israel, and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight. For he rent Israel from the house of David; and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat king: and Jeroboam drave Israel from following the LORD, and made them sin a great sin. For the children of Israel walked in all the sins of Jeroboam which he did; they departed not from them; Until the LORD removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by all his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day” (II Kings 17:6-23).
God was a father to Israel (Exodus 4:22-23 and Isaiah 64:8). God loved Israel (I Kings 10:9). Yet, when Israel sinned God punished them even to the point of death (Joshua 5:6). He saw His children being rebellious (Isaiah 1:2). God gets to a point wherein he reaches the number three. He gets to the point wherein He becomes an enemy to the very children He loves (Isaiah 63:9-10). This didn’t just apply to the Old Testament times. Today, if we who are His children err, there will be Hell to pay!
The Blood Of Christ Will Not Keep God From Punishing You
Jesus died so that we can have our sins remitted (Matthew 26:28 and Revelation 1:5). God has been longsuffering (II Peter 3:9) and merciful (I Timothy 1:12-16). Some people twist those facts to teach that God has become some kind of pushover under the Law of Christ. They look back at how harsh God was under the Law of Moses and think such has changed. Well, it has. God was more forbearing under the Old Law (Acts 17:30). Now, we won’t just be destroyed in the flesh, but face eternal consequences for sin (Matthew 10:28).
Consider these inspired words: “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 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, where with he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 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. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:26-31).
God has reached the number three. We’ve all been warned plenty. The threat is not empty. Hell is to pay for transgression (Revelation 21:8). God PROMISED everlasting destruction to those who reject the Gospel of our Lord (II Thessalonians 1:7-9). Are you going to test Him (Proverbs 29:1)?
Volume 13 – Issue 14 - December 23rd, 2012