I was reading through the news a few minutes ago, going from link to link. What started as me reading an interesting article about a group of people trying to teach Aramaic in order to bring about a reemergence of the language spoken by the Lord quickly became darker and darker… news about a cannibal killed in Miami and a woman sentenced to life for aiding in the brutal rape of her daughter, beginning when she was 5 months old and continuing until her current age of 3.
I’m not going to link the article, simply because I don’t want this deviant filth to be read by anyone, but I certainly had a few things to say. I rarely get angry. I can get quite heated during theological conversations, particularly when I believe the Gospel is being challenged by heresy (I’m working on the gentleness that I know I need to have… I’m learning). I sometimes get frustrated when the elevator takes a long time, when there’s a long line at the cafe—minor inconveniences really.
What I’m feeling now isn’t that. This is rage to the point of tears, anger to the point of nausea. I actually cannot fathom this kind of violent, uninhibited evil. I recognize that all sin is sin and that all sin leads to and deserves immediate death. In comparison to a righteous and holy God, even the “smallest” of sins warrants an eternity of conscious torment in hell. But the kind of depravity that is required for someone to perpetrate this kind of an act against a helpless infant is truly beyond compare.
And it makes me yearn for the day of judgment. When I meditate on the horrendous evil that exists within this world, I cannot help but cry out for Jesus’ return—a conquering King who will raise the righteous from the dead, giving them an inheritance of eternal glory, and a King who will raise the wicked from the grave, unleashing His undiluted, righteous wrath and separating them from Him forever. I long for that day when His justice will be served and when these ministers of Satan will receive the due penalty of their actions.
I remember Jesus’ words: “I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled” (Luke 12:49).
I long for His fire to consume the entire world—sanctifying fire for those He saves, vengeful fire for those He casts out.
And yet, I can’t proclaim God’s judgment without giving the call to repentance: this same Jesus Christ who comes with fire and His angels to bring judgment, calls the nations to repent and receive grace and salvation. By the blood of this Jesus Christ, the Lamb who was slain, the deepest stains of sin, depravity, and evil can be washed clean. Indeed, all who call upon the holy name of Jesus will be deemed righteous, not because of their own holiness but because of Christ’s perfect life and propitiatory death on the Cross.
Nor can I deny that this sin that is so clearly displayed in the lives of these rapists is also within me. Although I have been freed from the chains of sin and death, the taint of sin still affects me. This very darkness that they made manifest also held me captive. Each of us is guilty of sin. I daily must fight the temptation to sin. And I am equally deserving of the judgment that they will receive if they do not repent and believe in Jesus. I have been rescued by Jesus—that is the difference—and I did not earn any of the forgiveness I have received. I cannot pretend that I have.
And this is the power of the Gospel—healing for the children of abusers, forgiveness for the sinner (rapist, murder, liar, thief, soccer mom, college student, “good” person) upon repentance and faith in the name of Jesus Christ, or judgment at His hands. Jesus Christ will right every wrong, wipe away every tear, and account for every sin.
Come Lord Jesus. Come, let your fire be kindled against this present darkness. Turn the world to repentance. Judge the wicked in Your righteousness. Free the captives from their abusers. Heal them. Protect them. And may the fire of Your fury burn brightly against the ones who arrogantly defy Your word and perpetrate violence against their innocent victims. It would be better for them had they never been born.