Friday, May 20, 2016

Does God take pleasure in seeing bad people punished?

Image source:

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.” – 2 Peter 3:9.

In one word? No! God never takes pleasure or delight in seeing anyone, not even bad people, punished or suffer. No matter how evil, disobedient and sinful a person may be, God is not pleased to see them punished, He just has to do it.

I imagine it’s hard for Him; I imagine it’s hard for Him to watch His fearful, wonderful, beautiful and uber gifted handiwork suffer and groan in pain and torment because of their sins – it must be really hard for Him, but He just have to allow it – it’s a necessary evil.

Put yourself in God's place here and picture this: God created a perfect world with everything bright and beautiful (Genesis 1:31); then He felt someone had to be in charge of it all, someone like Him who could "tend and keep it" (Genesis 2:15). God went ahead to create such being (man); and because He is righteous and just, He created him with the power of choice - to choose what he'll or not do. The created being (that would be humans) then goes on to totally lose the plot; as a result, he lost the creator's nature and likeness, and took on a strange, alien one! This new alien nature makes him sink so deep into disobedience and evil that the creator becomes "grieved in His heart", and "sorry that He had made man" (Genesis 6:6-7). Humans let Him down, big time, desecrating the world He created!

Yet God’s desire is that EVERYONE – regardless of past mistakes and whatnot – be saved and enjoy eternity in bliss in His perfectly holy presence; a place where there’s no fear, worry, anxiety, problems, hate, bitterness, unforgiveness, hypocrisy, pride, killing, war, unrest, crisis, recession, depression – a world that’s totally free of all these and much more! That’s His desire. That’s what He truly wants, but not everyone will make it there. Some will receive the just reward for their decisions – damnation.

Why, you ask? Well, here’s why…
1. God cannot stand evil
God is just and righteous, upright and holy. In Isaiah 1:13, He declared unequivocally, “I cannot endure iniquity...” No matter how much He loves humans, and He loves us to bits – He cannot stand evil; He has to put away evil from His presence. To have a proper idea of how much God cannot stand sin, listen to Jesus on the cross cry as He quoted the words of David in Psalm 22:1, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). That was “His only begotten son” (John 3:16), yet when the weight of the world’s sin was on Him, He had to turn away as He could not stand it. Why? He is holy, holy, holy (Isaiah 6:3) – that is, perfect holiness! He is light with no trace of darkness (1 John 1:5), His presence lights up heaven! (Revelation 21:23).
The fact He created and loves us is not enough to make Him condone sin and evil, He has to punish it.

2. Sin frustrates the realisation of His vision of a perfect world
As long as sin reigns in the world, God’s vision of a perfect world will remain only that – a vision, and never realized! The sole reason He sent His son to the world was to save it and give us victory over sin (John 3:17) - which He has done (Colossians 2:13-15).

Since man fell in Genesis 3, God has been actively trying to restore us to our original place of dominion, and to restore earth to the perfect place it once was, as the present one passes away to make way for "a new earth" (Revelation 21:1).

If God continues to condone and not punish sin, there would be no way His vision - which will greatly benefit mankind - will be accomplished.

3. He gave us the power of choice
"See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil... I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live..." - Deuteronomy 30:15-19.

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." - Galatians 6:7-8.

God doesn't forcefully impose Himself on anyone; so at the end of the day, wherever you end up is a result of the choices and decisions you took. If you choose to sow to the flesh, you'll reap damnation, and if you sow to the spirit, you'll reap eternal life in bliss.

Ultimately, it's not God that damns people, it's their choices and decisions. The paths have been laid before us - the wide gate with the broad way that leads to destruction, or the narrow gate with the difficult way that leads to life, we are enjoined to "enter by the narrow gate" (Matthew 7:13-14).

So, again does God take pleasure in seeing bad people punished No, He doesn't! It brings Him no pleasure whatsoever. What delights Him is seeing people repent from their sinful ways and accept His son as Lord and saviour. What delights God is see His creation occupy their place of authority and dominion spiritually, economically, physically, and emotionally; and that is not possible as long as sin survives. What delights God is a world of peace, love, joy, justice, and righteousness - which is why He is actively working to restore that world through you and me. Will you join Him on that project?

"Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord God, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?" - Ezekiel 18:23

No comments:

Post a Comment

Sharing is giving, and giving is generosity. Be generous, share this post with those you care about.