2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 ESV since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, (7) and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels (8) in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. (9) They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, (10) when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.
There is no peace when the wicked are present in our lives. Yes, we who know Christ experience peace with God, but when it comes to having peace in relationships with others, real peace is unattainable when it comes to dealing with evil people. All domestic abuse victims and survivors know this. Day by day, moment by moment, there is anything but peace. Even when those brief appearances of peace come, they are counterfeit. Set ups for the next attack.
Now, most professing Christians and churches tell us that we can have relational peace with anyone. But the burden for attaining it is on our back. WE must forgive. WE must effect reconciliation. WE must be humble. WE must…convert those people to Christ! And this is presented as the only path to peace with “difficult” people.
But there is another way, and the Bible is filled with its descriptions.
Christ is the Prince of Peace, so I think we can assume He knows something about this subject. In His kingdom, when He comes again and ushers in the full consummation of His kingly rule, the new heavens and the new earth, the new humanity resurrected and inheriting all God’s promises, there will be perfect peace. And not a single wicked person will be there. No enemy. No reviler, no abuser, no accusers.
Why? Where did they go? The scripture above answers that question. Christ will take them out when He comes again. He isn’t going to reform them, save them, love them, embrace them so warmly that they cannot help but be magically transformed. No.
They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,
And this is the other way to peace. We don’t effect it. We do not go get vengeance upon our enemies ourselves. We are to leave that to the Lord. Nevertheless, there is never going to be full and complete peace in this world and in our lives until the very last of the wicked is destroyed. And Christ is going to do it.
The claims made by so many supposed Christians today that “God can save anyone,” are patently false. I have had a few abuse victims get very angry with me when I show them this truth. They insist that “God is going to do a miracle and transform my abuser,” but they choose to disregard the truth that God will never change any unrepentant person. Furthermore, there ARE plenty of people who remain unrepentant right up to the end, and that is why there is a hell.
We can practice and experience, in part, this peace which comes from the removal of the wicked from our lives. No, not by wreaking literal vengeance upon them, but by separating from them as much as is possible. The more we try to “save” an abuser, the less peace we are going to have. This brand of wicked person sees efforts to work salvation in them as a sign of weakness on our part, a message that we are suckers for more abuse. We are not to cast the pearls of the gospel before pigs, but shake the dust off our shoes and move away from them.
Leaving an abuser is no easy task, and that for many reasons. But to the degree that we are able to cut off the wicked from our lives and look forward to the Day when Christ comes again to “deal out retribution” to them, to that degree peace will grow in our lives.
Acts 19:18-19 ESV Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices. (19) And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
When in hearing the Word preached, and sins reproved in the congregation, some hearers misapply the same. As for example, the minister reproves the sin of swearing, of drunkenness, or any such sin; then someone guilty thereof, does not only...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
1 Kings 3:25-28 ESV And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.” (26) Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, “Oh, my...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
John 3:7 ESV Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ With some frequency I receive reports from domestic abuse victims/survivors about how they were directed to various types of short term programs that promised a...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
1 John 2:4 ESV Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, Years ago I was at a wedding where the presiding pastor was from a large “happening” church. (I have long...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
2 Timothy 4:14-15 ESV Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. (15) Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. There is an atmosphere, a culture, an often unspoken law in...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Many of you have either been through the family court system (such a nice name, right?) or you are still enduring the suffering of that battleground. Not only at the hands of your abuser, but many times through the injustice of the court itself....[ abbreviated | read entire ]
The sins of some men are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. (1 Timothy 5:24) There is a young lady, 19 years old, a Christian, raised in a conservative church, wants to serve the Lord…and she...[ abbreviated | read entire ]
Matthew 13:24-25 ESV He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, (25) but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and...[ abbreviated | read entire ]