August 30, 2017

Worship the One Who Is Just

Revelation 15:1-4; 16:1-7

Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.

—  Revelation 15:3

“That’s not fair!” exclaimed the little girl. How early in life we sense when the scales tip in someone else’s favor! We all want justice.

The songs in Revelation 15 and 16 tell us that God is holy and just in all his ways. Interestingly, they are found in two chapters that speak about punishment.

Many people relegate God’s wrath to the Old Testament and suggest that the New Testament pictures only a God of love. Would it surprise you that ­every book of the New Testament speaks of God’s wrath? It is precisely because God is holy and just in all his ways that he opposes evil.

John expresses clearly that God’s wrath is awful. That’s the bad news. The good news, though, is that because God is perfectly just, he is also amazingly merciful. In Jesus, justice and mercy work together to provide us a way out of the punishment for our sin.

John also wrote, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). No one can run from God’s judgment; but everyone is welcome to run to Jesus and find in him the mercy of God that can save us from sin.

That’s the good news. Will you run to him today?

Lord Jesus, Savior of the world, may we hide ourselves in you today by repenting of our sins and accepting the gracious ­offer of your forgiveness and new life. In your merciful name, Amen.

About the author — John Van Schepen

Dr. John Van Schepen is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon and California. He and his wife, Willie, have been blessed with five children and several grandchildren.

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