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God’s Judgement

Have you ever heard the saying,

If God does not judge America he’ll have to apologize to Sodom & Gomorrah?

Ruth Graham

This is not a new saying. Albeit it has been around for a long time and was around way before our current sinful culture was mainstream. Theologically speaking God’s judgement is a much deeper and complex topic than some may realize. One thing is certain however, although this way of thinking is not exactly the way Jonah thought and felt it does have similarities that we can compare. We can also explore God’s reaction to different groups of people who were in sin at various points in the Bible.  Most importantly we can see God’s point of view and his thoughts about the current situation of the world from the Bible.

God told Jonah to go warn the people of Nineveh that judgement is coming. Spoiler alert, the reason why Jonah did not want to go was because he knew that God is a merciful and a gracious God.

And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

Jonah 4:2

Jonah ran from the calling of God. A whale swallowed him up. Eventually Jonah decided that he was going to finally do what God had called him to do. We can learn a lot about Jonah & God from this four chapter book. It still surprises me and also gives me hope that the men God used in the Bible were so different from God. Jonah’s true feelings and desires for the people of Nineveh were for destruction. It also gives me hope because I see how Jonah and others were far from being perfect and I can definitely relate to that. In spite of myself I want God to be able to use me as well.

Lets examine God’s thoughts about Nineveh for a moment.

Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.

Jonah 1:2

In the Complete Jewish Bible it says that their wickedness had come to God’s attention. Fully aware of the situation, God knew that he needed to intervene. God told Jonah to let them know he knew of their sin, to cry against it because of the sin. We read later in more detail what God’s judgment for Nineveh is.

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

Jonah 3:4

God’s Mercy

Most of us have read the book of Jonah so you already know that Nineveh’s reaction to this warning of judgement played a major part in what happened next.

5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 

6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 

7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 

8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 

9 Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

Jonah 3:5-9

I find their response to be moving and it brings up emotions within me. These verses are full of beauty and I am a bit envious of their response. I am envious because I would love so much for America to mimic this response and follow this path of repentance yet that is not happening. Jonah’s impression about God was correct. God was merciful to Nineveh and did not overthrow them. In the last chapter we really get a close up view of God and Jonah and their motives, thoughts and ideas.

Jonah wanted to see Nineveh destroyed. He did not want them to repent. Jonah showed no compassion for these people yet God still chose him. You see, if God had chosen someone else we would not have the book of Jonah. This book is a gift to the world and to the generations. We see God in a way that we need to see him. It makes things clear. If God had chosen another we would not have this beautiful book. When God chose Jonah, it was for our benefit just as much as it was for his.

God tells Jonah that he created, labored and built up the city. God himself had personally invested in the city. He cares about the people of Nineveh and overthrowing any city is not a lite thing for God. He is taking a loss if he does. I am paraphrasing. There is an unseen spiritual dimension here as well. We are aware but we don’t know the extent of the labor the angels have taken in this city. We have not seen what God has done behind the scenes. How could we? We should be aware that there is much much more happening than we are aware of and at a scale we do not know.

We must acknowledge however that it was repentance that kept God from overthrowing the city. It was repentance that kept judgment from coming to them. Repentance is the key to all of this. Nineveh repented. We will explore some other groups of people which did not repent. They had a different way of thinking. Lets see how God responded to them.

The Cities of the Plain

In the case with these cities God uses an intercessor rather than a prophetic warning to warn the cities. Abraham intercedes for the cities of the plain. You may ask why did God not send a prophet to warn of the coming judgment? Jesus tells us some very import information regarding these cities.

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.

Matthew 11:23

Works in the Greek is “δύναμις, εως, ἡ” or dunamis. It refers to Miracles. Think signs, wonders, healings and great spiritual power. Jesus did not say they would respond to a prophetic word of judgement. Rather if they would have seen some miracles Sodom would have repented at least enough for God to have spared them. However they stand as a testament and a warning to all generations of the consequences of sin and rebellion against God.

There is another aspect that Paul brings up in the letter he wrote to the Romans. It is a different people but its talking about one of the exact same sins they were guilty of.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 

Romans 1:28

The word reprobate refers to counterfeit money. It is not what it is pretending to be. Just think of who Paul is talking about and our current sinful culture of today. That speaks for itself. The Bibles accuracy to detail is scary and mind blowing sometimes. Sodom refused to consider or regard God’s word at all. They refused any type of call to change paths and behaviors. Just look at what they themselves said out of their own mouths. They would not listen to any prophet.

 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. 

Genesis 19:9 KJV

7 and said, “Please, my brothers, don’t do such a wicked thing

8 Look here, I have two daughters who are virgins. Please, let me bring them out to you, and you can do with them what seems good to you; but don’t do anything to these men, since they are guests in my house.” 

9 “Stand back!” they replied. “This guy came to live here, and now he’s decided to play judge. For that we’ll deal worse with you than with them!” Then they crowded in on Lot, in order to get close enough to break down the door. 

Genesis 19:7-9 CJB

The people of Sodom are intolerant towards any ideas and morality that is different from their own. They force themselves including their sexuality upon others. They say you have no right to judge them or call their deeds sinful, wicked, evil or wrong. It is clear that these people would not adhere or listen to any call to repentance from anyone. As Jesus told us only miracles would persuade them yet God gave them none. Sounds like today.

And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

Genesis 19:14

Lot tried to warn his family (sons in law) about God’s judgment upon the city. They did not believe him. They thought he was crazy. He was an extreme minority in the city. Even Lot himself had questionable actions. He tried to give the people his daughters after all. These people would not want to hear anything about God and absolutely would not of believed it. Nineveh repented and God spared them. The Cities of the plain however were different. Intolerance to God’s law and refusal to listen had destroyed them. If they were accepting of a prophets message then they would have repented as Nineveh had.

Noah’s Day

The Ark itself was an enormous feet of will, determination and submission towards God. It was a testament of Faith. Looking over the horizon in it’s direction, one would have saw an enormous work of craftsmanship which was a prophetic message of what was to come. Everyone in the area would have saw the ark being built. They would have inquired about it. As many Bible teachers and preachers through the ages have also stated, Noah could also have employed others to help build the ark. Not one person is mentioned in the Bible as asking about the ark or being converted and repenting. We can assume many had asked about it. However we know no one repented because they never joined Noah into the ark.

We know about the Giants in the land at that time. We know that fallen angels bred with women. The scriptures also tells us more.

5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 

12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.

Genesis 6:5 & 11-12

The ark was a unique sign of things to come. God also gave a countdown until the floods would come. God tells us that the earth at that time had 120 years until the floods would come. This generation experienced the supernatural. It was evil but it was supernatural. They had no reason not to believe in the spirit world. The women were pregnant with the children of fallen angels.

1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 

2 that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 

3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 

4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

Genesis 6:1-4

God had given up on this generation. We know they were wicked and sinful and violent but what about intercessory prayer? What about sending a prophet? They had Noah and the Ark to testify about the coming flood. That was their prophetic sign. Prayer refers to communication with God. We can see that they had their own spiritual beliefs that were contrary to God. If you need a reminder, it is the fallen angels and the giants that are their offspring. The impact this would bring would be astronomical. It would be easier to convert a Muslim, Buddhist, witch doctor, atheist, etc..

Our Generation

Two years ago I attended a prayer and repentance service outside in front of the Columbus, Ohio state building. Several churches showed up for the service. There was a decent crowd but your average mega church has a higher attendance on Sunday morning. I am glad Columbus, Ohio was not alone. We were actually copying an idea which was started elsewhere. The number of attendees varied from city to city throughout the country. At each location a group of mostly Christians would gather and repent and pray for the city and the nation. It is a great thing when some Christians repent or dedicate to God a life of repentance and abstain from sin. However there are many Christians (self proclaimed) who do not see it as sin. The church today is divided on the issue of sin.

We need America as a whole to repent yet we cannot even get the church as a whole to repent. The king of Nineveh humbled himself and declared repentance across the land. Our current president calls good evil and evil good. Part of America resembles the intolerance towards God and his word the same way that the Cities of the Plain did. It would be a blessing to be a Nineveh generation. A generation of repentance. In Lot’s day and in Noah’s day God lets us know that both were too far gone. Judgment was assured.

Can you see the difference? One city repented, was willing to listen to God and was willing to humble themselves. Humbleness is way underrated. Pride is a sin and is overrated. In lot’s day and in Noah’s day, the people were not willing to accept or listen to any prophet, words or warning to repent.

You might say, “just one family was saved in Lot’s day & just one family was saved in Noah’s day.” We have Christians all over the world. In America we have hundreds of thousands or millions of true born again Christians. I believe that. However in the last day the Bible does not say there will be just one family left. The Bible actually uses words to describe different time zones as well. Two will be asleep, two will be working etc.

The rabbit hole of Punishments & Curses

So far we have covered the destruction of an entire city, multiple cities and the entire planet. As the heading states this topic alone goes very deep. You can write a library full of information on just punishments and curses. Before total destruction even comes to a city or the planet there will be punishments and curses. Israel is Exhibit A. The law of Moses is the proof. History is the evidence.

Longsuffering & Wrath

I believe according to scripture we are the generation of lot and Noah. If not then we are just like them. So why is God not judging us? The Bible tells us that God endured longsuffering while the ark was being built. This means that the generation in Noah’s day deserved punishment when God first told Noah about it. However God allowed them a space of time such 120 years and while the ark was being built. There are many misconceptions about the wrath of God. The Bible tells us this.

The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Nahum 1:4

There are many other scripture verses that tell us God is slow to anger. That is just part of it. In many parts of the Bible we see references to a certain level of accumulation of sin. A certain standard where God will not do any total destruction unless it gets to that point. Examples are below.

 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Romans 2:5

And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

Revelation 15:7

But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.

Genesis 15:16

Picture being able to hold up a very big cup. You then tell yourself that you will not pour out your wrath until that cup is full and running over. Imagine having that type of restraint. Fathom having that type of self control. conceptualize being able to tell everyone that you will not display a certain behavior until a specific level has been achieved. This lets us know that God is in full control over his emotions.

When God displays his wrath it is 100% justified. God realizes what he is capable of. Not only that but God has told us 100% exactly how and when he will pour out his wrath on the generation in the book of Revelation. Even when in the very moment of pouring out his wrath he will stay on point and at no time will his emotions ever cause him to make a decision not already pre planned. When the Bible says that God repented it is not if sin. Repentance in this case means God changed his mind. God wants intercessory prayer. This is what will change God’s mind.

Warning Signs

Plagues & curses are promised to those that commit sin. Any sin will bring demonic forces. Although there is not immediate destruction there will be clear signs and plagues and curses as a result of sin. The Bible does say it rains on the just and the unjust. The Bible does say that everyone will die. It also says sin brings additional suffering on top of that. America gets comfortable in sin and the negative impact it brings. We also like to blame our political opponents when the affects of sin are felt over the land.

45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee: 

46 and they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.

47 Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; 

48 therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. 

49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

Deuteronomy 28:45-49

The versus above tell us that destruction happens only after the curses have pursued and overtook the nation. In this case it is referring to Israel. Israel is God’s chosen people. If they cannot expect to sin and get away with it neither should anyone else. This is not an exhaustive reference. It is just a blog post that is pretty long already. There are so many scriptures on this topic. I cannot even cover 1/4 of it all here in this post.

We can clearly see that through the scriptures in this post and in the Bible that God is slow to anger. If a nation will humble themselves and repent God is merciful. We can also see that even if a nation or a city is to experience total destruction that God is still patient. As with Nineveh God has invested time and work into America. This is true for all of America including California and New York.

It is not a light thing for God to send destruction onto a nation. 9/11 was a result of our own sin. We deserved what happened to us. We committed the sin. If we want the curses to stop we must repent. When the time has come however it will be swift and quick. Curses from sin can last for generations. Prophets can preach for years, decades and to multiple generations over time.

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