Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 7, 2015

The “Vengeance is Mine” Warning of God

Today’s devotion comes from 2 Kings Chapter 9.  Here is a link to this chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Kings+9&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“1 Now Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets and said to him, “Gird up your loins, and take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramoth-gilead.  2 When you arrive there, search out Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in and bid him arise from among his brothers, and bring him to an inner room.  3 Then take the flask of oil and pour it on his head and say, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’  Then open the door and flee and do not wait.”

4 So the young man, the servant of the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead.  5 When he came, behold, the captains of the army were sitting, and he said, “I have a word for you, O captain.”  And Jehu said, “For which one of us?”  And he said, “For you, O captain.”  6 He arose and went into the house, and he poured the oil on his head and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of the Lord, even over Israel.  7 You shall strike the house of Ahab your master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel.  8 For the whole house of Ahab shall perish, and I will cut off from Ahab every male person both bond and free in Israel.  9 I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah.  10 The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and none shall bury her.’”  Then he opened the door and fled.”  2 Kings 9:1-10.

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Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,
In due time their foot will slip;
For the day of their calamity is near,
And the impending things are hastening upon them.’”  Deuteronomy 32:35.

“Rejoice, O nations, with His people;
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And will render vengeance on His adversaries,
And will atone for His land and His people.”  Deuteronomy 32:43.

“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.  Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.”  And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”  It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”  Hebrews 10:26-31.

Both the general “Vengeance is mine” attribute of God and the specific warning of what behavior will bring about God’s vengeance in Hebrews 10:26-32 should give us pause to consider how Christ’s blood could be considered as unclean and how Spirit of Grace could be insulted.

This warning is so severe that we should not have the primary motivation in considering this Scripture as to how it may offend some people.  But, rather, we should try to understand to whom it could apply, and we should warn them.

First of all, we can exclude one group.

This Hebrews 10:26-31 Scripture does not apply to the people totally outside of the church circle, although there are other Scriptures that apply judgment to them.  But, in this Scripture, that person did not receive the knowledge of truth as stated in Hebrews 10:26.  That person is not sanctified, so to speak, as is stated in Hebrews 10:29.  That person does not talk about the blood of Christ.  That person is not part of “His people” as stated in Hebrews 10:30. 

Rather, this Hebrews 10:26-31 Scripture could apply to Arminians who steadfastly continue to hang on to Arminianism despite receiving knowledge of the truth of Calvinism.  They received or were exposed to knowledge of the truth.  They were sanctified so to speak and at least superficially considered as part of “His people”, but they nevertheless by their false doctrine denied the power of the blood and insulted the Spirit of grace.

Arminians hang on to the false doctrine that Jesus died for everyone (“Universal Atonement” – The Third Point of Arminianism) and they love to speak about the power in Christ’s blood.  But, Arminians realize that their doctrine forces them to conclude that Christ’s blood (as they claim, shed for everyone) by itself did not save, “purchase”, or “redeem” anyone, because they admit that most people are not saved.  Arminians claim that it is up to man to generate his own faith through his own free will in order to make Christ’s blood effective to save.  They claim that the only difference between the saved and the unsaved is not Christ’s blood, because everyone gets the blood, but rather the only difference is whether or not a certain individual will generate his own faith through his own free will to make the blood effective.  According to this logic of these Arminians, man’s faith, not Christ’s blood, is the determining factor as to whether or not one will be saved.

Because Arminians talk about the blood all the time, it is true that in a sense they are trampling it, not in the sense of being hateful to it but in the sense of treating it as ineffective by itself, like the description in Matthew 5: 13:  “…if the salt has become tasteless, how will it be made salty again?  It is good for nothing anymore, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.”

Likewise, the Arminian can be compared to the one who insults the Spirit of Grace as is mentioned above in Hebrews 10:29.  Think of a situation in which your father graciously took you out to a very expensive and lavish dinner, paid for everything, and even left the tip in addition.  However, you did not think that the tip was sufficient so you add your $5 to the tip.  Wouldn’t your father be insulted that you thought that what he did was not enough?

Likewise, Arminians insult God by their doctrine that believes that the blood of Christ is not enough, they feel that they must add their own tip of faith.  The Calvinist thinks of faith as a gift of God;  the Arminian thinks that faith is their own gift to God which is necessary to secure salvation.

But, there is hope!
 
Reformed Doctrine properly holds a high view of what the blood of Christ effectively accomplished and properly gives all credit for their salvation to the Spirit of grace. 

Article 8.  For this was the sovereign counsel, and most gracious will and purpose of God the Father, that the quickening and saving efficacy of the most precious death of his Son should extend to all the elect, for bestowing upon them alone the gift of justifying faith, thereby to bring them infallibly to salvation:  that is, it was the will of God, that Christ by the blood of the cross, whereby he confirmed the new covenant, should effectually redeem out of every people, tribe, nation, and language, all those, and those only, who were from eternity chosen to salvation, and given to him by the Father;  that he should confer upon them faith, which together with all the other saving gifts of the Holy Spirit, he purchased for them by his death; should purge them from all sin, both original and actual, whether committed before or after believing; and having faithfully preserved them even to the end, should at last bring them free from every spot and blemish to the enjoyment of glory in his own presence forever.  SECOND HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Death of Christ, and the Redemption of Men Thereby of Canons of Dordt.

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