In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Recently we’ve been looking at how Christ shows he is a king. We saw that Christ’s kingship is demonstrated by his calling a people for him to rule over and by giving his people officers, laws, grace, rewards, corrections, help and protection from enemies. We’ve also seen that Jesus is a king because he orders things for his glory and the good of his citizens. This week I want to show that Jesus is a king because he takes vengeance on the rest of humans who do not know God and do not obey the gospel message.
Earthly rulers show themselves as leaders by taking vengeance on those who oppose them. For example, you cannot attack the Australian prime-minister without any repercussions.
Jesus also demonstrates his kingship by taking vengeance on those who attack him.
Those who refuse to know God and obey him are being hostile toward God. And Jesus does not take such attacks lightly. The apostle Paul says: ‘God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you’ (2 Thessalonians 1:6-10).
Such action by the Christ was proclaimed in the Old Testament as well. For example in Psalm 2 we read: ‘You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.’ (Psalm 2:9).
We also see a fulfilment of this prophecy in John’s Revelation. John described Jesus with these words: ‘Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations…He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty’ (Revelation 19:15).
So will you be struck down by the vengeance of the king? Or are you one who knows God and has obeyed the call to believe in God for the forgiveness of your sin?
Joel Radford, Preaching Elder.