God Repays!

“…Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you…”
— 2 Thessalonians 1:6

Hello, Friends. I have a question that might be uncomfortable to answer.

Ready? Hope so.

Have you ever been bullied? I know that’s a loaded question, but truth be told, many of us have experienced the bully whether at home, by a neighbor, at school, false brethren in the church … you name it. We all remember the days (and for some of us — the years) of being bullied which also include the victimization of intimidations in the workplace.

How did you handle the situation?

  • Did you shy away in fear?
  • Did you cry for help?
  • Did you stand your ground and fight back?

I remember my earliest grade school days … victimized by a bully in class. He picked on me for what seemed like every day, and then would send one of his boys to beat me up. The maltreatments lasted eight years until one day he smacked me on the head in wood-shop class. I turned around and punched him in the face and he fell to the floor. I jumped off the stool I was seated, landed on his chest with my feet at his head, and I kicked and punched him with my fists while crying … leave me alone!!!

The school’s principal sent me home for a few days to cool off … but I was not expelled. Wonder why? I had complained to the principal, the teachers, the adult attendants at the school, and my folks at home the whole time about the harassments. Want to hear something interesting … at least I thought was interesting at the time? After I beat up the bully we became friends … the girls thought that I was cute and the boys wanted to be my bodyguards! Ha Ha 🙂

Wow! By not knowing years earlier to stand up against the bully, we could’ve been friends sooner … or so we thought. Selah.

Still and all, God looks at revenge entirely different. He said, vengeance is His—He will repay (Romans 12:19). Image that. If I had known to call on the Lord, He might have recompensed tribulation to the bully who troubled me. Yet, and unfortunately, I was not exposed to, nor under the protective care of a pastor according to God’s heart to call on Him in times of need. My parents were unknowingly under false leaders who did not teach, nor concern themselves to comfort us with what God said — because He did not speak to them to know what He said, in the first place!

Notwithstanding, the Lord through His mercy did recompense tribulation to the bully even though I was not saved…. Still again, I am reminded that, He kept His disciples safe before they were saved. Jesus prayed, “While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” — John 17:12

The disciples whom Jesus kept safe completed their salvation on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). The son of perdition committed suicide (Matthew 27:3-5).

This is nothing to brag about, but to think, that God knew I would be one of His disciples striving to be perfect in Him …and… that I would be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth. Since He died so that I might live, He made sure to keep me in His Name (that is, in His protective care) from being lost unto eternal judgment.

One really frightening thing to know is that, there are so many Church assemblies not built upon the foundation of the apostles, prophets, and Jesus Christ Himself the Chief Cornerstone …but… are contrived and concocted by religious strangers with foreign messages; they teach other gospels and live by other doctrines and creeds. But, be that as it may, God has made a way for His lost sheep to be found and kept safe unto salvation.

I am reminded of what Paul exhorted us to do if or when we are faced with false leaders and false preachers … let them be accursed.

Consider these critical references:

  • (Galatians 1:8-9) But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
  • (2 Corinthians 11:13-15) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
  • (Jeremiah 23:21-22) I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
  • (Romans 10:14-17) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The pastors and leaders whom God did not call nor appoint to lead His disciples — preach “feel-good” “spiritual-bully” messages (that is, they stronghold their hearers to believe lies of what God will do — not what He said, and make them feel good about it).

God is not glorified and the hearers are not edified to any degree.

No one can glorify the Lord with no fruit. If there is no fruit there is no growth in the faith; the word heard is not the word of God mixed with faith, but the word of strangers mixed with foreign messages.

Hear what Jesus said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” — John 15:8

His disciples are His sheep! “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” — John 10:4-5

For, without God’s word there is no wisdom, knowledge, nor understanding of the principles of the doctrine of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 6:1) — but there is only the strangeness of foreign doctrines which do not glorify the Lord. Sad.

But, today, me and my household is under the pastor God gave to feed us with knowledge and understanding; he teaches us in all wisdom; he watches for our souls; he beholds our order and steadfastness of faith in Christ Jesus; he is not lord over God’s heritage, but he takes the oversight, not by constraint, but willingly; he never did the work of the ministry for filthy lucre, but he always evinces a ready mind….

Bless God’s Holy and Righteous Name for the pastor He deemed us worthy to receive from Himself!

All these things being said, let us look at key words from our focus verse (2 Thessalonians 1:6) and define them accordingly….

Ready to begin? Good. Let’s go….

The phrase “righteous thing” — it refers to something that is acceptable to God, which means in a nutshell that, He is the One to recompense tribulation to those who trouble His anointed …and… it is a justifiable act from His perspective.

The word “recompense” means, to requite or repay in the bad sense by penalty or vengeance. Whoa! Can you imagine that God will fight back on your behalf? Think about it. It’s a righteous thing for Him to let the troubler see how it feels (and then some) to repay them for their attacks against His beloved. That’s why the scripture reads,  “…Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” — Romans 12:19

Consider these recompense references:

  • (1 Thessalonians 5:15) See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
  • (Romans 12:17) Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
  • (Hebrews 10:30-31) For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Wow! Did you hear that?! “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” We might need to let this sink in for a moment … it is a fearful thing (i.e., a frightful and horrible thing) not to be on the Lord’s side! Selah.

One perfect example in scripture is with Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and On who all attempted insurrection against Moses and Aaron. But, the mercy of the Lord moved on Moses and Aaron to go out to warn all the people…. “And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins.” — Numbers 16:26

Here’s God’s warning, recompense of tribulation, and judgment:

Numbers 16:28-35

And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. [29] If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the LORD hath not sent me. [30] But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. [31] And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them: [32] And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods. [33] They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. [34] And all Israel that were round about them fled at the cry of them: for they said, Lest the earth swallow us up also. [35] And there came out a fire from the LORD, and consumed the two hundred and fifty men that offered incense.

(Read: Numbers 16)

This was a very serious act of God to avenge His anointed. Oh, and by the way, in case you do not know, the phrase “a new thing” in verse 30 means, “novelty” — it refers to God doing a thing that was “unusual.” It does not mean that God thought it up at the moment (like we do), but that He did something Himself that was not ever done before, by Him according to the scriptures. Selah.

Now, let’s move on to the next words and definitions….

The word “tribulation” is used metaphorically to return the “oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, or straits” which were done against God’s disciples by their oppressor(s).

The phrase “to them that trouble” refers to those who “crowd” God’s people (as if to smother them with cruel or violent treatments) — it is a precept of … to be troubled on every side… (2 Corinthians 4:8) — and it is used metaphorically to afflict or distress God’s children.

Many in Christendom think (and believe) that God’s anointed are restricted to those He placed in leadership positions. But in all actuality, His anointed are His disciples and children who believeth on Him unto everlasting life. So, it doesn’t matter if the one troubled is a pastor or a lay person; a leader or a laborer—they all followeth the Lord Jesus. Now … if they are troubled, the Lord finds it a righteous thing to recompense tribulation on their behalf to their oppressor(s).

It is then the responsibility of God’s anointed to pray and ask for His mercy upon the oppressor(s). Though they will receive a just recompense of reward, it may not be as intense if the Lord honors our prayer for His mercy … on their behalf. On the other hand, if the offender(s) is presumptuous and/or arrogant, the Lord will not hear (nor will He receive) our prayer(s) … on their behalf.

Who’s on the Lord’s side? Are you? Hope so! Be with the Lord according to the scriptures of a truth. He is the Great Shepherd (of His sheep) and Bishop of our souls. Rest in Him. Submit to Him. He will raise you up to be strong in Him and in the power of His might so that you will be able to fight the good fight of faith …and… He will repay those who trouble you.

Make sure you do not render evil for evil:

  • but provide things honest in the sight of all men (Romans 12:17); and
  • ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men (1 Thessalonians 5:15); and
  • not railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that you are thereunto called, that you should inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).

Simply put, folks. Submit to God; let Him do His work of vengeance; and let us strive to do good works for necessary uses (i.e., let us strive to bless, be honest, follow good) …and… not rail or slander any person at any time. Amen?!

Believe what God said in His word (vengeance belongs to Him) … and live!

In Christ We Do Remain
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