Slightly Obsessed #225: Why Lightning Doesn’t Strike the Wicked

But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.

– 2 Peter 3:7-10

This morning the sun groaned a bit as she arose heavily from her bed behind the mountains that guard the valley where I live.

The day was a bit shorter, the darkness longer. I sat at the computer with my first cup of steaming coffee and sadly skimmed through the news.

Too much heartache and destruction met my eyes. It’s a good thing I’m not God. I would have torched us a long time ago.

I understand, at least theologically, why He holds back His hand in judgment. Not only is He executing a plan conceived before the foundation of the world, His Creator-heart grieves at having to destroy His creation. He longs for every person to be saved from an eternity in hell. To that end, He endures the vulgarities, the blasphemies, the brutalities against His kingdom as His Spirit strives with the souls of men for their salvation. With the same humility exhibited by Christ at His sacrificial death, the Father remains quiet under the arrogant assault of sinners against Him and His kingdom.

He knows what’s coming.

Several years ago, a popular radio personality had a public meltdown in which he vehemently damned God. When questioned by his shocked listeners, he continued to curse. He crowned the diatribe by flinging a challenge at God to strike him down at that very moment. He smugly interpreted the silence that followed and his continuing existence as proof there is no God.

He didn’t know the magnitude of grace that filled the silence.

God could have quenched his life with a single word. But the Lord is not a capricious sovereign. He cares for humanity, all of it, depraved and so very lost as it is. The Lord holds open the door to heaven and waits for us lost sinners to find our way home.

One day, the door will close, and that man will stand before the Judge of heaven and earth. He will remember the day that he cursed and challenged that which he did not understand. He will know why God did not strike him down. He will see the magnificent grace that took the abuse and offered forgiveness to the abuser. He will understand all he lost and all he could have had.

Then, it will be too late. Today, the door stands open. Forgiveness awaits.


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