by Shawn Brasseaux
The righteous God of heaven and earth could have completely destroyed Adam and Eve in response to their disobedience. These creatures called “humans” were now fallen, devious little rascals, but God’s grace came instead of His righteous wrath. Instead of wiping them from existence, we see God proving His grace as He provides the animal blood sacrifice needed to cover their sins in Eden (Genesis 3:21). He “clothed them” with righteousness, but this was a temporary atonement; the blood of Jesus Christ would one day replace this animal blood, and forever and completely atone for sin and sins (Hebrews 9:11-14; Hebrews 10:10-14).
Grace has always been one of God’s attributes, but we find it most clearly manifested in the Person and finished crosswork of the Lord Jesus Christ. How the Almighty Creator God took upon flesh to die at the hands of His created beings. That will always be something incredible!
As the Messiah-King came to present Himself to His covenant people Israel, the Lord knew the full timeline from end to end: they would reject and crucify their Messiah in unbelief. In the first few verses of the first chapter of John’s Gospel, we find this description of the Lord Jesus Christ, referred to here as the “Light” (John 1:1-11 KJV):
“1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own [the nation Israel], and his own received him not.”
Now read John 3:17-21 KJV, with Jesus Christ still being the “light”:
“17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”
Israel refused to have Jesus as their King and Lord. Israel’s religious leaders were wicked, and because they were under heavy conviction of wrongdoing and unbelief, they wanted nothing to do with Jesus of Nazareth. The Jews preferred the murderer Barabbas over the Prince of Life! They did not want light; they wanted darkness. They rejected the spiritual Light, Jesus Christ!
Again, God could have righteously judged them in wrath, but this wrath has been postponed for nearly 2000 years, since the Dispensation of Grace began with the Apostle Paul. Even today, people still prefer darkness instead of light. They oppose God and follow Satan in his rebellion against God. They embrace error in men’s ideas, and cast off the truth of God’s Word “rightly divided.” They pursue iniquity and fulfill the lusts of the flesh; they avoid God because He is the epitome of righteousness. They prefer their religious duties and ignore the finished crosswork of Jesus Christ! This is all evidence of that old sin nature we have inherited from our father Adam.
Our world has taken advantage of God’s grace. Because humanity has never seen God’s wrath, our world has become lax to reality: they want a God of love and grace, but they willingly forget that He is also a God who is righteous, holy, and just, and He will not let sinners get away with their evil! Through the finished crosswork of Jesus Christ, God has given us an opportunity to escape His wrath and vexation. But, most of society refuses to accept His work as being sufficient. They try to add this, or supplement it with that (water baptism, tongues, healing, sacraments, et cetera), thereby ignoring what He has already done at Calvary (Romans 10:1-3). Blasphemy! God will be absolutely righteous in what He will accomplish one day in the Tribulation, to make people pay for their rejection of the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).
After the “catching up” of the Church the Body of Christ, God will remove His grace from earth (the rapture), concluding the 2000 years of His Gospel of Grace and His Dispensation of Grace. And God will be absolutely fair and just as He judges the unbelieving world. Earth will turn dark, crime will run rampant, devilish armies will infiltrate the world, famines, earthquakes, diseases, wars, and supernatural cosmic events will drive our world insane during the seven-year Tribulation period. Still, the Scriptures say that men will not repent; instead of changing their mind, they continue with their sorcery, fornication, and idolatry (Revelation 9:21).
Today we have grace and light; tomorrow may be the day when God brings in wrath and darkness….