“If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.” (Gen. 4:7)
You can purpose to do good, or you can purpose to do evil, the choice is yours, obedience or disobedience. To do either of course means that you understand the rules, you know the commandments of God and have a clear idea of the rewards for obedience and the punishments if they are disobeyed.
In the Old Testament there are many accounts of God punishing people individually and as a people or nation, famines, plagues, the sword, God killed people when they went against His will, a lot of them. But, unless my memory is incorrect, and not including the accounts in the Book of Revelation during the Tribulation period, and the supposition that we may obtain during the Millennial period where Revelation 2:27 says, “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.” I can recall not one incident where God killed people in the New Testament.
It is called the age of grace, the time of the gentiles, where the children of Israel have not been forgotten or forsaken, but set aside, as it were, while the Almighty calls a people out for Himself of those who are not of the lineage of Abraham, the Gentiles. But He is not killing anyone as He did in the time before Christ arrived.
I know that when He did inflict punishment upon people they repented, but not for long, the Book of Judges, the city of Nineveh one hundred years later, the people that walked in the wilderness, the accounts are endless, the generation that was severely punished, many killed by God, repented and then the next generation or two later went right back to their sinful ways. Repeat ad Infinium until the Lord Jesus arrives, and then the killing stops.
In this regard, in this area of persecutions and death on a grand and even singular scale, the Most High has been silent for over two thousand years. If it only took one or two generations for people and nations to return to a level of sin before the Lord took action against them, think of the level of sin that has grown and enveloped this world after two thousand years of no action by the Lord. “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” (Eccl. 8:11) In this regard, as much as the human mind can comprehend, the amount of wrath that has been stored up for the Tribulation period is beyond the comprehension of any human being. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Matt. 24:21)
“And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him.” (Gen. 38:7) Tell me, how much more would you serve the Lord if your child willfully and continuously sinned against the Most High, you kept warning him, but he would not listen, and so God killed him. Would your heart still be intent on service to Christ? I really do not think it makes any real difference, one or two generations, or two thousand plus years, the killing of entire groups of people, or the severe punishment by the Lord on a singular individual does not seem to have any real long term effects upon us, some die, sone don’t, and then after a while we go back to the business of self and rebellion.
When Satan is released from his thousand-year prison to go about deceiving the nations again, it is not going to take him long to find willing followers, it is in our nature to rebel, as long as the punishment of the Lord falls upon someone else and not on us.
The silence of the Almighty, the Sovereign Lord of all creation in this area is the epitome of this age of grace, God is not punishing and killing as He did in the Old Testament, but sadly, as this poorly written letter will attest to, it really doesn’t seem to make much difference in the long term when He does. Those who serve in fear are not serving in love, just because you are adhering to the rules does not mean your heart is set towards Christ.