No Apologizing

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Wait a second! Why do they get that!


Have you ever wondered…how it is…that people who will lie, cheat, steal have great lives?  By “Great” I mean from a material aspect.  They have a nice house, a nice car, never have to worry about money.  Now, this is not to say that the only people who have nice car’s, nice house’s and never have to worry about money are all liar’s cheaters, and thief’s (though all of us are some combination of that).  You get my point.  Anyway, sometimes it feels like people who hate GOD, or don’t even recognize that he is real are rewarded, while Christians sometimes are set to a life of mediocrity!  For some reason I want to say that there is a jumping point here about being prosperous etc…  Although I’ve done a lot of research on this topic over the last couple of weeks, I will avoid the prosperity gospel at this point and time.  Right now I want to focus on one specific point…. Some people who hate God, appear to have exceptional lives.

I know that all of us have had this passing thought…why?  Why do they get to have this while I work so hard to have average (the definition of success can be discussed at a later point) As it turns out… our questions are not unique in the history of the world they have been posed to God numerous times.  As a matter of fact, a little known book (to me at least) Malachi 3 deals specifically with this issue:

13 “You have said harsh things against me,” says the LORD.
      “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’

14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.’ ”

 16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.

 17 “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

Let’s look at this verse by verse.

In verse 13 God is talking to the Hebrew people.  They had been complaining about why evil people prosper.  Why those who do not fear the Lord have the appearance of being blessed.  God finally responds in verse 13.  When God responds the Jews are basically saying…”we didn’t say that!”  This revealed their arrogance for sure.  So, God clearly defines for them what they have been saying in verses 14 and 15. 

Have you said those things when looking out into the world?  I am guilty of this.  When I look at places like Hollywood, pro-athletics, CEO’s or whatever… I wonder.   I think a natural fit here is to look at James 4:4; “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”  This is what the Hebrews were guilty of.  The Hebrews wanted what the world had, and were wondering why God wasn’t giving it to them.

After God calls the Israelites out they respond.  God makes a distinction about who He’s talking to in verse 16 when He addresses “Those who feared God”.  God’s response in verse 17 is to those who fear God.  He says that they will be mine in the day when I make up my treasured possession.  I believe that here God is talking about His judgment.  At the day of judgment we will be able to see the distinction between the good guys and the bad guys.  If God considers you to be treasure He will take you up, and spare you.  Those who have accepted His Son, Jesus, and only those who have accepted Him are considered God’s treasure.  In other words, The Cross becomes ours and our way onto this list of remembrance.  It is this way only…that we will be spared from judgment.  An illustration of this judgment can be found in the parable of the wedding banquet.  Here the King invites many to the banquet, but they refuse to come.  When the King’s servants are mistreated by those who refuse…the King sends his out his military to destroy them.  Such is the response in verse 18.  God has sent the invitation to many to come to Him… some will refuse (those that do not fear God).  They will perish.  Because, as Jesus said in Matthew 22:14 “Many are invited, but few are chosen”.

What we are seeing is a very personal God who has heard the cries of His people.  God reassures the Israelites (and ultimately you), that while you may have things hard, that your life may not be easy, and there is an appearance of impropriety in this world… there will be no impropriety on the day of judgment.  It is here that through God we will again be able to see the difference between the righteous, and the wicked.

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16 responses to “Wait a second! Why do they get that!

  1. David E June 3, 2010 at 10:14 am


    Have you ever wondered…how it is…that people who will lie, cheat, steal have great lives……Some people who hate God, appear to have exceptional lives.

    It’s also, I think, worth pointing out that many of those people who will lie, cheat, steal and otherwise behave as utter jerks are also people who are intensely religious and sincerely feel that they have a close, personal relationship with God.


    God reassures the Israelites (and ultimately you), that while you may have things hard, that your life may not be easy, and there is an appearance of impropriety in this world… there will be no impropriety on the day of judgment.

    I think the word you’re looking for is “inequity”.

    • kcbob June 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      David,

      I cannot disagree with you on your first point. But you have to be careful. The parameter outlined by God is those who fear him. While all of us will sin, those who do these things and are habitual about, I would argue, do not fear God. This issue is addressed more easily in Matthew 7:21-23.

      21″Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

      As to your second point…

      I believe that both would be acceptable given the context. Inequity would work just as well if not better.

  2. David E June 3, 2010 at 1:01 pm


    The parameter outlined by God is those who fear him. While all of us will sin, those who do these things and are habitual about, I would argue, do not fear God.

    Ah, yes, “God-fearing” folk. For example, the sincerely God-fearing Christian folk who kill women and children in 3rd world countries because they still take the Bible seriously when it speaks on the subject of witches.


    The Congolese Human Rights Observatory recently announced that more than 60 people had been burned or buried alive in that country since 1990 – including 40 in 1996. The victims were accused, often by members of their own family, of being witches. http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_afri.htm

    Why do I bring this sort of thing up? Because evil too often has as much to do with being “God-fearing”, as you put it, as it does with the opposite.

    No one ever committed murder out of a surplus of reasonableness. The same can not be said of religiosity.

    • kcbob June 4, 2010 at 6:12 am

      I respond to this post by asking you to once again look at Matthew 7:21-23. You are imputing the sins of those who do not recognize the new covenant and the gospel onto those that do? This type of generalization is dangerous, and is often provided in a manner that is less than honest.

      To offer a same generalization of Atheists would be to say to look at the actions of Pol Pot, or Stalin. They were responsible for the murder of millions. However imputing that sin against you simply because you were an atheist would not be honest of me. That is the reason I refrain from such actions and prefer to look at everyone as individuals.

      As far as your last comment No one ever committed murder out of a surplus of reasonableness. The same cannot be said of religiosity. To play your little game…

      Surplus of reasonableness is subjective, and depends highly on perspective. If you are asking Stalin…was it reasonable to create gulags to house political prisoners…he would say yes. Stalin would have a surplus of reasonableness but would have committed murder…without religiosity. Also define surplus of reasonableness. Are you talking about what is reasonable by your standards? Because faith in general is not reasonable to you apparently.

  3. David E June 4, 2010 at 7:59 am


    Surplus of reasonableness is subjective, and depends highly on perspective.

    How very postmodern.

    That people may disagree about what’s reasonable doesn’t mean that there’s no fact of the matter and that no one side is right while the other is wrong regarding any particular dispute about something’s reasonableness.

    Some people think it’s reasonable to reject medical care in favor of prayer exclusively when their child has a life-threatening illness modern medicine can easily treat. They’re wrong. It’s not equivalent to a subjective preference for chocolate rather than vanilla ice cream.


    If you are asking Stalin…was it reasonable to create gulags to house political prisoners…he would say yes.

    And he’d be wrong—he created gulags to house political prisoners to support an irrational ideology. Something that could have been avoided if he had thought rationally about that ideology in the first place.

    My commitment is to rationality rather than atheism. I condemn a nontheistic irrational philosophy as much as I do religious irrational thinking. Nor, for that matter, do I view all irrationalities as equally noxious. The Christian Science religion, for example (which I had in mind when mentioning medical care), gets far harsher criticism from me for it’s sheer stupidity and the tangible harm it does, especially to children, than do a lot of other religious belief systems.

    • kcbob June 4, 2010 at 9:49 am

      I see. So you get to dictate to others what is reasonable or rational and what is not? On what basis do you make the decision? How do you come to the understanding of saying that Theism is unreasonable or unrational?

  4. David E June 4, 2010 at 8:50 am


    I respond to this post by asking you to once again look at Matthew 7:21-23. You are imputing the sins of those who do not recognize the new covenant and the gospel onto those that do? This type of generalization is dangerous, and is often provided in a manner that is less than honest.

    Am I to understand that you think executing witches was OK prior to Jesus but wrong now?

    If so, why the change? If not, then what DO you mean?

    And, by the way, it can not necessarily be inferred from the fact that someone agrees with the OT that witchcraft should be a capital offense that they reject the idea of the new covenant. The idea of the new covenant does not necessarily mean that ALL OT law is no longer applicable (there is much in OT law most christians still follow and much they don’t).

    And are you saying that the european christians during those times in the past when it was widely accepted that witchcraft exists and should be a capital offense were not real christians?

    • kcbob June 4, 2010 at 9:57 am

      I don’t think it was okay, but I am under the new covenant. Again, Your asking me to answer for the actions of others. While you seem perfectly fit (or have convinced yourself that you are) to judge others actions, generalize and determine for others what is reasonable/rational… I am not in that position.

      Fortunately for me, I don’t have to answer for what european christians did. I did not commit those crimes and will not answer for them.

  5. David E June 4, 2010 at 10:21 am

    But you think it was right prior to the time of Jesus?


    While you seem perfectly fit (or have convinced yourself that you are) to judge others actions, generalize and determine for others what is reasonable/rational… I am not in that position.

    What, you didn’t just a comment or two back refer to these people who killed people they believed to be witches as ones “who do not recognize the new covenant and the gospel”? Which, presumably, means that they aren’t true christians and aren’t saved.

    • kcbob June 4, 2010 at 3:22 pm

      I did, but that isn’t me passing judgement on them. It is me reading the word of God in the New Testament and applying it as directed.

  6. David E June 4, 2010 at 11:16 am

    And yes, I have opinions on what’s reasonable and what’s not. So do you. So does every human being I’ve ever known.

    • kcbob June 4, 2010 at 3:25 pm

      Good, then everyone is on the same page. The difference between you and I…I refuse to generalize as you do.

      BTW David…What would it take to convince you that God is real? If you are as reasonable as you present yourself to our readers, then what evidence do you need to see to know that God is real.

  7. David E June 4, 2010 at 4:44 pm


    BTW David…What would it take to convince you that God is real? If you are as reasonable as you present yourself to our readers, then what evidence do you need to see to know that God is real.

    Good question. I couldn’t begin to list all the things I would find sufficient to convince me God exists. The list would be longer than The Brothers Karamazov Let me start by quoting from an essay that I read once that I think gives some very good examples of things that I’d find convincing:


    1. Verified, specific prophecies that couldn’t have been contrived.

    If the Bible, for example, said, “On the first day of the first month in the year two thousand and ten, the pillars of the earth will shake and a great part of the New World will be lost to the sea,” and then January 1, 2010 comes and a tremendous earthquake sends California to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, I would become a believer. No points are awarded under any of the following conditions:

    * If the prophecy is vague, unclear or garbled (like Nostradamus’ ramblings, for example). It must be detailed, specific and unambiguous in its prediction and wording.

    * If the prophecy is trivial. Anyone could predict that it will be cold next winter, or that this drought/plague/flood will eventually subside. The prophecy must predict something surprising, unlikely or unique.

    * If the prophecy is obviously contrived for other reasons. No official seer or court astrologer ever predicted that the king he worked for would be a brutal, evil tyrant who would ruin the country.

    * If the prophecy is self-fulfilling; i.e., if the mere fact of the prophecy’s existence could cause people to make it come true. The Jewish people returned to their homeland in Israel just as the Bible said they would, but this isn’t a genuine prediction – they did it because the Bible said they would. The predicted event can’t be one that people could stage.

    * If the prophecy predicts an event that already happened and the writing of the prophecy itself can’t be shown to have preceded the event.

    * If the prophecy predicts an event that already happened and the happening of that event can’t be verified by independent evidence. For example, Christian apologists claim that Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies, but the authors of the New Testament obviously had access to those prophecies also; what would have prevented them from writing their story to conform to them? The extra-biblical evidence for the existence of Jesus is so scanty that it is impossible to disprove such a proposal.

    * And finally, if the prophecy is the lone success among a thousand failures. Anyone can throw prophecies against the wall until one sticks. The book or other source from which it comes must have at least a decently good record on other predictions.

    These conditions, I think, are eminently reasonable, and are only what would be expected of a true prophet with a genuine gift.

    ——————-

    2. Miraculous occurrences, especially if brought about through prayer.

    If cities condemned as sinful by preachers tended to explode in flames for no apparent reason, if glowing auras of holy light sometimes appeared around believers to protect them from harm, or if atheists and only atheists were regularly struck by lightning, this would be compelling proof. But it wouldn’t have to be so dramatic; even minor but objectively verifiable miracles would do, especially if they could be invoked by prayer. If a hospital did a double-blind study to determine if intercessory prayer helps the sick, and it was discovered that only the patients prayed for by members of a certain religion experienced a dramatic, statistically significant increase in recovery rate, and this result could be repeated and confirmed, I would convert. This one shouldn’t be so hard, especially for the Christians – after all, Jesus told them that they would be able to work miracles through prayer!

    That’s from the essay THE THEIST’S GUIDE TO CONVERTING ATHEISTS:

    http://www.ebonmusings.org/atheism/theistguide.html

    I don’t agree with everything in the essay but those two points I find particularly apt.

    If, for example, God released the souls of the dead one day every year to visit with relatives and loved ones and they all told us about God and the afterlife this would be pretty convincing.

    If, as in the C.S. Lewis novel OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET we visited other planets and found them to be Christians I’d find that pretty good evidence not only for theism but Christianity as well (unless they were exposed to Christianity by having heard our television and radio broadcasts or some other natural means).

    There are, I’m sure, other things I’d find to be a reasonable basis for belief in theism—probably even many that haven’t occurred to me.

    And if you can think of other examples or categories of reasons for belief you think would be reasonable I’d be glad to hear them and your thinking as to why they would make good reasons for belief.

    • kcbob June 4, 2010 at 7:36 pm

      Why don’t you just say there is no way possible?

      You have created so much criteria that you rule out the possibility all together.

      Let me give your answer in a different scenario… What can I do to convince you there are ghosts?

      Well they couldn’t be dead.

      I would have to be able to touch them

      I would have to be able to feel them.

      They would have to be able to have have a conversation with me…Not just a vague yes or what have you, they would have to have a conversation and respond in a manner that is intelligible.

      You see what I mean?

      Your criteria defeats the purpose of faith. Which is the whole point.

      Admit the truth, you cannot be convinced because you choose so. You are not the open minded rational person you claim to be and the comment proves so.

  8. David E June 4, 2010 at 8:55 pm


    Why don’t you just say there is no way possible?

    Because that’s not so. I listed quite a few examples of evidence I’d find sufficient.


    You have created so much criteria that you rule out the possibility all together.

    Only if it’s not true. Which is what standards of evidence are intended to do: distinguish the claims that are unfounded from those we have good reason to believe.


    Your criteria defeats the purpose of faith. Which is the whole point.

    The point is to have standards of evidence so low that one accepts as true things one has no rational basis for believing? That’s just embracing irrationality. No thanks. Nor have I heard a good reason for thinking a God, if one exists, would want that of us.


    Admit the truth, you cannot be convinced because you choose so. You are not the open minded rational person you claim to be and the comment proves so.

    I’m irrational and closed-minded because, instead of taking theism as an article of faith, I’m only willing to be convinced by good evidenced?

    Tell me, what color is the sky in your world?

  9. David E June 4, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    And, by the way, should I take ghosts as an article of faith too or just theism? What’s your criteria for determining what should be taken on faith and what shouldn’t?

    How about reincarnation? Why should or shouldn’t one take that on faith?

    If your answer is “because it’s contrary to the Bible”, why should I take the authority of the several documents collected by the Christian church into the bible (and which are still not universally agreed on by Christians) as authoritative rather than some other books (or, for that matter, person, institution, or whatnow)?

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