A sermon on revenge
1) The Russian Czar, Peter the Great, is said to have been fascinated with the study and practice of medicine.
2) It seems he was almost fixated on these things.
3) One day one of the Czar’s helpers asked him to extract his wife’s tooth.
4) This ruler thought this was a golden opportunity to practice medicine.
5) He grabbed some dental instruments and went to the helper’s apartment.
6) The wife strongly protested against having her tooth pulled, but the Czar persisted and did the job.
7) Several days later the Czar learned the woman he extracted the tooth from did not have a tooth ache.
8) The husband made up the toothache story to get back at his wife because they had a quarrel.
9) This man used a well-known leader to get revenge.
10) Revenge is a common part of life and it can be an awful part of life.
11) When people know or think they have been wronged, they often way to get even.
12) People seek revenge on coworkers, bosses, ex-friends, ex-spouses, pranksters and backstabbing friends.
13) People can become obsessed with revenge.
14) Revenge is certainly included in part of the thought we find in Prov. 6:18.
a) God says He “hates” those whose hearts devise “wicked imaginations.”
b) Plotting revenge is one form of wicked imaginations.
c) This type of activity is not only wrong, God says He is extremely displeased by it.
15) Even if the Bible were silent on this issue, common sense tells us revenge is a bad choice.
16) Revenge typically escalates virtually any type of conflict.
17) Suppose that one man calls another a bad name.
18) The second man hears the bad name and wants revenge – he responds with a similar vulgarity.
19) The first man is now tempted to take things a step further and he does.
20) Maybe he curses the man twice as much or two times as hard and now shakes his fist.
21) The other man may walk away, but he begins to think of how he can continue to strike back.
22) He feels he was injured or treated unfairly so he wants the other fellow to “get his due.”
23) People who believe in revenge usually do not have a close relationship with God.
a) A Christian who seeks revenge is someone who has not been well taught or is not living correctly.
b) People who believe in God but seek revenge do not really understand the Bible or do not apply it.
24) For the Christian there is a perfect solution when it comes to revenge.
a) For part of our scripture reading we heard Rom. 12:19.
b) Paul said God will render vengeance to people. God said, “I will repay.”
c) In some cases God takes revenge on people in this life.
d) In other cases revenge may be part of an eternal sentence.
25) If someone is unkind to us and should be punished, we can be consumed with what should happen to them.
26) We can think (and sometimes think often) of how we were wronged.
27) We can consider how unfair things were and how the person was not apparently punished.
28) In fact, we may consider how we came out looking bad when we were the good guy.
29) The fellow on the wrong side of the issue may be praised and we end up being faulted.
30) We may be so upset up at something or someone that we really want revenge.
31) We may not only want revenge, we plot it. We think of how it might be carried out.
32) We might come up with a wide variety of plans and consider which ones are best.
1) If we did these types of things, we would invest quite a bit of time and energy.
2) There would probably be some restless nights and the blood pressure would be elevated.
a) God says to His people, “I will take care of vengeance.”
b) When revenge needs to be executed, God will drop the hammer on that person.
c) Thus, heaven’s message to the Christian is: “Do not worry about that person/situation.”
d) The punishment for someone deserving of revenge may not be immediate.
e) There may be cases where we cannot see it. It will happen.
f) When it comes to vengeance, God implies that we need to have faith that He will act.
3) In Rev. 6 there were some Christians who had died for the sake of Jesus.
a) Perhaps we can envision some of what they had experienced.
b) Let’s imagine that we are living in a time when the government has outlawed Christianity.
c) We are told that if we have a copy of the Bible, we will be imprisoned or killed.
d) The government has said it will take away our children if we teach them the Bible.
e) People are fired from their jobs unless they say that God does not exist and Jesus was an imposter.
f) If our faith were under fire 7 days a week, we would be crying out to God for help/deliverance.
g) We would be wondering why God would not be taking revenge on our persecutors.
4) This is very point in Rev. 6:10 – READ
a) God’s time table did not match up with what these Christians were thinking.
b) This is still true - our time table is not always in line with the divine time table.
c) The revenge did come, and when it came, it must have stunned those who saw it.
d) Some may complain about the “when” of God’s revenge, but not the “what” of heaven’s revenge.
e) When the time is right for judgment and punishment to fall, it is hard, fast, and it complete.
5) God will not forget about or overlook those who are deserving of revenge.
6) He can, He does, and He will execute perfect revenge on those who should receive it.
7) If we try to interfere in the process, we involve ourselves in an area where God says we have no authority.
8) We also imply that we can do a better job that God.
9) If God is the God who takes revenge on people, how could we possibly do any better?
10) We might act in a faster manner, but faster does not mean things will be done properly.
THE BOTTOM LINE WHEN IT COMES TO REVENGE IS THAT WE MUST MAKE A CHOICE WHEN WE ARE WRONGED OR WE FEEL WE HAVE BEEN WRONGED.
1) Several eyras ago I heard about a roadside restaurant where a lot of truck drivers stopped to eat.
2) One big rig driver stopped in for a meal and some bikers began to mock him.
3) They took away the truck driver’s food and spoke very badly to him.
4) The trucker didn’t make a scene or object; he paid for his meal and left the restaurant.
5) The bikers then spouted off about how wimpy the driver was.
6) They said to the waitress that the truck driver who left was not a real man.
7) The waitress responded that she didn’t know about that, but she did know one thing.
8) She said he was not a good driver.
9) The man in the 18 wheeler ran over all the motorcycles as he left the parking lot.
a) A lot of people choose to be like the truck driver – they plot and carry out an evil plan.
b) God wants His people to live in a different manner.
c) God wants us to let Him settle out accounts.
10) This can be difficult to do at times, but there are some things to help us accomplish it.
a) For instance, the Bible tells us to rise above the times when people are unkind to us.
b) This is what Jesus and His people did in first century times.
11) One of the great points in the gospels is that Jesus was not always treated well.
12) In life, important people are usually treated very well.
13) How often have we seen a king or president treated very badly?
14) How often is a congressman or senator treated with severe and continued disdain by others? Not often.
15) Jesus was very important, but He was maligned and mistreated many, many times.
16) He was called a glutton, a drunkard, and said to be demon possessed.
17) People wanted to kill him. Similar thing happened with the apostles.
18) Jesus and the apostles rose above the charges.
a) These men knew they were doing what was right and that was all that truly mattered.
b) Long ago (Isa. 40:30-31) Isaiah spoke of people having “renewed strength.”
c) The prophet compared people to eagles.
d) This is a rather unique comparison. Eagles know when a storm is coming.
e) When a storm hits, they use their wings to get above the storm.
f) Eagles are able to be in the clear while a storm rages below them.
19) This is what we want to do with the people who deserve revenge.
20) Rather than sink to the level of the person who has tempted us, we take a different path.
21) Instead of descending into the storm where aggressors are, we stay on a higher plane.
22) This does not give us a “holier than thou attitude.” It simply means we are making the right choice.
23) Jesus made this very point in the Sermon on the Mount – Mt. 5:43-45 – READ
24) A second thing to help us is the decision to move forward and put the past behind us.
a) Men like Paul could have dwelled on the past and thought about all that had happened.
b) God’s people in first century times could have become consumed with revenge.
c) Paul is a good example of people who moved on with their lives.
d) In Phil. 3:13-14 this apostle said, “I press on towards the goal.”
e) “I forget those things that are left behind.”
25) Life is too short to get hung up on revenge; there are too many other things to do and concentrate on.
26) Every once in a while we see someone in the news who typifies revenge.
27) Something bad happened to them and they say something like:
28) “I will spend the rest of my life trying to correct this wrong or get even with this person.”
29) This type of attitude is about as far away from the Bible as one can ever go.
30) Such a person gets high marks for energy and commitment.
31) In the grand scheme of things, is our taking revenge on a person really what matters?
32) Is this really a leading and worthy goal for a person’s life?
33) Would it not be far better to be a Christian and let God fully deal with the matter?
34) People who focus on revenge are among the most short-sighted people in the world.
35) They try to assume a role and responsibility God has chosen for Himself.
36) A third technique that is helpful to overcoming the temptation to get revenge is the second mile.
a) Someone has said that injuring an enemy makes us worse than him.
b) Taking revenge on an enemy makes us even with him.
c) Being good to an enemy elevates us about him.
37) After Paul said what he did in Rom. 12:19 he went on to say something else.
38) Verse 20 in Rom. 12 says “feed your enemy. If he is thirsty, get him something to drink.”
39) This is going the second mile and really living as a Christian.
40) Instead of seeing how we can meet evil with evil, we meet evil with good.
41) The unsaved people in the world meet evil with evil.
42) Some of the unsaved do a little better – they meet evil by just walking away.
43) The Christian ethic goes far further – we meet evil with good.
44) Revenge is part of the world; it is also ugly and ungodly, and something God hates.
45) God calls His people to life a different kind of life; this is why there must be a “conversion.”
46) God wants people to have a converted life. Is this the way we are living?