Saturday, April 27, 2013

God - A Consuming Fire

Hebrews 12:29 KJV
For our God is a consuming fire.

Though the verse is united with the previous under the conjunction "for" it seems out of place, a leap to find it in this context. It is true we are to serve God with reverence and godly fear, but a consuming fire seems to engender something beyond that. If we have a kingdom that is unshakable and which cannot be moved; if we are come to the heavenly Jerusalem and not to that mount which the Jews were forbidden to touch, why is it we quake and exceedingly fear His consuming fire?

That answer is to be found in the interpretation of the text. The consuming fire is one of protection for God's people and not of the prosecution of them.
  • God chastens all of His children but none of them are consumed
  • God disciplines and shapes us to holiness, but He never destroys His children
  • God rebukes us in our disobedience in order to bring us back into obedience, but He never repents if saving us
The consuming fire then is reserved for those who oppose and persecute us as is described in 2 Thessalonians when in flaming fire He takes vengeance on all who know not God and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.[1]

[1] 2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 KJV
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

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