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God’s “Unusual Act”
The prophet Isaiah wrote, “For the LORD will rise up as at Mount Perazim, He will be angry as in the Valley of Gibeon—That He may do His work, His awesome work, and bring to pass His act, His unusual act” (Isaiah 28:11). Therefore, destroying the wicked at the end of time will be God’s “Unusual Act.”
God is, by nature, merciful, loving, and long-suffering. Moses described the character of God as thus: “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:6, 7 also Ezekiel 18:23, 32; 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9).
Thus, it is unnatural to His character to inflict pain, suffering, punishment and death upon His creatures. But at the same time, He will “by no means clear the guilty” (Exodus 34:7). Sometimes divine justice takes a long time to be revealed that people think it will never come. And they continue following their evil pursuits with impunity. “Because the 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” (Ecclesiastes 8:11 also Zephaniah 1:12; Malachi 2:17; 3:14).
God warns all who take advantage of His patience and love (Ezekiel 12:21–28; Isaiah 28:14, 22, 23). For at the second coming, the Son of God will appear as a King to punish His enemies (Revelation 19:11–21). And people will see Him acting in a role that seems very different from His role at His first Advent.
At the second coming, the Lamb of God will then appear as “the Lion of the tribe of Juda” (Revelation 5:5, 6). The symbol of a lion stands for strength (Revelation 9:8, 17; 10:3; 13:2, 5). Then, Christ will win the victory in the great controversy with the power of darkness.
The prophet Ezekiel wrote, “‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die?’” (ch. 33:11). And Matthew wrote, for “The Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them” (Luke 9:56).
The work of destroying the wicked in hellfire is so foreign to God’s nature that it will be His final “unusual act.” And God’s loving heart will suffer at the destruction of the wicked. But because of their own free will in choosing evil, He will have no choice but to leave them to reap the consequences of their own decisions in order to purge the universe of the cancer called “sin.” However, hell will not be forever.
In His service,