Sudden Justice

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5

He began working with gymnasts as a student athletic trainer in the late 70s. In 1997 he was hired by Michigan State’s Department of Family and Community Medicine at $100,000 a year and his career took off. He became an esteemed international healer in the gymnastics world and millions saw him caring for the U.S. team in the Olympics.  But then one of the young women he abused as a fifteen-year-old, grew up, got a law degree, and pursued justice not only for herself but for each of the hundreds of women he violated.

During his trial, Nasser had to listen as 200 of those he violated publicly confronted him and described what he had done. His judgment day came on January 24, 2018, when Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said, “I just signed your death warrant,” as she imposed a sentence of 40 to 175 years. 

I reminded us about Nasser’s horrific crimes because it causes us to recognize the need for a Judgment Day. There must come a time when the manipulating, the cold calculating, the pretended caring, must be exposed. Evil must be dealt with, and the Apostle Paul told the Thessalonians that the ultimate Judgment was imminent, and that Jesus, the all-knowing, wise divine Son, would be the Judge.

“Now about the times and seasons, brothers and sisters, I have no need to write to you about. For you, yourselves, know clearly that the Day of the Lord is coming as a thief in the night. When they are saying, ‘Peace and Security’—then sudden destruction will come upon them like labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in the darkness, brothers and sisters. That Day should not catch you by surprise like a thief. For all of you are sons and daughters of the light, sons and daughters of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 

Paul began this letter stressing that because the Thessalonians had responded to the Gospel, they were not destined for God’s wrath, but instead they were waiting for Christ’s return with confidence and hope (1 Thessalonians 1:10.) But he also warned that those who purposely seek to keep others from hearing God’s Good News about Jesus and persecute those who respond are already under God’s judgment (1 Thessalonians 2:15-16.) And there will be a final courtroom where the books will be opened. 

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