In this present war against terrorism, we hear and read so much about how we are love our enemies and to ensue peace and avoid vengeance. The Bible is used to sustain all such positions. Or perhaps I should say "misused" in most instances.

Most all of the scriptures used are to be individually applied. This is how Christians are to conduct themselves in dealing personally with their fellows.

(Romans 12:17) "Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."

God is a God of love but he is also a God of justice and vengeance. The word "vengeance" is defined as revenge, retribution or retaliation. When an evildoer, whether an individual or a nation, does evil, there awaits them, vengeance. But the apostle warns us that vengeance is not to be in the hands of the individual, it is in the hands of God. God will be the avenger. "I will repay, saith the Lord."

But God has chosen the means of vengeance, repayment or retaliation. In the 13th chapter of Romans the apostle says that God has ordained or mandated the "higher powers," "powers that be" or "rulers," that which we refer to as civil government, to be the means by which God will take care of the evil doer. (Romans 13:1-4) "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."

We cannot, individually, judge and execute judgment. God's appointed medium, the powers that be, will take care of that. "He" (the powers that be) "beareth not the sword in vain." He can and will take life if necessary.

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