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“Why does the Lord not bring judgment to those who stand in strong opposition to His will? Why does He not just condemn them and be done with it!” A strong emotional sentiment, wouldn’t you agree? The Scripture actually tells us why. In the context of Paul’s response to the hypocrisy of some in the church at Rome, Paul said this: “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4, ESV, italics added).

This can be a tough pill to swallow, but to the Lord, it is important that we understand a particular point: God is not justifying deeds done that are in opposition to Him, only that it is not His desire to destroy that which He loves (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4). While an evildoer presumes on the Lord’s will, the Lord is allowing the maturation of time to register with the evildoer, helping him see the light that he will see soon enough if he does not change his ways.

There is coming a day when the Lord will bring all the works of man to light; if the impenitent does not change his way, the Lord will address his refusal then (and Paul makes this clear in Romans 2:5-11). I think all of us are grateful for the Lord’s slow response with regard to self. In the meantime let us be mindful of why the Lord is “slow,” and seek to do what we can to encourage others to hear His saving message.