Thursday, September 30, 2010

Last Two Minutes

An Exposition of Luke 23:39-43



Sinusundan ko ang bawat laro
Ng koponan kong nanghihingalo
Sa bawat bolang binibitaw
'Di mapigilang mapapasigaw

Iyan ang mga panimulang linya ng likhang-awit ni Gary Granada, “'Pag Nananalo ang Ginebra” (tinig ni Bayang Barrios). Ito ay pagsasalarawan ng kasiyahang nadarama ng isang tipikal na basketball fan kapag nagwawagi ang kanyang paboritong team. Iyan din ang mga panimulang linya ng awitin niyang “'Pag Natatalo ang Ginebra”, pagsasalarawan naman ng damdamin ng isang tipikal na fan kapag nagkakalat ang kanyang paboritong koponan. Para sa mga hindi basketball fans, mahirap unawain iyan pero ganun po talaga. Ganyan ang damdamin ng mga fans. Masyado silang affected sa nangyayari sa hinahangaang koponan

Ngayon ay hindi na ako nanonood, pero pinagdaanan ko rin 'yan. Kapag natatambakan ang aking paborito, at nakikita kong nauubos na ang oras, nasasaktan ako. Lalo na kapag nakikita mong unti-unti nababakante ang mga upuan. Lumalabas na ng ULTRA o Araneta Colosseum ang mga manonood kasi tiyak silang hindi na makakahabol pa yung natatalong koponan-- at malamang marami sa kanila ay nasasaktan din tulad ko. Parang gusto ko na ngang patayin ang telebisyon kasi nga masakit sa damdamin.

Bihirang mangyari, subalit kung minsan ay nangyayari na yung hindi mo inaasahang makakahabol pa ay nakakahabol pa. Sunod-sunod ang turnovers ng kabilang team at nakaka-iskor naman sila. Makikita mo, yung mga lumalabas ng Colosseum at hindi pa nakakalayo ay biglang bumabalik sa kanilang mga upuan. Napasarap ulit ang laban. Akala mo wala nang pag-asa, meron pa pala.

Ang taong katabi ni Kristo sa kanyang pagkakapako sa krus ay aakalain mong wala nang pag-asang maligtas. Bakit?

Una, hindi siya isang relihiyosong tao. Siya ay isang kriminal. Kapag nanonood ako ng police report sa mga newscast, tinatanong ng reporter yung mga nahuling suspek, “matagal na ba ninyong gawain ito?” . Sagot ng suspek (habang tinatakpan ang kanyang mukha), “hindi po sir, ngayon lang po. Nayaya lang ako.” Kadalasan ay hindi kapani-paniwala, pero ibigay na natin. Meron naman talaga sigurong natukso lang, hindi naman talaga niya gawain. Sinubukan lang gumawa ng kalokohan- timbog agad.

Ang kriminal sa tabi ng Panginoon ay tinawag na kakourgos. Ganito ang depinisyon ng isang Greek lexicon sa salitang iyan:

"one who customarily engages in doing what is bad"
(Louw-Nida)

Hindi siya isang one time criminal na natimbog; siya ay isang professional criminal. Normal na sa buhay niya ang paggawa ng masama-- ito ang kanyang career. Hindi siya yung tipo ng tao na makikinig sa mga usaping ispirituwal.

Pangalawa, sa ulat nina Mateo at Marcos, noong una ay kasama siya sa mga kumukutya at lumalapastangan sa Diyos. Ang salitang “robbers” sa Matt. 27:41-44 at Mark 15:32 ay nasa plural form. Hindi isa kundi yung dalawang kriminal ang kumukutya at lumalapastangan sa Panginoon.

Isipin na lang ninyo ang kanyang kalagayan. Nakapako sa krus, marami siyang tinanggap na hagupit; marami siyang sugat. Sa bawat oras na dumaraan ay nanghihina siya. Slowly but surely, he is dying.

Pero saan niya ginagamit ang natitirang lakas? Ginagamit niya ito sa paglapastangan sa Diyos na may likha ng daigdig, laban sa Diyos na nagbigay ng buhay sa kanya at patuloy na bumubuhay sa kanya. Death is at the doorstep and he will soon face his Creator, and he is using the depleting energy in his body to mock the judge who has the authority to declare him justified or guilty.

Malapit na siyang malagutan ng hininga. Kumbaga ay last two minutes na ng kanyang buhay at kung mamasdan mo ang kanyang kalagayan, wala talaga siyang kapag-apag-asang maligtas.

Unexpected turn of events
Humirit ulit ng isa pang round ng pang-aalaska ang isang kriminal:

Luke 23:39- One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!".

Ang inaasahan niya, sasali ulit yung kapwa niya kriminal sa pang-iinsulto sa Panginoon. Pero ang tugon ng kanyang kapwa kriminal ay kagulat-gulat:

But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God..."

Marahil ay na-shock siya sa tugon ng kanyang kumpareng Kriminal-- “Anong nangyayari sa iyo pare?”

Makikita rin natin dito ang unang palatandaan ng isang taong binago ng Panginoon. Sabi niya “Don't you fear God”

But let me just say that these marks of conversion are not exhaustive. One must survey all the relevant accounts and deductive passages on conversion before we can present an exhaustive list of the Converts' marks. We will limit the marks to what we are seeing in Luke 23:39-43)

The first mark of conversion: fear of God.
Tulad ng lahat ng hindi pa mananampalataya, ang propesyonal na kriminal na ito ay walang takot sa Diyos. Ang pagsasalarawan ng bibliya sa lahat ng hindi pa mananampalataya ay "There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Rom 3:18). Subalit ngayon ay may malaking pagbabago-- biglang nagkaroon siya ng takot sa Diyos.'

Ika nga ni John Macarthur: “the first thing you see in a real conversion is a heightened awareness that God is a threat”

He is crucified; he is suffering from a cruel form of capital punishment in the ancient times. That is terrifying enough. Yet escaping from the cross is not his concern right now. For him there is something more terrifying than crucifixion.

The Roman government can only destroy his body. But there is a higher judge who can destroy not just the body but the soul as well.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matt. 10:29)

He has fallen into the hands of Roman authorities, and that is dreadful. Yet that is not his concern at the moment. For him there is something more dreadful.

It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Heb. 10:31)

BTW, how do you evangelize? Is God a threat in your gospel presentation? Or do you have your own version of the gospel which offers a non-threatening God? Mag-ingat, baka hindi ebanghelyo yang ibinabahagi mo.

The second mark of conversion: a high view of Jesus Christ.
To the natural eyes, there is nothing impressive about Jesus. Even those who admired him in the early days demanded that he should be crucified during his trial. Christ is majestic in glory but he clothed it with frail humanity. As a result:

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.” (Isa.53:2 b)

The Pharisees, Saduccees, the Priests, Pilate, Herod and other authorities can't see his beauty. Moments ago, this criminal himself finds Jesus unattractive and unimpressive. He was mocking him moments ago. Yet there was a sudden change. His eyes were opened and he saw beyond what eyes could see.

a. He saw the sinlessness of Jesus.
Nakita niyang hindi nila ka-level si Hesus. They are rightly judged as criminals but this this man called Jesus is sinless. There is nothing in him that deserves this wicked punishment.

1 Peter 1:22- "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."
Heb. 4:15- "we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin"

b. He saw Jesus as a King
The crowd entertained themselves by placing a crown of thorns upon the head of Jesus. They nailed a sign which says ““This is the king of the Jews.””. Earlier, they put a mock royal robe on him. The irony is, the one whom they mocked is the true king who deserves more than the best robe the world can offer; he deserves the best crown which the world cannot give. He is not just the King of the Jews but the King of the entire universe and the heaven itself

This criminal however asked Jesus to remember him when he comes into his Kingdom. That is a recognition that Jesus is indeed King. For What is a kingdom without a King?

Namamangha ako sa lalim ng insights na ibinigay ng Diyos sa taong ito. In search for a similar case of conversion, John Macarthur says this criminal's conversion is close to Paul's. Pero sa ganang akin, mukhang malayo. You see, there was a miracle in the conversion of Paul. There was that blinding light. He even heard the audible voice of the Lord Jesus.on the way to Damascus. This man's conversion however was unaided by miracles.

When Jesus died, there was a violent earthquake; The temple veil was rended from top to button. The centurion who was guarding him were terrified by the earthquake and so they confessed, “"Surely he was the Son of God!".

Praise God for the salvation of that centurion; praise God for the conversion of Paul. However, the criminal's conversion was unaided by miracles and signs. All he saw was a wounded and dying man, yet he saw him as King.

The followers of Jesus along Emmaus road said “we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel (Luke 24:21)” – When Jesus died, their hopes for the Kingdom were shattered. But this man looks forward to the day when Christ will finally reign.

c. He saw Jesus' victory over death.
Again he saw something hidden from the eyes of others. In John 2:19-21, Jesus prophesied that when they shall murder him, he will rise again from the dead in three days. In verse 22, John reports that only after the resurrection did the the apostles understood the significance of Jesus' words about this resurrection. One apostle even said that he will not believe Christ's resurrection unless he can insert his fingers on Jesus' nail marks and his hand on Jesus wound by the side. These are men who benefited from Jesus' instruction and fellowship for three years.

~This criminal however did not have that privilege of walking with Jesus for three years. Ang mga Dabarkads niya sa nakaraang tatlong taon ay malamang mga kriminal din na kagaya niya. But he looks forward to the day when Jesus lives and reigns. Another unusually amazing deep insight from this man.

The third mark of Conversion: Willingness to be ridiculed for the cause of Christ.
The fact that it is written in the bible means that Luke's careful investigation (Luke 1:1-4) yielded eyewitnesses who heard of this confession. Just imagine the scene: the whole world is mocking Jesus. Everyone thinks he is a fraud. And out of that multitude of voices, you will confess Christ as King. For that reason, you will share the ridicule reserved only for Jesus.

~Charles Spurgeon comments: “Its easy to swim with the current, and hard to go against the flow”

Dear students, when the textbooks and the whole class assumes Darwinism (evolution), it will be easy for you if you will swim towards their direction. Life will be easier for you if you will just accept the assertion that molecules gradually change overtime to become man. But I'm telling you, God will be please if you can stand up for the Bible's teaching that man was instantly created by God in his image on the sixth day. Oh how I wish I could turn back time and be a maverick in the classroom.

When all the people around you think that homosexuality is okay, God will be pleased if you shall go against the flow at the risk of being labeled as a discriminator or an homophobic. Stand up for what the bible says about homosexuality.

Going against the flow not only pleases Christ, it is also a mark of true conversion, as demonstrated by that thief on the cross.

The fourth mark of conversion: his plea to be a recipient of mercy.
He knows he is a sinner; he knows what he deserves is punishment. Yet he sees Jesus as a merciful king and so he asked “Remember me”. That reminds me of the tax collector in Luke 18:13 who went to the temple yet stood at a distance. He can't even look up because of shame. And while beating his breast pleads “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

JESUS' Response
1. A Promise of Assurance
Aren't you glad there is certainty in Jesus promise? He said “you will be with me...” Ano kaya kung sinabi ni Hesus, Okay, you will be with me in paradise. Pero mag-ingat ka! May ilang oras ka pa para mabuhay. Baka magkasala sa last two minutes. Pagbabayaran mo sa purgatoryo ng sandaang taon. Magbilin ka na sa mga kamag-anak mo na mag-novena sila pagkamatay mo. Dapat ipagdasal ka nila tuwing death anniversary mo at All Soul's Days. No, Jesus gave a certain promise that he will be preserved for the remaining hours of his life so when he departs from this life, he will be in paradise.

Those who were faithful to the Lord for two minutes prior to death is just as safe as those who were faithful for the last twenty years. 


This ought to give us hope in sharing the gospel at someone's deathbed. Many times, our loved ones reject the gospel we offer. The rejection may last for decades, but God may still do something amazing in the last two minutes.


I'm also looking forward for surprises in heaven. We will see unexpected people there. "Nandito ka!!! "Di ba nagnakaw ka pa dalawang araw bago ka mamatay !!!"  We'll God granted him repentance before he took his last breathe.

2. Immediate fellowship
There are those who believe in Psychopannychy as an intermediate state, popularly called soul sleep . In this view, the soul is unconscious in between death and resurrection. This verse says that on that very day, the converted criminal will enjoy God's fellowship in paradise. The reunion of our souls with our bodies will wait until the resurrection--- John 6:44, “ I will raise him up on the last day” , but we will be in conscious fellowship with Jesus and other saints. Remember Lazarus with Abraham in Luke 16:19-31

Now if you think the doctrine of soul sleep is weird, there is something weirder. The Jehovah's Witnesses insist on this translation:
'Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in paradise." (New World Translation)

Other translations however read:
"I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (NIV)
Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (ESV)

Legitimate bible translations place the comma before the word today; but the NWT places it after. That is strange because in other instances where the phrase amen soi legoappears, the NWT always placed the break immediately after it. Luke 23:43 is the only exception. Why? As in other places where the NWT is controversial, they were translating out of theological bias.

NWT translated it that way to support a distinctive of the Jehovah's Witnesses: they believe that men cease to exist as persons at death. In their system the repentant criminal has been non-existent for the past 2000 years.

The following verses are proofs that we will enter into immediate fellowship with the Lord after death:

Acts 7:59
While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."

Phil 1:21-24
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

2 Cor. 5:6-8
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

This is not just to defend a doctrine. It is meant to give you hope that even death can do you no harm. All it can do to you is to bring you to immediate fellowship with your King.

CONCLUSION
Sa basketbol, ang isang koponan ay maaaring makahabol sa last two minutes malamang dahil sa husay ng mga manlalaro at sa strategy ng kanilang coach o di kaya ay dahil sa mga “lucky breaks”. Pero sa last two minutes salvation, hindi husay o suwerte ang batayan upang makahabol sa langit, kundi habag ng Diyos.

John 6:44 “"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

This is the story of two criminals. Both were notorious sinners. Both were deserving of eternal punishment. Both were unable to come to Jesus. The only difference is that God the Father has drawn one to come to his Son and the other was not. God's sovereignty and God's mercy were both displayed in this account of a salvation in the last two minutes.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ang Bading na Naging Badong

Ang dalawang pinakabagong paskil (dito at dito) ni kapatid Ray Aviles (BARM's Churchmouse) ay mga indikasyon na siya ay nasa kalagitnaan ng pakikidigma laban sa mga apologist ng homoseksuwalidad. Habang siya ay nakikipagpalitan ng putok, ako naman ay halos mapahalakhak sa natagpuan ko sa Youtube: ang pagkanta nang live ni Romi Valle ng awiting Badong. Ang mensahe ay hango sa 2 Corinto 5:17, -
Ang sinumang na kay Kristo 
ay nagiging isang bagong nilalang.




Huwag ninyong gaanong pagkatiwalan ang lyrics dito. Umasa lamang ako sa aking imperpektong pandinig.
.
Dating Bading, Ngayo'y Badong
Binago ng Panginoon
Dating Bading, Ngayo'y Badong
Alanganin kahapon, lalaki na siya ngayon

Dating Bading, Ngayo'y Badong
Binago ng Panginoon
Dating Bading, Ngayo'y Badong
Dalaginding kahapon, Binata na siya ngayon

Ang sinumang nakipag-isa kay Kristo
Ay isa nang bagong nilalang
Wala na ang dati niyang pagkatao
Ang lahat ay nagbago
Dahil kay Hesu-Kristo

Dating Bading, Ngayo'y Badong
Binago ng Panginoon
Dating Bading, Ngayo'y Badong
Matrona kahapon, Barako na siya ngayon

Walang sinumang makapagbabago
Maliban sa Panginoong Hesus-Kristo
Kahit ano pang matandang homo
'Pag lalapit kay Kristo, sigurado nang magbabago

--------------------------------

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

William Paul Young Believes My God is a Monster


“I don’t need to punish people for sin.
Sin is its own punishment, devouring from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it”

- says Papa in William Paul Young's The Shack

In my previous post, I referred you to James De Young's list of comparison between The Shack and the creeds of Universalism. Number 2 in that list is:

"There is no eternal punishment for sin. The creed of 1899 again asserts that God “will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness.” Similarly, Young denies that Papa (God) “pours out wrath and throws people” into hell. God does not punish sin; it’s his “joy to cure it” (p. 120). Papa “redeems” final judgment (p. 127). God will not “condemn most to an eternity of torment, away from his presence and apart from his love” (p. 162);"

In June this year, Ray Yungen of Lighthouse Trails Research visited Concordia University in Portland, Oregon just to hear the voice of William Paul Young  (WPY).

Yungen reports the following:
1. WPY rejects the evangelical doctrine that God will judge the unbelievers.
2. WPY rejects the substitutionary view of the atonement.
3. WPY says: "the God of evangelical Christianity is a monster."
4. WPY refers to the evangelical view as "darkness" and exhorts the audience to get rid of it.

It is very clear; William Paul Young hates the God of Evangelicalism-- he hates my God!

See this post from the Lighthouse Trails Research blog.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

William Paul Young: a Universalist ???!!!

        In my post Biblical Exclusivism and the Destiny of the Unevangelized, I briefly discussed Pluralism and Inclusivism. For today's post, I would just like to mention another view that you must be aware (and beware) of.  

This view is Universalism:


" A belief which affirms that in the fullness of time all souls will be released from the penalties of sin and restored to God."
(-David Eller in Elwell's Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, 1st edition)


       This post is prompted by the continuous success of The Shack, a book written by William Paul Young (from hereon, WPY). It's present  and strong in every bestsellers list: Amazon, USA Today, New York Times, ECPA-- name it


       One controversial portion of that book (among many others) is when WPY's version of Jesus said:

"Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don't vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions."


      WPY's Jesus says further:

"I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, my Beloved."

One man who claims to have known WPY for over a dozen years has recently written Burning Down The Shack in response to bestseller. His name is James De Young (from hereon, JDY), professor of New Testament Language and Literature at  Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon for over 30 years.


       As a long time friend of WPY, JDY informs the readers that way back in April, 2004, WPY presented a 103-page paper defending a form of universalism. JDY defines this version of universalism this way:


"Christian universalism (also known as universal reconciliation) asserts that love is the supreme attribute of God that trumps all others. His love reaches beyond the grave to save all those who refuse Christ throughout their lifetimes. Even fallen angels, and the Devil himself, will one day repent, be delivered from hell and enter heaven. There cannot be left in the universe any being whom the love of God does not conquer; hence the words, universal reconciliation. This view of future destinies claims many texts that seem to assert that the reconciliation Jesus accomplished on the cross extends to all creatures (Rom. 5:18; 2 Cor. 5:16-20; Col. 1:19-20), that all universally will confess him as Lord (Phil. 2:6-11), and that God's desire that all be saved (1 Tim. 2:4) will be accomplished. Nothing can thwart God's will and love."


       JDY demonstrates that universalism is embedded within The Shack by comparing it to the creeds of universalism. You can read his list here.

-----------------



More Reviews of The Shack from Respected Christian Personalities:

Tim Challies- A Reader's Review of the Shack (pdf)
Albert Mohler- A Look at "The Shack" (mp3)
Norman Geisler and Bill Roach- The Shack: Helpful or Heretical?
Charles Colson- Stay Out of 'The Shack'

Friday, September 17, 2010

When I'm 64



Wala akong maisip na pamagat para sa paskil na ito.
Eh naalala ko lang ang kantang ito:



In sports which require high levels of physical strength and skill, retirement comes early. If you are 40 and still active and productive, that's extraordinary. That's why the world was shocked when George Foreman regained the heavyweight championship belt at the age of 40.

Cagers who seemingly walked on air have come and gone. They were called by different monickers: Aerial Voyager (Vergel Meneses), Sky Walker (Samboy Lim), Air Jordan (do I have to name him?). I really miss Jojo Lastimosa's acrobatic shots which were common to him in his rookie year. They are all retired now ; and by the time they reach the age of 70, I doubt if they could jump three inches high.

As age advances, physical and mental productivity progressively declines. That's why there is a point called mandatory retirement in the workplace.

When it come to spiritual service, Psalm 92:14 offers hope for the aged saints.

They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green (NIV)


If the Lord will be pleased to grant me a long life, I would love to be an instrument in the Master's hand to strengthen the weak, to enlighten the confused, to humble the proud, and encourage the weary. But I can't wait till I'm 64. Lord use me NOW. Let me bear fruit NOW.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Happiest and Safest Place in the Universe

The Manila Bus Hostage Crisis; a screenshot from a Youtube video.

I will use the 2007 data because I can't find a more recent report on Philippine tourism. In that year, the Philippines ranked #53 with 3.1 million tourist arrivals. I hope my forecast is wrong, but it is reasonable to expect a decline in our tourism industry after that horrible Manila Bus hostage crisis.

I would say that in order to attract tourists, we have to convince them of two things:
  1. We have to convince that they will be happy here-- that they will enjoy their stay here.
  2. We have to convince them that they are safe here-- that no harm awaits them.
France was the top tourist destination for that year with 81.9 million tourist arrivals (kaunti lang lamang nila sa atin-- 78.8 million lang).

For some reasons, people are convinced of two things:
  1. They are convinced that they will be happy in France
  2. They are convinced that they are safe and secure in France
Now, suppose a multi-billionaire offers you an all-expense paid trip to France with the following benefits:
  • you shall be there not as a tourist but as a resident in Paris, France's best city for a period of 1,000 days (almost three years)
  • you can take your loved ones with you so you won't miss them
  • you shall receive a lavish allowance regularly so you don't have to worry about earning money.
Let's suppose all these are available to you with a few conditions:
  • You are forbidden to open the bible
  • You are forbidden to pray
  • You are forbidden to attend church
  • You are forbidden to sing songs of praise and worship to your God.
 Would you accept the offer?

The psalmist has already made up his mind:

Better is one day in your courts
    than a thousand elsewhere;
  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
Psalm 84:10 (NIV)

He is convinced of two things:
a. True happines is in the Lord's presence only
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
  no good thing does he withhold
    from those whose walk is blameless.
Psalm 84:11
b. True security is in the Lord's presence only
he is our "shield" (v.11) a protection from flaming arrows and bullets.

Apprehending the goodness, grace, mercy, and power of God will make you desire to stay with him. You will not trade him for all the best things the world has to offer. The happiest and safest place in the universe is God's presence.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Praise God for the Penal System

When Cain murdered his brother Abel, he forfeited his farming vocation. No matter how much hard work he will invest in tilling the soil, it will yield nothing. He was banished from his land and from the presence of the Lord. He will no longer be farmer but a homeless wanderer.

Cain realizes the gravity of the punishment. He said that the punishment is too hard for him to endure. He expresses his fear that all who will see him as a wandering fugitive shall try to kill him.

God replies, “Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." (Gen.4:15 NIV). He then put a mark on Cain to warn everyone.

I derive two points from this:

1st, God is merciful. Though his justice demands punishment for Cain’s sin, he also displayed his grace by providing protection for Cain from potential attackers.

2nd, In the very first case of murder in human history, Scripture points out that punishing wrongdoers helps in reducing crime rate. Cain’s mark warned everyone that a more severe penalty awaits them if they would harm the wandering fugitive.  The penal system is thus a deterrent to crime. Have you ever thought before that we can praise God for the penal code?

“he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” (Rom. 13:4)