Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 20, 1969

God Is For Captive Punishment!

Kenneth Green

The Supreme Court has for all practicality dismantled Death Row, U.S.A.

"The court specifically ruled that all condemned men found guilty by a jury from which opponents of capital punishment were systematically excluded would have their death sentences set aside." (Louisville Times, June 4, 1968)

This news article proceeds to point out that the ruling not only "opened the door for countless appeals for a commutation of the death sentence, but meant any person sentenced under those conditions might possibly also appeal conviction..."

Thus, mad-dog killers like Richard Speck, who brutally slaughtered eight young nurses in Chicago, will not only escape the electric chair, but may be released on society to kill again!

The leaders of our land are making grave mistakes in their pursued course. The nation will be made to pay. The God of Heaven has ordained that rightful respect for authority be maintained in every relationship. History reveals that when incumbent rulers of past governments have failed to maintain discipline, corruption from within has effected the down-fall of those governments and alien powers WHO DO DEMAND DISCIPLINE have stepped in.

The breakdown in our judicial system is not simply a political or social problem. It is a clear-cut demonstration that our nation is spurning the authority of Almighty God.

Surveying God's past dealings with civil governments, it is evident that He has expected justice on the part of rulers whether they were worshippers or Him or not. When Pilate boasted to our Lord, "Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?" The Lord replied, "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above:" (John 19:10) Notice that Pilate DID have power to crucify, and this power was given by God. However he misused the power in condemning a man against whom he had found no fault, and in releasing a murderer.

The failure of Pilate was the failure of the Roman Empire. Civil governments "are ordained of God..." (Romans 13:1) "for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well." (I Peter 2:14) But Pilate and other national leaders, even to the impious emperors, persecuted saints and coddled criminals. As a result, God permitted that nation to perish. I fear that Rome's failure is America's failure.

Capital punishment has been appointed of God since the days of Noah. (Genesis 9:6) On Mount Sinai, after Jehovah had thundered forth the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) He went on to include in that body of ordinances the capital punishment law. "He that smiteth a man, so that he die, shall surely be put to death." (Exodus 21:12)

We have already noted that Jesus recognized the authority of Pilate to crucify as being from above. In Romans 13:4, after declaring that "the powers that be are ordained of God," Paul said, "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." The "sword" was an instrument of execution and a symbol of the death penalty. Capital punishment is appointed of God.

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