For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.[Hebrews 10:30-31]
In light of the apparent “suicide” of billionaire pedophile Jeffery Epstein early Saturday morning, I felt compelled to look past the political and conspiratorial rhetoric and hopefully provide some perspective on the deeper theological implications at the heart of the matter.
The first notion I must address is this. Jeffrey Epstein did not get away with anything. He did not get off by taking the easy way out. His “premature” death was not his escape from justice. Jeffrey Epstein, like so many other deplorable and wicked men, may never stand trial before a human judge and face a human jury of his peers, but he will most certainly stand before the Judge of all the Earth.
We must be reminded that every man’s own “conscience also bears witness, and our own conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus” [Romans 2:15-16].
God’s word is clear. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account“[Hebrews 4:13]. Furthermore, “For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” [Ecclesiastes 12:14].
God will by no means leave the guilty unpunished [Exodus 34:7], and although the LORD takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked [Ezekiel 33:11], He must punish sin because “righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne” [Psalm 97:2].
When justice seems to allude us in this life, we must never forget that ultimate justice will prevail in the end. Death is not a way out for the wicked. It is appointed for every man once to die, and then face the judgment.
“And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books.”[Revelation 20:12]
After all, God says, ““Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”
One Serious Danger to Avoid
“When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.[2 Corinthians 10:12]
It is easy for most people to climb upon their moral high horse and look down on the likes of Jeffry Epstein and immediately feel better about themselves.
“I may not be perfect,” one may say. “But at least I’m not as sick as that guy.”
Now, I in no way want to diminish the abhorrent and horrendous acts of perversion, evil, and abuse perpetrated by Epstein and those involved in this ring of wickedness. There are different degrees of sin and there are different degrees of punishment for that reason, both on earth and in hell [Matthew 23:14]. And I personally believe that the depth of depravity that Epstein represents is among the very worst in our world.
But also there is a danger in comparing ourselves to people like Epstein and gaining this false sense of moral superiority. We fall into a trap when we fail to recognize that Jeffrey Epstein is not our moral standard.
God’s Standard of Perfect Righteousness
The Bible makes is clear that the LORD is perfect in righteousness and that His eyes are “too pure to look on evil” [Habakkuk 1:13]. Jesus says that “unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” [Matthew 5:20], and then He says, “You must be perfect even as your Heavenly Father is perfect” [Matthew 5:48].
Furthermore, the Bible is clear that no man can be justified and declared righteous by keeping the law because we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s righteous and perfect standard [Romans 3:10, 23]. If we attempt to obtain righteousness and perfection by keeping the law, we must keep all of it [Leviticus 18:5, Galatians 3:12].
There is only one problem with that. The Bible also reminds us that “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” [James 2:10].
So God’s law never saves us but actually exposes our sinfulness and moral insufficiency to meet God’s standard. The law condemns all of us, for no man is righteous — no, not even one.
Not you. Not me. Not Jeffrey Epstein. Not anybody.
In God’s sight, every man is guilty and in jeopardy of His righteous judgment. None of us enter into heaven based on our own merits and good works. There are no amount of good works we could ever do to “right the scales” and earn our salvation. Besides, if God were to award us eternal life based on our good works, then He would be obligated to pay us for what we have done.
But that is preposterous! God owes us nothing. We deserve nothing from God but to be judged and condemned according to our sinful deed and rebellion. The only wages we deserve is death [Romans 6:23].
The Good News of the Gospel
All of sudden, it becomes evident that maybe we aren’t so much better than Jeffrey Epstein after all. It’s easy to believe you are good person when you are standing next to a deplorable pervert and comparing yourself to him.
But if we are to stand next to the Lord Jesus Christ in all His righteous perfection and holiness, the true condition of our heart and of our sinful nature is exposed. When we compare ourselves to God’s standard of righteousness, we quickly realize just how sinful we are and how short we fall before Him.
Only God is good. Only Jesus Christ is perfect, and that is why we need Jesus Christ so desperately to save us, forgive us, cleanse us, and give us the free gift of eternal life.
The good news of God’s salvation is that through the Person and work of Jesus Christ, God has made the way for all sinners to be saved and restored into relationship with Himself. In trusting in God’s only provision for forgiveness and salvation, God has promised to take the righteousness and perfection of Jesus Christ and apply it to us!
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”[2 Corinthians 5:21]
God has promised to give the free gift of eternal life to all who believe in Christ! And therefore, we all come to God as sinners and understand that we can only be saved by His grace alone and by trusting in Christ alone.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”[Ephesians 2:8-9]
I pray everyone reading this will ask this question.
In Whom’s goodness am I trusting to save me?
Or in the goodness the Lord Jesus Christ?
Jesus is our only hope.