Tag Archives: judgment

Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God

Following the events in Boston yesterday, it is my full expectation that we will see yet another push for the American people to trade their liberties for security. With growing resistance to drone surveillance, the TSA, the growth of our police state, our unjust policy of endless war; and the growth of the liberty movement, I have every reason to believe that this event will be used to “bloody the nose” of the American people to continue trading liberty for safety. As Benjamin Franklin, who is quoted in the title as well, said “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither safety nor liberty.” I hope this post serves as a timely reminder to all Americans.

The battle taking place in America today, the one that is playing out in our court houses and in the halls of congress, is not merely a contest of political ideologies. It is becoming clear, certainly, that many Americans strongly disapprove of the actions of their government – whether Republican or Democrat. It is also becoming clear that the two parties have conspired together to push an agenda that is damaging to the cause of liberty. The battle taking place, however, should not be summed up as some mere difference of political opinion; rather it is an all out war for the heart and soul of the nation.

These men in power today, who swagger around Washington D.C. like aristocrats and attempt to bully the American people into submission didn’t come to be there overnight. They came to be there because we the people turned our back on the fear of The Lord and with it wisdom. They came to be there because we neglected our sacred duty and gave up the watchfulness that so long protected our cherished liberty. They came to be there because we came to worship the state instead of God.

You don’t think we worship the government in this country? Who do we turn to in the event of a crisis? When an event like Hurricane Katrina happens, who gets blamed if it isn’t handled well? Who do we run to when our enemies attack us and kill us? Who do we turn to when we don’t like the behavior of our neighbor, whether how he handles his own property or his moral choices? Most Americans turn first to the government to act on all of these issues. And because, like the children of Israel we neglected The Lord and sought after a king, now in His righteous judgment God has given us kings.

The question now, is will the Church, the people of Faith, those who are to have no king but King Jesus stand idly by while these events unfold. Many Christians today seem to not understand that they have an innate Biblical command to resist tyranny. Not only is it ok to resist, it is Biblically mandated. This is the case for two reasons.

First, we are commanded by the Holy Scripture to protect those weaker than ourselves. Do you think God cares that the American government has violated the principles of Just War and begun rampaging about the earth like the pagan empires of old, Babylon, Assyria, and Persia? Do you think he cares that we have shed the innocent blood of several hundred Pakistani children, who by the way have likely never even heard the Gospel, with drone strikes from above? Where does it stop friends? We live in a Constitutional Republic, which means at least in theory that our government answers to us. This means, that we are morally responsible for the actions our government commits, particularly those carried out by men we helped to elect.

Second, when the government engages in tyrannical actions and takes away the peoples liberty, activities like forcing Catholic and Christian organizations to violate their consciences by paying for abortions, it is acting in direct opposition to Natural Law and in so doing to nature’s God. God has set in place on this earth His own law, a law by which all men are to be free and are created with certain rights. When the government attempts to seize these rights it violates the law of God, and those who submit to its unjust authority align themselves with this rebellion against their creator.

The people of God cannot remain on the sidelines on this issue. There is no neutral ground. Either we take a positive stand for the honor, reputation, and righteous rule of our God and Liberator or we stand with the kings of this earth in their quest to destroy His image and the liberty he placed in the heart of every man. I have heard it argued that the Gospel, and the Kingdom of God must come first above other earthly considerations, and indeed they must; but do we really think God will honor the advance of the Gospel in the hands of churches and Christians with blood on their hands, at the hands of those who have engaged in active rebellion against his law through the support of their nations false authorities?

Christian, it is your sacred duty, Divinely commanded, to stand with liberty. To protect the law of God and defend the weak and helpless. Those who act in tyranny are in rebellion to God and have no authority for their actions, you on the other hand have full authority vested in you from on high to resist, and ultimately stop, the actions and crimes they are committing against God’s law. Will you stand with liberty and the God who endows it to every man, or will you rebel against the only King you ought to have?

Pray for our nation, pray the prayer of repentance. Pray that the Church would be revived and again take her proper place in society. Pray that the people of God would recognize the duty they have to protect His law. And then STAND.

Blessed By Hardship?

There is a now widespread doctrine, particularly in these United States, but growing in adherence throughout the world that teaches that God will financially and physically bless those who place their faith in Him. I am not saying that this is never true, certainly in examining Scripture – the Old Testament especially, we see plenty of examples of God blessing those who are faithful to Him. The trouble over the last few, at least for me, is that it seems like as God begins to prepare judgment on these United States for her sins that those who have been the most faithful in many cases have suffered the most hardship. I know countless families who have placed their full faith and trust in God for His provision only to struggle day after day to even make ends meet.

Now before I get to far in, let me say this. I am well aware that anyone in these United States should consider themselves financially blessed, however, that does not make the sudden onset of financial hardships less real for these families. It also doesn’t do much to explain why even as others around them may be prospering, those whose faith has been most in God to provide, seem to lack provision.

Let me suggest that this is a blessing from God! Some of the darkest and most difficult days the world will ever see are closing in fast on this country. God is about to pour out wrath and judgement like most people here have not seen before. The artificial world we have built with all its gadgets and amenities is collapsing, and in the meantime the American people have grown very, very soft.

For this reason, God is introducing those who have followed Him faithfully to hardship by degrees. He is reteaching them dependence upon Himself and upon the work of their own hands. They are relearning the skill necessary to survive without being able to rely on the work, the government, or an insurance policy to protect against every contingency. This is God showing His grace!

In His wrath, He has allowed many of those who turned away from Him after the wealth of this culture to continue placing their faith in that culture even as it fails. To those He has set apart He is demonstrating hardship to make their hearts and minds ready for the times ahead.

Are you struggling? Have you faced great adversity in your life? Continue to trust in God’s provision, but recognize that hard times are coming and God is making you ready to face them!

God of Wrath, God of Grace

The Gospel is good news, it’s good news for all of humanity; but in order to be good news it has to be understood properly. There has been an on going trend, over the last several decades, to reject anything condemning in the Gospels. As a culture, we have chosen to ignore all references to the need for holiness, and to God’s righteous wrath being poured out upon those who reject the Gospel.

When we look at what the Gospel is all about, we ought to turn to the Gospels and see what Jesus Himself had to say. Many people today, uncomfortable with the moral demands of scripture try to argue that Jesus taught only grace and no punishment, but Jesus in fact was very clear that without salvation, mankind would most certainly face the wrath of a righteous God.

Look at this passage, where Jesus addresses the certain punishment of those who are unable to satisfy the requirements of a just and righteous God, all passages are taken from the NKJV:

Mark 9:42-50

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched—where

‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched— where

‘Their worm does not die,
And the fire is not quenched.’

And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire—where

‘Their worm does not die
And the fire is not quenched.’

“For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

And this one, where Jesus maintains that we must maintain proper fear of God, who maintains the power to cast us into Hell:

Luke 12:5

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

As for the righteous requirements of the law, look what Jesus has to say in this next passage, in that we cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless we are more righteous than one of the most legalistically righteous sects of all time:

Matthew 5:20

For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven

Now look at the passages immediately preceding and following the above passage, in which Jesus lays the kind of morality that God demands

Matthew 5:1-19

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Notice that last passage, Jesus affirms that the teaching He is revealing does not in any way remove or nullify the moral law of the Old Testament, rather it reveals more clearly what the law demands. Now for the passage following 5:20

Matthew 5:21-30

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause[b] shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

“You have heard that it was said to those of old,‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

Notice that Jesus’ moral teaching demands not only right behavior, but right thoughts and heart conditions behind that behavior. If we show self control and don’t commit a sin, such as adultery or fornication or murder; but in our heart we really really want to, and entertain thoughts and images to that effect, then we are just as guilty before God as if we had carried those thoughts into action. This poses great difficulty, because none of us is capable of keeping a law this perfect. In fact, if we are judged for our very thoughts, then everyone of us sins on a frequent basis.

This leads to an important question, if none of us can possibly meet God’s moral demands: What then is the Gospel or Good News?

This is where Jesus’ teaching varies radically from every other religion on earth, take a look:

John 3:16-17

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Matthew 18:23-27

Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt

A talent of gold, according to at least on source I looked at would be worth over $840,000 at todays gold prices. 10,000 of them of course goes way beyond anyone’s ability to ever even consider repaying.

And this is where the Gospel of Jesus differs from every other world religion. Whereas all other religions in the world lay out moral laws and demand that men be “good enough” to get into heaven, the Gospel clearly states that none of us can possibly live up to God’s moral demands; and so, rather than allowing us to perish, Jesus came in the flesh to dwell among us and took our sins upon Himself. Now if we will accept Him we can put on His righteousness and experience a total heart transformation that will take away all of sins and make us into those who can say honestly they meet God’s moral demands. This an only be done through the work of Jesus on our behalf and the work of the Holy Spirit in us. All we have to “do” is surrender our lives to the work Christ did on our behalf. In choosing to falsely believe that God does not practice wrath at all, we make the work of Christ of no value, and blaspheme the very one on whom we must believe for salvation. If God is only grace, then first of all Christ Jesus Himself was a liar and fool and secondly His death and resurrection were completely unnecessary. As it stands it is the paradox of God’s righteous wrath and saving grace that makes the Gospel the Good News.

The Weeping Revival

This message has been processing deep within my heart for several months, it became crystal clear during the national outrage following the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The heart of the American people has grown calloused. Not only is it hard in its response to the movements of God, but it is rare that anything tragic enough happens to move it to response. In a fit of self seeking and hedonistic pleasure, our people have buried their real emotions deep within in their breasts lest they be made to feel guilt or pain.

Despite the obvious historical signs that our nation is going down the path of Rome and other fallen nations before it, none dare care. Despite living in a world that gets smaller each day, a world where all know first hand about the lives of those living in poverty, slavery, and hopeless sin; none dare care. Despite the rape of our children by lies they here from the media, the music industry, their peers, and our public education system; none dare care. Despite the damage done in every home and family across the nation by divorce, pornography, hatred, and distrust; none dare care.

Therefore the Holy Spirit will fully withdraw Himself from our land, until such a time as we are able to weep over what we have become. The next revival, will not be ushered in by a fresh out pouring of prophecy, of power, of tongues, or of any such gift as we have so desired; rather it will be ushered in when the spirit of weeping is restored to our land.

Have you wept in your prayers lately? Contemplate your own condition before a just and holy God. We have taken the cross, the ultimate mark of suffering and grace, for granted. It is time to remember that the grace we all claim so lightly to cover our sins came at an incredibly high price. The Son of God offered Himself fully to experience the wrath of God on our behalf. For this reason, I call on the people of God to weep over the condition of their own hearts. We have become altogether cynical towards the most precious gift we ever received, let us turn to God in tearful repentance for our sins.

How about the lost, have you wept for them? There are over 6,000 people groups in the world today who have never even heard the Gospel you and I take for granted. Every day they live and die in total ignorance to great salvation Christ offers freely to all. India and China saw more baby girls aborted in the last decade through gender selective abortions than the total female population of the United States. You want to know what is really sad about this? It is that those who died in their mothers wombs had a better life than those who will now grow up in a Christless existence. As the people of God, the soul purpose of our being called out as a body, a church if you will, is to bring Christ’s salvation to the lost. It is time to weep over our failure and inaction.

Have you wept for the sins of our nation? The actions of the United States have caused the name of Christ to be blasphemed all over the world. Our sin and depravity has become to the world a public spectacle, revealing what a “Christian” nation is really like. Our churches, more often than not, only try to change our society through elections and government action. Oh, how timid we have become of trying to be a life changing force in our communities and cities. Will you take weeping action to address the sins our nations stands condemned of as our judgment comes upon us?

Friends, sure judgment is coming on America for the sins of her people. As the people of God we can respond with tears and weep, not over the coming wrath and the end of our prosperity, but over our own participations in the sins for which we must be judged. When we at last turn and weep before God, then, and only then, will the Spirit of God again rest on our people and give us the wisdom necessary to become what we were made to be. Until then, the days of our prosperity have been numbered and will soon end.