Saturday, June 14, 2014

Dark Times

Today, I read an outcry online regarding the evil that exists in our government officials and in our churches. The attitude of the outcry was one that would defend the rights of people, implement justice and show complete disdain toward this evil that exists, persists and increases. I put me into a world of thought. I know how there is much evil in our world today. I see the horrors. I hear about them. I see the greed, the injustice and the sorrow. But, after having had so many years of visions and dreams about the horrors of the future (some have come to pass, some will happen) and have prayed so much about these things, I can not and will not take this stance.

Many consider it noble to take the position of a Zealot, so to speak. Too often they say that Jesus was one of these who fought for justice, equal rights for all people as well as usurping government authority. But at close examination Jesus did none of these things. He didn't defend Israel and defeat Rome. He didn't even change the situation in the governing powers of Rome over Israel so that Israel wouldn't be treated as unequal people. He didn't preach or implement justice. However, Jesus did teach the justice of the Father, which is VERY different from the justice most people have in mind as it has been shaped by the Law of Moses and to this day is dominated by it. The justice of grace, through Christ is extremely unjust by the view of most of humanity. It forgives murderers, receives thieves, rejects many who seem to be holy, rains on the just and the unjust, says the poor with be with you always and even tells slaves to obey their masters. Very offensive to most people, especially in America.

Jesus taught 'the way' is not the justice we understand by such teachings as the Law of Moses, does not promote a person to stand up and fight for their rights (but to give up all rights as we obey The Father, just as He did), to not seek to impact and change the world we live in for He has overcome the world and we are no longer of the world nor do we live by it's. Christ did not take down Rome. He did not interfere with anything by way of law and government. He defended God. He didn't even defend the Law of Moses except to explain its purpose and reveal the New Covenant God desired to establish with humankind. And that covenant is Grace; unending love and forgiveness; mercy, kindness and peace that surpasses all understanding. God's Kingdom is NOT a worldly kingdom and never will be. It isn't Israel. It isn't America. It is spiritual. It exists with God and all those who make covenant with God through the work of Christ Jesus' death, burial and resurrection.

All this being said, I cannot agree that it is the Christian way to stand up and speak out and fight against corrupt evil, to seek to change or 'revolutionize' the world governments. That would be fighting in the flesh instead of operating in the covenant of Grace which says 'seek God first' and your needs will be met and also says 'ask and you will receive' and 'DO NOT stop  asking.' Grace says  'Pray' and He will supply your needs and your proper desires. Now, this covenant isn't about rules and rights. It's about two things: GRACE and FAITH. So, we are first  citizens of God's Kingdom. God's Kingdom is supreme to this small earth we live in. So what would the Christian need to fight for?? NOTHING. All is won. Now we are to learn how to receive and walk in this victory. So, even if we are terribly poor, we should be at peace if we are seeking God first and not trying to solve our problems in our flesh. From  Job, who suffered horrific poverty to Solomon who enjoyed unending riches, as people seek God and do not lose faith, their needs will be met and they can rest in peace.

That leaves me in the understanding that Matthew 24 is complete in expressing to all of us what to do until this earth ceases to exist as it now is. We need no more instruction. And throughout all of Christ's teachings we have been given guidance. When Christ was arrested and Peter took one of the soldiers ears off, Christ healed that soldier and chastised Peter. He also warned him. We should heed that warning.

What do we do until the end finally comes? According to my understanding we learn and study the Word of God. Jesus says it won't pass away though most all else does. We also pray and seek God regularly. His Holy Spirit will guide us where He desires us to be. We are to watch out for groups and people and churches that do not operate in Christ's teachings. We are to be cautious, obedient and unashamed of our relationship with God through Christ Jesus and 'hang in there'. We are not to lose hope.

Look. We CAN'T let the horrors and evil control our emotions of anger to the point that we disobey or operate in our flesh rather than in the Spirit. Nor can we let it control our emotions of grief and sorrow so that we fall to despair or apathy. We must encourage ourselves with the joy of the Lord and the reality of His victory.

Doing what is right isn't always righteous. What the world says is 'right' very often is not righteousness according to the Grace covenant. It is an upside down Kingdom. Jesus kept everyone scratching their heads when He lived on Earth and to this day, people are still scratching their heads.What is right is what God tells us to do and that, only, should we do.

God is in control. Don't be afraid. Jesus said this bad stuff is going to happen so don't be shocked. Read your Bible, pray daily and operate in grace. Treat others with the love and kindness God has shown you. This isn't easy. Love your enemies and bless those who hate you. Turn the other cheek. Don't stop forgiving. Show mercy, make as much peace as you can. Too many people are taking up their protest signs and signing petitions. Some are even loading their guns. You can't legislate morality. You can't change a government with legalism. You change a nation by evangelism because change BEGINS in the heart. One heart at a time. So, we should get busy sharing the covenant of Christ which is grace. We really don't know how much time we have. And as God and Christ told us hundreds of times, 'DON'T BE AFRAID.'

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