Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God -- How do we pray for them?

     From a Christian perspective--one which knows that God commands Christians to stay out of the court system--Christ is the ultimate peacemaker. Our peace with God in repentance and salvation is the first and foremost in any resolution. If a person does not have God, refuses to repent, and refuses to bow the knee to Christ, then anything else is casting pearls before swine. In other words, trying to have true biblical peace with an unbeliever is next to impossible as the foundation for that peace does not exist. There is no acknowledgement of sin because they do not want to be confronted with their sin. There is no acknowledgement of Christ's authority, because they do no want to be under any authority but their own. There is no understanding what they have done to you, because they do not have the compassion of Christ or any ability to see their sin. Their plan is to cover their sin, keep it quiet, and continue sinning. So what kind of peace can exist between a believer and unbelievers?
     Having followed Matthew 18 with professing believers, I saw the absolute nose in the air and puffed up chests as they walked in together with a vile, Christ hating, Christ cursing uncle of mine. They walked in having set their hearts on evil, rejecting every Scripture, rejecting God's way from the start of their evil scheme. Their noses high to the ceiling was nothing more than an absolute defiance and hatred for God and His Word. Noses in the air literally, in rebellion to a just, holy, merciful God. Noses up high that said loud and clear, "We will have none of you God! We will have none of that God in the Bible, that Jesus, and certainly we will have none of His Word. We will only have a God of our choosing. A God we make up in our heads. A God that will never hold us accountable and will never rule and reign over us." This was the most horrific and frightening thing I have ever seen in my life. As Jonathan Edwards said, "Sinners in the hands of an angry God." Holding them over hell like a spider hanging in a web. Waiting for the time that the floodgates of hell itself will be unleashed on them. Deuteronomy 32:35 says, "Their foot shall slide in due time." The fear for the lives of others, for their souls, their eternal state was never so great as that day, the day they all came walking in.

     For a Christian, the process is to go to the persons who have sinned against you, if they will not hear you (or purposefully and willfully block the means to do so) you go to their leaders with two witnesses, go to their pastors. When that is refused you treat them as unbelievers and tell the church. When their own leaders refuse to practice Matthew 18, Scripture is clear...not only are those in sin to be treated as unbelievers, but the churches they attend are now shown to be false churches because its leaders refuse to walk in obedience to Scripture. There is no discussing their sin, no discussing their hatred of God's word, so they are left to contend with God Himself. A precarious place for the rebellious and out from the umbrella of any protection of a loving, merciful God. They are left to themselves. They are those who professed to be Christians, who were in church all their lives, who actually teach in Sunday classes, and who have taken it all and spit on it over and over again. These are those left with the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads as Edwards describes. These are the ones we pray for and beg God's mercy on. A few are those who James tells us will be judged far more strictly because they set themselves up as teachers.
     Can Christians have peace with unbelievers? Rather, those who profess Christ but are in horrific rebellion and in an unrepentant state and whom the Bible says we are to treat as unbelievers? The foundation is non existent. There is no God, no Christ, no warnings from Scripture, no fear of the Lord in their lives--just their pride, their lies, their deceit, and their desire to cover it all up. One thing those without Christ who are bent on evil doing do not comprehend and that is the patience of God. He waits and waits for them to fill up His wrath, and then He acts. Those who are His know the difficulty in waiting for Him to act. We know the patience He builds in us as we wait for Him to act. And the work He does in us to pray for them that their very lives will be spared and souls saved before it is too late. The evil do not comprehend that Christians are on God's time table, not their own. Peace with them? Their peace is to not get caught. The Christians' peace is peace knowing that God will avenge and God will repay--and that we must learn to trust. So what do we do? What does a Christian do when true peace cannot be had because of the others' refusal to acknowledge God and bow the knee to His ways, His Word, and His authority? We pray for a miracle. We pray for God's intervention. We pray that God would delight Himself in making peace where there is no ability for peace. God loves to show off His glory. He loves to defy Satan and his schemes of evil. God loves to do what no man and no court can do. To Him be the glory and the honor and the power forever. Amen.

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