December 4, 2015

A Violent Act Of Grace

It never seems to dawn on some Believers that we didn’t get into the Kingdom through our works but through His (Christ’s). Sinners who discipline themselves into good behavior are still sinners who are in need of a savior. No one can behave their way into Heaven! Trying to get into Heaven through disciplined behavior is called self-righteousness and it is ugly to God!

Jesus said, “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it (Luke 16:16). The Law said, “You can’t come into the Kingdom because you haven’t kept all the rules!” The Prophets continued the same theme, proclaiming judgments on the world for their (our) wickedness. But then, suddenly, something amazing happened; unrighteous people began turning the Cross of Christ into a battering ram and through a violent act of grace they forced their way into the Kingdom!

Shaking Out The Salt

Jesus told us, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men (Matthew 5:13). In Jesus’ day, they didn’t have refrigerators to store their food. Salt was the primary means by which they preserved their meat and poultry. Through this analogy, the Lord is teaching us that the Church is the element in society that preserves the culture from the wrath of God and the destruction of evil forces. A great example of this is Joseph, who released a corporate blessing through his righteous life. His presence in Egypt caused the Israelites and the Egyptians to be spared from a worldwide famine.

Jesus also said that when salt becomes tasteless, it is not good for anything except to be walked on by men. In other words, the people of that day would taste the salt and if it was no longer salty, they knew that it would not keep their food from spoiling. It’s important to remember that Jesus is not really talking about preserving meat, but describing the Body of Christ. So what does it mean to become tasteless? It implies that we have stopped preserving the world. You can tell when the Church has become tasteless because we begin to prophesy against the people we are supposed to be preserving.

Re-Presenting Christ

Not only is the Church preservation (salt), but we are also revelation (light). In the book of Matthew Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14.) What does it mean to be light, and what is it that we are illuminating? We are shedding light on the nature of God; how He thinks and acts in the affairs of men. We are the revelation of the Father and His love letter to the world. We re-present Christ to the lost. The world looks to us to understand world events through the eyes of God. When we misrepresent our Heavenly Father, the world gets a warped perspective of God.

James and John are a good example of how many misrepresent God. The “Sons of Thunder” wanted to call fire down to consume a city, but Jesus said to them, “You don’t know what spirit you are of” (Luke 9:54-55.) It is interesting to me that this was this same John who wrote to the Beloved and exhorted us, “Not to believe every spirit, but to test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (I John 4:1.) I imagine that he received the revelation that even Jesus’ own apostles could be influenced by hell through his own experience of listening to the wrong spirit.

Notice how his exhortation continues in the same chapter: “Beloved, let us love one another . . . There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love” (John 4:18.) These verses were written in the context of testing the spirits. In other words, we test the spirits by examining them in light of the virtues of love. When we read love’s virtues that are spelled out in the letter to the Corinthians, and understand that fear has no place in love, we find ourselves wondering what spirit is encouraging these judgment prophecies. The greatest tragedy is that the revelation the world receives from these voices causes them to believe that our Father is an angry God who is looking for an opportunity to punish people.

The apostle John laid his head on the chest of Christ and was transformed from an angry, “son of thunder” into John the beloved. It is time for the prophets of God to lay their head on the Masters chest and hear the heart beat of Heaven again.

Jesus said, “If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness” (Matthew 6:23)! If we are the light of the world and we are speaking against the people who are already lost in night, how great is the darkness! In the same way, when we represent God as someone who wants to destroy America because forty millions babies have been aborted in our country, we perpetuate the very problem that we are trying to cure. People are killing their babies because they don’t know or understand the love of the Father. Does it make sense that we tell people that God is so angry that we are killing our young that He is going to teach us a lesson by killing a bunch more people? Is our Father so single-dimensional in His being that He only has one response to anything man does wrong?

Can you imagine the negative impact it would have on your daughter if she came to you to tell you that she had an abortion, and in response you flipped out and tried to kill her? If you reacted out of rage, I would suggest that your lack of love is a large part of her decision to have the abortion in the first place.

When we reveal God to the world, it is essential that we communicate light, life and love. Love doesn’t punish or create fear. I personally don’t believe that God is mad at sinners. I do think that He is grieved over the world’s destructive behavior. But grief and anger are not the same thing.

Love Requires Free Choice

Every time we see the heartless acts of destruction that deeply wound the heart of God, we must remember the depths of God’s desire to share love. The nature of love is that it requires us to be able to choose. If God took away our choice, people could only behave in the way that God programmed them to. Wars would cease, hunger would end, and poverty would only be an ancient memory. But the desperate cry of the human heart that beats with passion for a loving relationship with the most beautiful Being in the entire universe would be gone too.

Day after day, a loving Creator looks down on a broken planet longing for the day when the object of His affection will walk hand in hand with Him into indescribable beauty in the halls of eternity. In the meantime, the destruction continues, not because God is angry with man, but rather because men choose to kill, steal and destroy. This is the fruit of those who have chosen the wrong lover (Satan).

Meanwhile, a hateful enemy is stalking a wounded and desperate people. He is seeking to paralyze us with fear, demoralize us with his arrogant boasts of destructive predictions, and harden us with hopelessness. Yet still, the future belongs to those who pray. Prayer is the bridge between what should be and what will be. The diligent prayer of a righteous people will ultimately determine the destiny of our children. Therefore, it is our responsibility to leave to those yet to be born a world in revival as their inheritance. Hanging in the balance of eternity is the ultimate climax of our Creator – the kingdoms of this world becoming the Kingdom of our God.

 

Topics: All TopicsProphetic


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