Things Are True
by Dan Coburn
Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church
Who Hates you, and what are you doing about it?
Current affairs in our beloved country have become infinitely beyond divided. Although we may deny it outwardly, we know in our heart of hearts we have become hateful, spiteful, vengeful and rude. We no longer reason, but snipe. We rationalize all this (which we know to be contrary to God) by pointing out the other side's sins. "They are liars" we exclaim. "They will stop at nothing to protect their perceived rights to sin on our dime. They justify all manner of crooked - slanderous behavior in order to further their immoral cause". These may everyone be true in varying degrees, but ultimately the question is, "How then shall we live?".
The real rub is I hear both sides hatefully espousing that God is on their side. For the "I hate Trump" folks, might I suggest that Judas ultimately turned Jesus over to the authorities for political reasons. Jesus wouldn't get involved. He had a much MUCH higher calling. In Acts one, they tried to get the resurrected Jesus to wipe out their oppressors. He said in essence - "Never mind that, you are about to receive Power like you have never imagined" - To do what? Overthrow the current regime? No, to be His witnesses (Martyre in the Greek).
Extra Credit: I never read where Paul was involved in a "Dump Nero" campaign.
To the often self righteous Right, How should we respond to the hateful, condescending Left? Let's look at Paul, who said after all: "imitate me as I imitate Christ". Nugget: "as" means as long as. How was Paul treated by his countrymen; The Jewish leadership? He said the Jews: "stirred up the people against me". In 2nd Cor. 11:24 we see - "From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one" (forty was illegal). He was- "in perils of my own countrymen" - 11:26. "And when it was day, some of the Jews banded together and bound themselves under an oath, saying that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. Now there were more than forty who had formed this conspiracy." Acts 23:12-13
Recap. These were his fellow countrymen. His family if you will, so the hurt was gargantuan. How would you react; or more to the point, How are you acting Right Now? Paul's response? In Romans 9, he cries out from a sincere heart: "I would gladly go to hell that my countrymen might be saved". Whatever it takes. Proverbs 15:1 = "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger." "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" Phil. 2:5 Now, let's gear up.