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Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Friendly Word of Caution

 

Some rather unusual events have been taking place here in the U.S. in relation to “the man at the top”.  Various and sundry things have been coming to the attention of the general public and some of them could bring some serious consequences to him.  The obvious temptation for many Christians and conservatives will be to rejoice over this man’s fall, if indeed he does fall. 

Now, there are many references of the wicked falling into their own snare or trap in the Bible.  One that certainly applies is Proverbs 11:5,  The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.  And verse 10 of the same chapter says, When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

Some people may use this as an excuse to rejoice at the fall of a man who has seemed intent on doing many unrighteous things.  But, I think we need to also take Proverbs 24:17-18 into account and be cautious in our reaction.  This passage says, Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

There is a tendency among some people to speak of dignities and those in authority in a way that is neither respectful nor prudent.  This has seemed to grow worse over time and the foolish words have seemed to become more bold.  Sadly, there are Christians who are participating in this, which is something that ought not to be so. 

The Apostle Peter warned us about this.

2 Peter 2:9-13  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;

This is not a small matter!  This is very strong language here.  And, notice they specifically “despise government” and “are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.”  Yet we see that the angels, who are greater in power and might, do not rail against them before the Lord.  Who are we do so?  And, is not everything we say “before the Lord” since His Spirit dwells within us? 

This is something we need to take very seriously!  Think how often one can hear people railing against “the powers that be” in church meetings, fellowship times, and gatherings of any sort.  Think how often we can read disrespectful things posted on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.  As followers of our Lord Jesus, we need to each ask ourselves, “Am I guilty of this?”

Jude warns us of similar men in his short epistle.  Jude 1:4  For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  In verses 8-10 he continues,  Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

Now the implication here is that the “dignities” are of a demonic or devilish nature.  But, it is important to remember that men and women that are in powerful authority positions are often closely related to spiritual wickedness in high places. The more power a man or woman has, the more desirable they are to the satanic forces in furthering their evil schemes.  It seems to me that this is why Peter mentioned government almost in the same breath with speaking evil of dignities. 

Remember in the book of Daniel that when the messenger from heaven came to Daniel, the messenger was hindered by the prince of Persia.  Daniel 10:13  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.  This is an amazing verse, and I think that we probably cannot have a perfect understanding of it, but it gives us some glimpse into the strange realm of the spiritual powers in high places and of the warfare that occurs there unbeknownst to us.  Consequently, we ought to use great discretion in speaking of those spiritual powers, and of their human servants who are in roles of authority.

Ephesians 6:11-13  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

If this country has a chance to mend its ways and if it should take that opportunity and make changes for good, thank God for that.  If an evil man falls into his own trap, this is the just judgment of God.  But, let us be careful that our own speech is becoming to OUR king, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Philippians 1:27  Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ…

Titus 2:7-8  In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.

Romans 12:17-19 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

5 comments:

  1. If I am understanding this correctly you are saying that we ought not to mock those in authority. Am I correct? That is my simple wording (I am not a writer or a great communicator) If this is so, I agree with you 100% I do not agree with the way our country is run, but we are to pray for our leaders, it is commanded. And that we do!

    I will admit I am on Facebook. The one thing that bothers me the most is "christians" who bash & constantly post horrible photo shopped photos & all sorts of terrible things about our leaders. I will not do it & I do not allow my daughters to take part in it either. Im with you on this one :)

    I hope I am not too far off, this is how I understood the crux of the post to be :)

    Good stuff & I love the KJV & it is what I use in my daily reading :)
    blessings

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    1. Yes, you did understand! I'm saying we ought not to mock, ridicule, slander, rail against or rejoice over the destruction of those in authority (even when that destruction may be just). I hope I didn't make this too hard to "get". I admit that I'm rather cautious of attracting unwanted attention from those in authority, so I try to be careful of my words on here. :-) And, I agree about Facebook too. I've seen things along those same lines.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :-)

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  2. I agree with this. I was listening to Christian radio one day a few months ago, and J Vernon McGee (now in heaven) talked about how he believed political cartoons are not Biblical and how it's wrong to portray our leaders in such a disrespectful way. It made me stop and think, and although I do not agree with our current leadership, I believe we are to respect the position. I think it's okay to say what we don't agree with and share our views, but it should be done respectfully and not in a mocking, snarky, gleeful way.

    I am on FB too and grow weary of the mocking things that are shared about the current leadership.

    Thanks for this post.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and for commenting, Michele. I agree that it's okay to disagree respectfully with governmental leadership. The mocking, ornery stuff is what I'm really thinking of in this article, as you saw.

      I had a dear friend who listened to J. Vernon McGee just about every day. Some of us in my own family used to listen some too, but I haven't heard him for years now. Probably the old broadcasts are on the web somewhere. My dad used to end his sermons quite often by bringing everything down to "where the rubber meets the road". I believe he got that from brother McGee. :-)

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    2. I'm blessed to live in an area with a fairly conservative Christian radio station. I don't care for every preacher on the station, but it's better than most and they do broadcast Through the Bible (Bro. McGee's show) and I do listen to that, some. I also love that they don't play Contemporary style music, that is rare and a blessing to me.

      And yes, you can listen to the Through the Bible broadcasts on the net at this address:

      http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/thru-the-bible-with-j-vernon-mcgee/

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