This is the fourth in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis
As the preceding passages of Scripture have demonstrated clearly, the following ought to be clear for any born-again Believer:
Being ambassadors of Christ, citizens of the kingdom of God, and of the household of God, though the Believer still lives in the flesh on this earth, it is expected of the Believer that their life is dedicated to service to the LORD God. Moreover, since this is to be the focus of the Believer’s life, it should follow that the thinking of the Believer is to be oriented totally around the reality that they were left here to minister unto others and be ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ and His kingdom. Hence, everything, every situation the born-again Believer encounters, should be evaluated in light of this reality.
The above statement is the expected, reasonable service of a born-again Believer. Dedicating their life to serving the LORD and presenting the gospel in every aspect of their existence ought to be the norm. It should be borne in mind that no Believer is here for the enjoyment of life in America (or any other place) or to satisfy our hopes and aspirations in the flesh. Rather, the Believer is left here after salvation to serve the LORD and present the gospel of the kingdom of God to a nation that sorely needs it. Moreover, the whole pattern of thinking for the Believer should be set around this truth.
That being understood, we should then have a proper basis for examining whether we should pray that anyone die and go the Hell. We should also come to understand the heart and mind of anyone who prays that another person die and be cast into Hell. To this way of thinking, the Lord Jesus Christ speaks:
And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.1(John 12:47-48)
And again from Matthew:
And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:10-13)
The above passages of Scripture are records of statements made by the Lord Jesus Christ directly addressing those who are lost, which includes those who are utterly wicked as well. The point the Lord makes in both statements should not be missed by the Believer. It is imperative that the Believer understand his or her relationship with this world, otherwise the above quoted statements (and many others like them) are difficult to understand. There are two immediate things we can and should take from what the Lord Jesus Christ stated:
1. We are not the judges of who goes to Hell and who does not. Rather, it is the Scripture, the Bible, that determines that, based upon that individual’s failure to be obedient to the Scripture. When the Lord Jesus Christ stated “the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” He is very plainly referring to the Scripture, and to the fact that the judgement of each and every individual who rejects the Scripture will occur at the end of this present world. By this, it should be clear that judgement is not given to the Believer, either in this present world, or in the world to come. In fact, judgement is not given to the Believer to judge other men to determine their eternal destiny, at any time, but especially not during this life.
2. When the Lord Jesus stated “for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” and “But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” He is very clearly laying out the purpose of His life, and thus the purpose of the life of all who follow Him. Even at His worst denunciation of hypocrisy, as when He spoke to the Pharisees, the Lord Jesus Christ did not condemn them to Hell. Rather, He asked a very stiff question of them:
Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? (Matthew 23:31-33)
Notice the Lord Jesus Christ does not condemn them to hell for their wickedness. Rather, the question to them to resolve is “how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” It is as much as saying “Ye have done all these things that are evil, what can you expect? Moreover, how will you resolve your guilt before the LORD God?”
This is a far cry from condemning them to Hell. Rather it is allowing the determination of their eternal destiny to rest squarely upon their shoulders.
To be continued . . .
- It should be understood that the judgement spoken of here is judgement of condemnation to destruction, which is not the same as judging whether someone’s thinking and actions are consistent with Scripture or not. [↩]