This is the fifth 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
It is interesting to note, as pointed out in the last post, that the Lord Jesus Christ did not condemn the scribes and Pharisees to Hell. Instead, He clearly stated they were bound for Hell, and they needed to determine how it is they were going to escape that damnation. This is manifestly not the same as praying for them to die and be sent to Hell to be tormented for all eternity. We should remember at this point that the Lord Jesus Christ does have the power both to kill, and to cast men into Hell. However, during His earthly ministry, He did not do either one. Rather, the LORD’s heart toward men is somewhat different, and is in direct contrast to someone who wishes that another would die and be cast into Hell.
To begin with, we should without question understand the following statement:
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: . . . (Hebrews 9:27)
What the above states is that we all have one period of time to be reconciled to the LORD God — the life we live on this earth — that is all. Once the soul departs the body into eternity and the body ceases to function, bringing physical death, there is no more opportunity to be reconciled to the LORD God. If one has chosen to refuse the gospel and reconciliation with the LORD God through the Lord Jesus Christ, then the opportunity to be reconciled to the LORD God is forever lost, and one will stand in judgement before the LORD depending solely upon their record of life on this earth and their own righteousness as demonstrated by that record. Sadly for them, that record will be weighed against the commandments of the LORD God to show where they have erred and fallen short of the express commandments of the LORD. Hence, it is utter foolishness to ignore or disregard the gospel, resisting it unto death. That will guarantee eternal damnation and torment in Hell and the Lake of Fire.
By the above, the born-again Believer should be able to discern what attitude and heart they are supposed to have toward the lost — no matter how wicked they are. If someone claims to belong to Christ and does not earnestly desire that everyone come to Christ for salvation, then somewhere along the line they have missed understanding the heart of the LORD toward all men, which is expressed in the following passages of Scripture:
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (I Timothy 2:1-6)
Need it be stated that the “due time” is now? Moreover, that it is the duty of the adopted children of the LORD to proclaim the gospel? Where in the above does it say that the Believer is to ask for the death and judgement of someone? Even if that is how we feel (the wanting of judgement to be brought upon someone), where does it fit in the above admonition to “first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men”? It doesn’t, does it? Therefore we, as born-again Believers, are to give place unto the LORD, and be obedient to His commands:
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:19-21)
“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” does not sound like “When I go to bed tonight, Steven L. Anderson is going to pray for Barack Obama to die and go to hell.” does it? No, the heart and attitude expressed in the two are poles apart in every respect, aren’t they? Hence, we should now understand the error of Steven L. Anderson (or anyone else) in praying for someone to die and be cast into Hell. It certainly is not the heart of the LORD as expressed in the following passage:
Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? (Ezekiel 33:11)
Something is obviously being missed by Mr. Anderson, who claims to be a Believer and a preacher of the gospel — and that something appears to be the heart of the LORD God.
To be continued . . .