These are some thoughts I have been having and am writing out before the Lord this morning. I thought I would share.
I have been hearing some very negative things from people about what is going to happen in this world in the near future – because the Lord is judging the church. He is waiting for some “change” or “repentance” that I can’t figure out what they are talking about – but according to them it hasn’t happened yet. It makes me feel extremely powerless – even though I am a pray-er, even though I am personally turning to Him and away from anything He shows me that has hindered me, even though I am diligently looking for what is my part in winning the world to Him.
Many are proclaiming that it is the end, that the end-time scenarios that have been taught since the 70,s are now happening. It does look like that could be true. But what is really happening?
Something about all of this I don’t get. The Lord has taught me in past years to appreciate the diversities and differences in His people. Many don’t want to go on with Him, but He still loves them. If the Lord has taught me to love and appreciate them, wouldn’t He?
What is the Lord’s heart in all of this? What is HE doing? what does HE want to happen?
Many of God’s people are turning to Him and turning away from things that were not right in their lives, but many aren’t. Do we have to live in the curse of their decisions and miss out on the answers to our diligent spirit-led prayer? Does it have to get worse before it gets better?
There are many out prophesying doom, destruction and evil for our nation and for the world. Is this of God? Is this for the current time? Will God ignore all of the prayers, promises and encouragements He has given us? Does it have to get worse before it gets better? Where is the great revival I have been hearing about for almost 50 years?
How many have to turn to Him before He can turn the tides of evil? What mysterious thing is He waiting for?
Below are some scriptures I have found on this subject.
Micah 7:18-19 – Who is a God like You, Who forgives iniquity and passes over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retains not His anger forever, because He delights in mercy and loving-kindness. He will again have compassion on us; He will subdue and tread underfoot our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
2 Peter 3:8-9 – But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
When I look about the world, I see the people extremely ripe for harvest – if we are smart enough and sensitive enough to hear His heart and be open to new ways of doing things, to leave the old traditional ways of reaching the world, and move onto innovative, more effective ways to bring them in instead of pronouncing judgment
Many in recent years have come up with extreme and out of the box ways of reaching others. It is working and expanding. There are whole movements that have been birthed that are different from traditional ways.
Would God start building completely new wineskins only to say as they are taking off, too late, you weren’t fast enough, the end has come. NOW is the time for judgment.
These thoughts miss the heart of God. God’s desire is not judgment; it is salvation. Jesus didn’t come to the world to judge the world but to save it Until all have come to Him that He can possibly win, this is His purpose. Do you think there are more people who would receive Him if they could really see Him as He is and not through the religious, traditional filters of the past?
It is true that culture has moved away from His values and thoughts and ways into many evil things. His desire isn’t to judge them but to win them, to love them into His kingdom.
It is true that people living in ways contrary to God’s ways brings judgment as a natural result. Many times in the Bible He speaks of their own ways coming upon their heads. But let’s look at His heart.
Romans 2:4 – Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
God has given us authority in prayer to avert judgment, but Christians tend to proclaim judgment rather than pray for mercy. I hear many prophesying judgment in these days but few yearning for the lost people and praying for salvation and mercy.
What is God’s heart? What does God really thinks about this?
Matthew 9:35-38 (AMP) – And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and every weakness and infirmity. When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.
When God sees the multitudes bewildered, harassed, distressed, dejected, and helpless, living in the results of their own wrong-doing, reaping from their ways that are contrary to God’s ways, what does He feel about it? Does He want to punish them and judge them?
When Jesus saw the throngs, He was moved with compassion for them. He desired to help them, heal them and set them free. He wanted to teach them His ways so that they no longer reaped the results of their own ways, so that they were no longer bewildered, harassed, distressed, dejected and helpless.
He told the disciples for pray for laborers to be sent out into the harvest to do the same things He did, to save the world not judge it, to preach (to proclaim the truth, showing them their ways that are bringing evil upon them), to teach (to show them and teach them HOW TO change and walk in His ways) , and to heal all who are oppressed of the devil.
Has God changed? Does He have another purpose for these days? Does He view mankind different now? God still desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. He told us to pray with this in mind. Though all won’t accept Him, He wants as many as He can get. He will continue to extend mercy until as many as will come will come.
Though our ways deserve judgment, though evil has been spreading like wildfire, and we are ripe for the judgment due us, the day of salvation is still here. The time of grace is still the season we live in. Let us work with God to win the world instead of judging them.
Let us work with God to help Him bring to pass His will of salvation, let us stand in the gap to ward off the evil mankind deserves – until we are done, until all have come into His household who will. Let’s not just roll over, feeling helpless and let the devil take over. Let us not run and hide, hoping to be “raptured” out while the world goes to hell.
God is Still Looking for Laborers to Help Him
Ezekiel 22:29-31 – The people of the land have used oppression and extortion and have committed robbery; yes, they have wronged and vexed the poor and needy; yes, they have oppressed the stranger and temporary resident wrongfully. And I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none. THEREFORE, have I poured out My indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their own way have I repaid [by bringing it] upon their own heads, says the Lord God.
Jeremiah 5:1 – Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem; see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth, and I will pardon her.
Ezekiel 18:23 – Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked? says the Lord, and not rather that he should turn from his evil way and return [to his God] and live?
Ezekiel 18:31-32 – Cast away from you all your transgressions by which you have transgressed against Me and make you a new mind and heart and a new spirit. For why you will die, O house of Israel? for I have no pleasure in the death of him who dies, says the Lord God. Therefore turn (be converted) and live!
Ezekiel 33:11 – Say to them, as I live, says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
Look at these scriptures to see God’s true heart for mankind.
What is our part? First to pray. Then to go.
Pray and stand in the gap that God will be able to show the mercy. He desires to show. Pray for laborers to be sent out with the Gospel, the good news of good things, laborers who will do the works of Jesus, speaking the truth as well as working miracles and healings among the people, showing God to be God with the many infallible proofs as Jesus did (Acts 1:3).
We have yet to show the world the God of the Bible. We have shown them a powerless God, telling them miracles have passed away, presenting a judgmental and even mean God who hates sin so much that He almost hates them. In recent years, the nature of God has been revealed more fully, but we still haven’t seen the God of the book of Acts in action.
Many have turned away from the mean and powerless God they were taught about in the traditional churches. They have never known the true God of the Bible.
We have to go out presenting the true God of power who loves people and is willing and able to help and deliver them. Let’s do the works of Jesus and the greater works He said we should do. I know the end is not yet because we have not yet done the works, let alone the greater works. Let’s get busy.
Abraham’s Example of Intercession
Genesis 18:21-33 – I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether [as vilely and wickedly] as is the cry of it which has come to Me; and if not, I will know. Now the [two] men turned from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. And Abraham came close and said, will You destroy the righteous together with the wicked? Suppose there are in the city fifty righteous; will You destroy the place and not spare it for [the sake of] the fifty righteous in it? Far be it from You to do such a thing—to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as do the wicked! Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth execute judgment and do righteously? And the Lord said, If I find in the city of Sodom fifty righteous (upright and in right standing with God), I will spare the whole place for their sake. Abraham answered, behold now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken upon myself to speak to the Lord. If five of the fifty righteous should be lacking—will You destroy the whole city for lack of five? He said, if I find forty-five, I will not destroy it. And [Abraham] spoke to Him yet again, and said, suppose [only] forty shall be found there. And He said, I will not do it for forty’s sake. Then [Abraham] said to Him, oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak [again]. Suppose [only] thirty shall be found there. And He answered, I will not do it if I find thirty there. And [Abraham] said, behold now, I have taken upon myself to speak [again] to the Lord. Suppose [only] twenty shall be found there. And [the Lord] replied, I will not destroy it for twenty’s sake. And he said, oh, let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak again only this once. Suppose ten [righteous people] shall be found there. And [the Lord] said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. And the Lord went His way when He had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned to his place.
There is a battle on this earth for the souls of men. The devil is out to steal, kill and destroy. God is out to give abundant life. The devil is out to kill people before they hear and receive the Gospel. God is out to get them saved and into His kingdom. He has given us the ministry of reconciliation and sent us out to save the world not judge them. We have been given all authority in heaven and earth to perform the work He has given us to do.
God will allow one earth whatever we allow. God has given us authority. All authority in heaven and earth was given to Him and He passed it onto us – for the salvation of mankind. His greatest desire is for all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. his is the heart of God.
Many times we can stop catastrophes and natural calamities through prayer. Other times we can lessen the effects of them and save the lives of those that the devil would like to kill.
We can surround our nation and area with a hedge of protection. Or we can’t just let evil come in and say, “Oh, God is judging us!”
But this is ignorant and unscriptural. God is not holding sin against the world. People need to see a loving, merciful God! The church needs to be doing what God has given us to do in this present age of grace.
We are in the church age, the age of grace; today is the day of salvation. There is a day of judgment coming, but today is still the day of grace.
Our job in this day of grace isn’t to judge or condemn the world but to preach salvation, to preach acceptance with God. Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but to save it. This is God’s heart, and this is our job.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 – But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation. It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].
John 3:16-17 – For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
Luke 9:54-56 – And when His disciples James and John observed this, they said, Lord, do You wish us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elijah did? But He turned and rebuked and severely censured them. He said, you do not know of what sort of spirit you are, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.
Do you want to have the kind of judgmental spirit that James and John were exercising here or the heart of God who is out to save lives not destroy them?
1 Timothy 2:1-4 1 – Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
God wants all men to be saved. God wants ALL men to be saved. This is the focus of the present dispensation. It isn’t a time of judgment but a time to spread the good news of God’s grace.
By our prayers or lack of prayer, for those in authority we determine the kind of outward life we will live. Much of what happens in the world around us is connected to our prayer lives.
Jeremiah 29:7 7 – And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.
When we pray for those in leadership, we can life a quiet and peaceable life. When we seek the peace of the city and nation in which we live, in its peace we will have peace.
If we give our nation up to “God’s judgment”, Satan will come in and take advantage of our ignorance. If we become proclaimers of God’s judgment, we are fighting against His will and plan and intention who desires all men to be saved.
If God shows you something evil while in prayer, be like Abraham who prayed for mercy, be like Ezekiel and pray to build up the wall and stand in the gap before God for the land it might not be destroyed. In that day He found none who would pray; let it not be like that in these days.
If you really want to know God’s heart, listen to God’s heart as expressed in His word.
James 1:16-18 – The effect prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.