The church has one paradigm for ministering salvation from the gospels which is dominated by mercy to the individual. This model of ministry has historically served us well especially under-girding evangelism as the initial step in fulfilling the great commission. Since Jesus commanded us to make disciples, not just converts, and because He was specific about discipling nations, not just individuals, the historical paradigm lacks a power punch when the church faces hostile nations intent on nuclear destruction of Christians and Jews.
There is plenty of power punch available in scripture but we have yet to receive the pattern of salvation when dealing with a nation or God’s willingness to hear our voice when we face imminent national destruction. There is a biblical paradigm shift to be made empowering the church to stand in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. The difference can be easily described. Individual salvation is the fruit of agreeing with God’s plan for salvation as revealed through the life of Jesus.
Mercy for an individual and mercy for a nation often require very different applications of justice. Individual repentance satisfies the demand for justice based on Jesus’ work for every individual. Mercy for a nation can biblically be obtained by a small number of people willing to repent and obey, based on God’s covenant. Sometimes offending individuals must receive justice for mercy to manifest nationally!
Moses experienced this twice in his stewardship of Israel. In Exodus 32, after Aaron fashioned a calf and the people entered blatant sexual sin, God required the destruction of the perpetrators to save the nation. The Korah, Dathan and Abiram incident of Numbers 16 supplies the second example. God was willing to intervene based on Moses’intercession and save the nation. The same intercession that saved the nation resulted in the judgment of the offending parties!
We have yet to include in our ministry model “mercy to the nation” when it conflicts with “mercy to the individual.” The scripture has no such problem. Knowing God means becoming equally at home with both streams of mercy and the boldness to minister both at the leadership of the Spirit. Why do we hesitate at “mercy to the nation” requiring removal of offending Supreme Court Justices or Senators or Representatives? Will we forfeit the promised harvest of Israel to a mad-man bent on their nuclear destruction? The church prayed and God removed Herod, a great mercy to church leaders. It was a little late for James but in time for Peter. How late are we in adjusting our paradigm? God wants to save nations – will we participate in the process?