MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1
Scripture: Romans 11:25-32, Acts 2:26
Romans 11:25-32 says, “For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: ‘The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.’ Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.” Many ministers have referred to the season in which we live as the ‘Age of Mercy.’ It has been described as a season where God has mercy on all and therefore, it is the common culture for the entire church. There is a definite measure of truth here! God has always been merciful. This teaching, however, emphasizes that mercy should dominate all that we do, because it is the culture of the New Testament. Mercy certainly undergirds the message of salvation, but does not do it at the expense of truth or judgment. When we try to view mercy as the only vehicle of salvation, we err greatly because we depart from Scripture. Salvation has many facets, and covenantal mercy impacts judgment. Are we in a season of mercy? Many would say we are in a season of judgment. But neither is that the whole truth! Today, just as in the New Testament and the Old, both mercy and judgment are God’s method for achieving Kingdom purposes. No person whose pay has been unjustly slashed, job unjustly lost or child unjustly hurt would look at the evil perpetrator and still proclaim “we are in a season of mercy alone!” The Holy Spirit through prophetic discernment will guide us in whether a situation or person requires mercy or justice for God’s Kingdom purposes. The decision is not up to us! Christ has both a merciful expression and a judicial expression. We only hear the mercy side at most churches. But if we have grown to know the fullness of Christ, the Judicial is hard to ignore. Acts 2:36 says, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Lord is koo-re-os. Koo-re-os is Greek for Judge of all the Earth and kris-tos means Savior of all the Earth. In Scripture, what is listed first is often primary. It is most relevant or most important or at the very least equally essential. And Scripture shows time and again, that koo-re-os/Judge is presented before kris-tos/Savior. One is no less representative of Jesus than the other, but one does precede the other. And, koo-re-os/Judge precedes kris-tos/Savior nearly every time. To ignore this and claim that Jesus is no longer a Judge because we are in an ‘Age of Mercy’ totally discounts the book of Revelation. It does not fit the New Testament record and does not square with Scripture. Perhaps a problem with today’s church is that preaching an ‘Age of Mercy’ fills empty seats and fills dwindling offering plates. But such theology has decreased our ability to represent Jesus the Judge. Mercy is a part of the New Testament, but Jesus was made first Judge of all the Earth and second Savior of all the Earth. We need to accept this before we can walk with the King.