WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
Scripture: 2 Thessalonians 2:5-8
2 Thessalonians 2:5-8 says, “Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.” The mystery of lawlessness is working. But the Restrainer, the Holy Spirit, should be operational in the church. The problem is, a church that does not know the Judicial Christ cannot restrain evil. It enables evil rather than restraining it. 100 years ago, this was not so. 100 years ago, the Baptists understood there was a Judicial Christ and they could pray to bring Him on the scene. Therefore, when an evangelist like Mordecai Ham (the evangelist who won Billy Graham to Jesus) was confronted with evil, he could effectively deal with it. When thieves attempted to steal from Ham and those he was ministering to and thwart Kingdom purposes, he could effectively pray and bring the Judicial Christ on the scene. During these meetings a ringleader and his band of thieves tried to steal anything they could grab and Mordecai Ham confronted them. He told the ringleader, “Now I am going to ask the Lord either to convert you and your crowd or to kill you!” The leader of the thievery fired back, “Do as you damn please!” Mordecai Ham’s biography says that he prayed, and the ringleader was dying the next morning. Ham was asked to pray at the man’s bedside, but he died before Ham arrived. And before 24 hours had passed from Mordecai Ham’s judicial prayer, four of the other thieves were dead. Jesus the Judge answered Ham’s prayers and the fear of God came on that community. As a result the fear of God fell and many people got saved. 100 years ago, a ‘culture of mercy’ was not how God’s Kingdom operated. So of what value is today’s ‘culture of mercy’? It means we have no fear of God, therefore evil prevails in government, evil prevails in our judges and the church is mocked in the world today. That mockery would quickly end if we were to pray as the Spirit leads to confront evil and bring Jesus the Judge on the scene. But as long as we have church leaders who teach only grace and mercy, the church will continue to operate below maximum effectiveness. Because the church is misrepresenting God, no fear of God exists! Will the church ever represent God, as He really is, again in the earth? I suspect we will, because if we do not do it our kids will. God has a way revealing to a rebellious generation just that by making their kids their judges. Will we wait around to watch our kids do what we failed to, or will we say yes to God and represent Jesus for Who He really is?