Retribution (and) Discipleship
Judge no thing before its appointed time. This refers to Gods final judgment of retribution told of in Rev 20:15 "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire," and (only) God has this authority. The bible makes very clear that there is a time to redeem (grace) and a time for final judgment (retribution). We are not even in anger to say ‘raca’, which proclaims someone ignorant and senseless.
The Bible however says in 1 Cor. 2:15 “The spiritual man makes judgment about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment”. Here we are told about the discipleship (question, discern, examine, validate, search, teach and rebuke) that Christ sends us as his servants, in works prepared in advance. We are reminded that we belong to God, and only He has the Power and Authority to judge, final judgment that lasts for eternity. Now is the time of redemption, and God is withholding His wrath and retribution. Still it must be understood that the servant of God is to serve God. In explanation I will use an example of strong meaning, used purposely to make an important point. If a man should say that there will be no liars in heaven, it has the power and authority of the man who says it. However if the servant in the will of God says these words, that there will be no liars in heaven (Rev 21:8), it has the power and authority of God.
Discipleship then is commanded by God from the servant, Christ has commanded His servants to go out and disciple nations (in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit). So the word of God is understood, that a man who speaks for himself does so to bring honor upon himself, but the man who speaks the words of God speaks truth, and there is no error in him. So there is judgment within the family of man, and judgment within the family of God, giving meaning to 1Cor 5:12-13 "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?" Yet there is a time to come told in 1Cor 6:2 "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?"
We must understand Gods meanings of “Judgment”, not to become confused by the worlds wisdom, there is Discipleship that is our work. We should have no doubt that the world will hate us, if Christ proclaimed Gods truth and men hated him, we have no power or authority greater than His. During Gods time of redemption it should not be from wrong which brings mans wrath upon us, yet Christ has warned that the world will hate us. Even the man of flesh admits that the pen (word) is greater than the sword, even natural man realizes that truth may strike a greater blow causing greater harm than physical retribution. Yet, is there no law of man or God against murder, or any consequence that might bring a life to judgment? Just as surely there is discipleship which will bring on wrath from the natural man.
Bringing into light the things that hide in darkness was an action of John the Baptist, standing outside the palace proclaiming the sins of King Herod who ruled the people. This same Power and authority was like the disciples of Christ, standing before the entire ruling religious body asking, "should we obey you or God?" Indeed, Christ stood before ruling authorities and said "you sons of vipers." Yet in rebuke or correction, it is not confrontation that is our service, but to serve. Righteous anger also has a place, still we are not to worry what we are to say, but rely upon the Lord to give us the words needed.
It is the Holy Spirit that works within the heart, and of those He sends in search of the lost are assured in Rom 10:14-15 "How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?" This discipline then will not be easy, but it will bring understanding to those who will learn, and perhaps wrath from those who have become to hardened to understand. And in the name of the Lord strongholds will be overcome, and every thought captured.
The Bible instructs us to be humble, speaking gently to others, in this way displaying the nature of Christ. In this even the natural man at his best repeats from the Bible in saying, "do onto others as you would have them do unto you." In telling us to turn our cheek if struck on the right, here we have the same teaching of not eating meat offered to idols, for how else can we display love for an offended brother? Love overcomes mistakes, not taking retribution, but redeems and builds. Yet it is from this very point that many miss an important teaching from the word of God.
We need understand God is just, yet His ways are not the ways of man, still we can know God forgives the repentant heart of the man that makes a foolish mistake told in Job 37:23 "The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress." However to say God hates only the practice of evil and does not hate the evil doer is proven wrong in Prov 6:16-19 "There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers." This is also made clear in Hos 9:15 "Because of all their wickedness in Gilgal, I hated them there. Because of their sinful deeds, I will drive them out of my house. I will no longer love them; all their leaders are rebellious."
Scripture begins to explain this hate in Ps 5:4-6 "You are not a God who takes pleasure in evil; with you the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors." Where some mistake understanding is description figuratively extreme to empathize importance, example is teaching to hold God in highest esteem and love, not that God wants us to hate our parents but meaning to esteem God over love of parents and all else described in Luke 14:26-27 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple." To be certain those God hates are in grave danger of judgment, and concerning judgment we are also told in 1 Cor 6:1-2 "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?"
No more misunderstood in this area of Gods teaching, is discernment and need to admonish or rebuke. If it is a fool who rushes in where angels fear to tread, surely in error are those who receive and accept Satan's servants and their deeds without righteous rebuke. When the Bible says to have nothing to do with evil, it does not teach that we capitulate and accept evil,or that it is a power greater than we can stand against. Bringing into the light that which hides in darkness does not refer only to our private prayer closet. Indeed, can even Satan claim any or all parts of creation that a Christian must not violate for fear of retribution? No, Satan will claim only that which we permit him to gain authority over, or of that God permits temporary power over. The Bible tells of a house swept clean, which remained empty only so long. Our work then is not only to identify that which does not belong, but also discernment to allow refill with that which does. Do this as a servant out in the world, and there is little doubt there will be those who serve another who will hate you.
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