Godly Violence

Posted on 02/25/2007 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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TRANSCRIPT:

Good morning, and welcome. Let's get started this morning by standing to our feet and welcoming the Holy Spirit, as we start this service with prayer.

Lord, you are welcome in this place! We have come to seek you and your presence. We have come because our hearts cry out for more of you and more of your Spirit.

We come to you this morning on behalf of those who have requested plublic prayer.

We pray for Vernice who is in college and has had a struggle with time management. We ask for your guidance, and that she would have the strength to make the right decisions concerning the use of her time.

We pray for Laurie and Herman's granddaughter Naomi, who is 14 months old had a very high fever, and who was given the wrong anti-biotics. We ask that you watch over her and her mother Tiffany in this time of need. We ask for a complete healing for Naomi, and that the wrong medication she was given will have no lasting ill-effect.

We pray for Mr. Palma's sister who has cervical cancer, and whose only hope is a miracle from you. When the doctors say there's no more they can do, that's when you can step in and do what that which is impossible with man; and we ask for a miracle on her behalf.

We pray for Mikarin's best friend Mew, who has been very sick and has a serious blood condition. The doctors cannot determine exactly what is wrong with her, and have said she will not live past 30. But you, Great Physician, know her inside out. You see every cell, every function, every spinning of every neutron around every atom in Mew's body. And you need only speak the word and she will be healed. Touch her now by your Holy Spirit, and may her long, vibrant life be a testimony to all around her that our God is alive, and that he is not untouched by the feeling of our infirmities, but is a God who heals us today.

We pray for Karene's husband's aunt who is in the hospital in critical condtion. We're told she went in for ear surgery and they uncovered a hole that goes from her ear to her brain. And yet we know that even when the soldiers came out to lead you to your death Jesus, and Peter cut off one of their ears, you healed that man, your enemy, because you loved him. How much more this dear lady who needs your healing touch. Jesus, step into her room, and heal her now, in Jesus' name.

And now Lord, we ask that you touch every person here today and all those who will join us later. Heal bodies, touch lives, renew minds, and mend hearts, as only you can do.

And it's in the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Remain standing and click-touch the pulpit for a notecard, and let's give thanks and worship with song.


BLOW THE TRUMPET IN ZION

They rush on the city,
They run on the wall.
Great is the army
That carries out His Word.

The Lord utters His voice
Before His army.

Blow the trumpet in Zion, Zion.
Sound the alarm on My holy mountain.
Blow the trumpet in Zion, Zion,
Sound the alarm.


I BELONG TO JESUS

Satan goes around like a roaring lion
 seeking whom he may devour
But he has been defeated so I'm testifying
 by the blood of Jesus he lost his power

Christ was lifted up with my sin upon him
 his life and blood came flowing down
So hear me I'm declaring Jesus Christ is Lord
 I'm taking back his holy ground

I belong to Jesus
 I belong to him
I belong to Jesus
 Free from sin
I belong to Jesus
 I belong to him
I belong to Jesus
 Free from sin

All sin nailed to the cross
 and the Lamb's blood flowing
 Meant victory was sealed that day
When satan saw the blood
 he knew that Christ had won it
 and he knew that Sunday was on its way

The ground began to quake
 and all of heaven's power
 came bursting from the tomb within
The stone was rolled away
 and hell was overpowered
 by the King who rose again

I belong to Jesus
 I belong to him
I belong to Jesus
 Free from sin
I belong to Jesus
 I belong to him
I belong to Jesus
 Free from sin

He was lifted up
 He paid a costly price
He bought me with the blood
 of his own life
Christ the king now reigning
 he wears the victor's crown
satan was defeated
 when the blood flowed down

I belong to Jesus
 I belong to him
I belong to Jesus
 Free from sin
I belong to Jesus
 I belong to him
I belong to Jesus
 Free from sin


CONSUMED BY YOU

Make my heart
Clean and true
May my soul
Long for you

BRIDGE:
I am yours
Take all of me
(Let me melt away,
consumed by you)

May my eyes
Seek your face
May my knees
Find their place

CHORUS:
Here I am
Seeking you (as)
All else melts away
Consumed by you

May my song
Sing for you (for)
No one else is my song
No one else Is the truth

(chorus)
(bridge)

Make this life
Live for you
As every waking hour
I seek for you

(chorus)
(chorus)

May my heart (be)
Consumed by you


Lord God, thank you for accepting our invitation to fill this gathering with your presence, and we know that you are in the room with each and every one of us today.

Teach us from your Word, for your Word is Life. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.

You may be seated.


Let's open up God's Word and read today from Matthew chapter eleven, starting with verse seven, which says:

7. And as they left, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, "What do you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
8. "But what do you go out to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
9. "But what did you go out to see? A prophet? yes, I say to you, and more than a prophet.
10. "For this is he of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'
11. "Truly I say to you, among those who are born of women there has not risen a greater  than John the Baptist; notwithstanding, he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater  than he.
 
12. "And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven advances by violence, and the violent take it by force."


The title of today's message is "Godly Violence." And today I would like for us to ponder what this means, "The kingdom of heaven advances by violence, and the violent take it by force."

Jesus was talking about the ministry of John, a rather unusual sort of character. He was making an important point when he said, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A man clothed in soft clothing? Those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses."

In some of the Church, we've bought into the idea that anything Godly is quiet, serene, calculated, and kept subdued and in our standard of order. We tiptoe around, careful to not make anyone feel bad, even if that means hiding the truth behind candy and cake.

Yet during the time of John the Baptist, a time of preparation for the coming of the Messiah, a time of shaking and repentance, a time of repentance that was vital for the Messiah to come and the earth to not be destroyed, the great human leader of spiritual preparation was not some elloquent speaker wearing fine clothing, tickling the people's ears with whatever makes them feel as though all is right in the world.

Jesus points out that people like that are in kings' houses, not out in the wilderness where they had all gone. He was pointing out that if the Kingdom of God were advancing through the work of a polished, refined royal figure, they would be in a palace at that moment, not out in the wilderness.

And yet the Spirit of God was calling them; not to that which human wisdom embraces as being from God, but to that which the wisdom from heaven had chosen.

And Jesus then makes this statement, that "from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven advances by violence, and the violent take it by force."

John no doubt was a very passionate man, crying out that everyone everywhere should repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. And God's Kingdom was advancing violently, as those violently, passionately seeking after the Kingdom took it by force.


Today we sit by, docile and politically correct, as satan rapes our schools, our court rooms, and our churches. We are silent as he slaughters our children in the womb, teaches our children it's okay to be gay, and brainwashes us into thinking a little bit of compromise is somehow okay.

And I'm not speaking about any one of us in particular, but about the Church as a whole. We are limp-wristed about the advancement of the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and then we wonder why the advancement of God's Kingdom through our lives is weak and why we are spiritually impotent.

"The kingdom of heaven advances by violence, and the violent take it by force."

So what kind of violence is Scripture talking about here? Are we supposed to form a militia to hunt down and kill the pornographers? Are we supposed to blow up the abortion clinics? Are we called of God to uncover every rock looking for witches to burn?

That question can be answered by another question which is, "What would those things advance and glorify? Would they reconcile men and women to a passionate love relationship with God? Or would they cause the world to fight against our misguided attempts to force upon them what can only come by choice?"

Violence in this Scripture speaks of intense passion, the type of burning desire that spurs us to action.

This type of violence is one that grabs hold of the presence of God and lock ourselves in our prayer closets until we have stormed heaven and had a deeper encounter with Jesus.

This type of violence causes us to speak out in our schools, in our public forums, and in our communities that it's not right to keep children from praying and reading God's Word while being taught a scientifically-laughable lie from hell that we all evolved from monkeys, and will be healthy, happy monkeys if we only use condoms when we have sex with whomever we choose.

This type of violence causes us to not keep the love of God silent and the burning desire he has for that loved one or co-worker to be reconciled to him through his Son, Jesus Christ.

This type of violence causes us to give up some of our time in front of the television, and spend that time on our faces seeking God and crying out for revival in our homes, in our communities, and in our nations.

This type of violence causes us to gather our family together after dinner and read the Bible, pray, and worship God together.

This type of violence causes us to cry out to God for freedom from the things that have us bound, that keep us from moving forward into a deeper walk with God, and from doing what he has called us to do.


You see, since the time of John the Baptist, since the time God ordained to prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah, since that time, the Kingdom of Heaven has been advancing by violence, and the violent take it by force.


So will you answer the call of God today?

Will you cry out to him for a burning passion?

Will you seek him for a renewing of your first love for him?

Will you decide today to set your face like flint on Jesus, to follow whole-heartedly after him?


Jesus says that those who are least in the Kingdom are greater than John the Baptist. And if his Godly violence to advance the kingdom in his live and in the lives of those around him caused the Kingdom of Heaven to advance, preparing the way for the coming Messiah, and if you and I are greater than he, what will happen when we begin seeking after God with total abandon, taking the Kingdom of Heaven by violence?


This altar is open. The ministry team can come stand at the front.

You know what God is telling you to do right now, whether that is to come stand or kneel at the front, whether that is to repent of some sin or privately confess it to someone, whether that is to come boldly to the front and tell one of these ministers, "I need Jesus in my life,"... Whatever God is telling you to do right now, do it!

Remember, "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven advances by violence, and the violent take it by force."

As your time here with God ends, please make your way to the fellowship room to your left for our time of fellowship. Obey God right now, and watch the Kingdom of Heaven advance in your life! Come.