Godly Violence

Posted on 11/04/2012 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:

*** there are no public prayer requests this week ***


HE HAS MADE ME GLAD

I will enter his gates
with thanksgiving in my heart
I will enter his courts
with praise
I will say this is the day
that the Lord has made
I will rejoice for
he has made me glad

He has made me glad
he has made me glad
I will rejoice for
he has me me glad!


JEHOVAH JIREH

Jehovah Jireh, my provider
His grace is sufficient for me
(repeat)

My God shall supply all my needs
according to His riches in glory
He gives his angels charge over me
Jehovah Jireh cares for me,
Jehovah Jireh cares for me


SING A NEW SONG

Sing unto Lord a new song
sing unto the Lord all the earth
(repeat)

For God is great,
and greatly to be praised!
(repeat)


I WORSHIP YOU

I worship you, Almighty God
there is none like you
I worship you, O Prince of Peace
that is all I want to do

I give you praise
for you are my righteousness
I worship you, Almighty God
there is none like you


THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU

There is none like you
no one else can
touch my heart like you do
I could search
for all eternity long and find
There is none like you


*** listen to the audio for the introduction ***

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."


And the title of today's message is "Godly Violence."

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, a time of repentance that was vital for the Messiah to come and the earth to not be destroyed, during this time, 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 John was. 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 who were 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 overturn 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?"

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

Yesterday, as my wife and I were in town, we drove past a couple of people who were running. What was it you said, Mariposa?

"Run, run, as fast as you can! You can't catch me, I'm in a car!"

Yeah, that was it. That's humerous, at least it is if you're familiar with the gingerbread man; but we can think of Godly violence as being the difference between running with the world, or driving by in a car. Compared to traveling along with the world, you're almost in spiritual hyperdrive, and the world can't keep up no matter how hard they try. All their so-called reasoning can't compete with the power of the Spirit as you violently take the kingdom by force.

This type of violence is one that grabs hold of the presence of God as we 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 that we'll 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 instead, 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 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.


Will you answer the call of God today?

Will you cry out to Him for a burning passion?

Will you seek Him to renew your first love for Him?

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

Jesus said 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 life 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?


You're all invited to get out of your seat right now and make your way to the front for a time of prayer, worship, ministry, and seeking after God.

Whenever you need to leave, you're dismissed; and you're finished with your time at the altar, you're invited to make your way to the fellowship room up the steps to your left, and we'll all meet up over there for a time of fellowship.

Come, and let's seek God for a life-transforming infusion of Godly Violence.


*** listen to the audio to hear the ending ***