When the judgments of the Lord are on the earth, humanity is divided into four categories:
1. Those who don’t know God and don’t know anything about the need for His judgments.
2. Those who may or may not believe in God, and become instruments of His judgment upon the earth.
3. Those who believe in God, but don’t believe they’ve done anything to warrant God’s judgment.
4. Those who believe in God and yield themselves to God through His judgments.
The prophet Isaiah tells us, When the judgments of the Lord are upon the earth, the inhabitants of the earth learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9) This means that when the judgments of the Lord are upon us as a people, the pressure that they exert upon our relationships, our social structures and our individual hearts will press us into dialoguing with the Lord so we learn what He values, and what He is calling us to do. To esteem wha the Lord esteems and to be who the Lord is calling us to be – this is what righteous living looks like.
It is only the fourth category of humanity who “learns the ways of the Lord” through the judgments.
THIS, above all else, is the category that we want to be in.
The Consequences of Having No Theology of the Judgments of the Lord
From month to month and crisis to crisis, it has become painfully obvious that our American evangelical family does not believe the judgments of the Lord are upon us. Most of us are in the third category, and not the fourth.
The consequences of this misinterpretation of our circumstances are massive. We, the richest, most free, most self-determined, and mutually affirming Church in the history of humanity, are attempting to navigate “the time of tribulation” (Psalm 27:5) in our own strengths of superior human rhetoric; defensiveness; self-justification; carnal definitions of glory, greatness and power; enlightened concepts of rights and liberties; superior “secret” knowledge etc. Living devoid of a Biblical theology for the judgments of God, the wrath of God, and the fear of the Lord, we are in fact living blind, naked, and impoverished to His ways, and therefore wretched and miserable in relating to Him and others.
This is disastrous.
Evidence of the disaster is all around us. Increasing hostility between ourselves and the lost. Amplified animosity between individuals and factions within the Body of Christ herself. No consensual “Word” from the Lord. Compounding deceit, delusional narratives and false prophecies. We choose to live in echo-chambers of pretense rather than engage in honest, substantive dialogue with God and each other. And we, the spiritual offspring of those “who turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) see little evidence of victory over darkness, illness and unrighteousness in our own culture.
The most alarming outcome from having no paradigm for the judgments of the Lord is that regardless of how vividly the Lord bids us to “seek His Face” (Psalm 27:8), we insist (often without guise of pretense) we are operating just fine without a.) humbling ourselves, b.) “inquiring in His temple” (Psalm 27:4), and c.) allowing the Spirit of God to bring us to life-giving repentance. Consequently we operate without a baseline posture of contrition and faith-filled meekness toward our God, and each other.
Beloved. We will gain no ground for His Kingdom from this posture. Neither do we sufficiently prepare the Body of Christ for His glorious return.
JSB • November 24, 2022