God’s control and our responsibility can be thought of as concentric circles with God’s control being an all-encompassing circle, our responsibility being a smaller circle within it. Eph 1:11; Acts 17:24-27
Our priority as believers (the main emphasis of our circle of responsibility) is the spread of the kingdom. Matt 28:19-20
Paul’s example is helpful: working within existing governmental structures to maximize gospel spread and minimize persecution…while submitting to the governing authorities. Acts 22-28; Rom 13
If not already, engage in the typical mechanics of fighting sin: radical amputation (Matt 5:29-30), putting off/putting on (Eph 4:22-24), mind renewal (Rom 12:2), accountability (2 Tim 2:22), and prayer.
It is crucial to have a clear view of the compassion of Christ for sinners. He is drawn to us, pities us in our sin, rather than repulsed. (Mark 10:21; Heb 4:15-16)
Book recommendations: Gentle and Lowly (Dane Ortlund); The Heart of Christ (Thomas Goodwin); The Bruised Reed (Richard Sibbes)
A premillennialist might say that it depends upon who “we” is. Glorified believers reigning with Christ likely will not have to endure. Unglorified believers who survived the tribulation likely will. Believers born during the millennium definitely will.
A problem with a premillennial understanding of Rev 20 is that it requires death to exist for 1,000 years after the coming of Christ. 1 Corinthians 15 teaches that death will be defeated at the coming of Christ. (1 Cor 15:24-26; 50-58)
Our podcast team is taking a short break from recording and posting new episodes so that we can do some important things like having babies, nursing loved ones to health, etc. We’ll plan to post our next episode on Tuesday, September 1. Until then, please find one below you haven’t heard and share it with friends. Also, please keep your great questions coming!!
– The conscience is our God-given capacity to make moral judgments about ourselves. (Rom 2:14-15)
– A seared conscience is one that has become desensitized due to an individual repeatedly ignoring its voice. (1 Tim 4:1-2)
– A seared conscience is dangerous because it makes us more vulnerable to the harmfulness of sin.
– Repentance is the mechanism God uses to re-sensitize the conscience (2 Cor 7:11)
– Such strained relationships with unbelieving relatives should not surprise us as Jesus came to “bring a sword” (Matt 10:32-38)
– In all such situations, “as far as it depends upon you, be at peace with all men” (Rom 12:18).
– Pray for the heart of Christ toward the estranged relative.
– Depends upon what we mean by “oppose.”
– Since our constitution gives us the right to redress in the courts, there is nothing wrong with seeking to have a mandate overturned. (Rom 13:1-2)
– It is not biblical to simply disobey the mask mandates, even if we hold that the mandates are unconstitutional. It is the function of the courts to decide the constitutionality of an order.
– If an order does not call us to disobey God, we must obey it (Acts 5:29)
– The sanctity of human life based upon creation in God’s image leads to numerous injunctions to protect the weak from the wicked (Psa 82:3-4, Prov 24:11)
– While we are not under the OT law, it does provide a window to the character of God. On this issue, the law indicates that if a person’s life is in danger it is consistent with character of God to defend oneself. (Exo 22:2-3)
– Passages typically used to argue against self-defense pertain specifically to persecution or non-retaliation. We should apply passages to situations to which they actually pertain.
– Romans 13 gives the power of the sword to the government. Our government has specifically delegated that authority to the individual.
– This is the broad experience of man (Prov 19:21)
– We should be thankful God’s plans are always fulfilled, even at the expense of our own, in light of His supreme wisdom and love (Rom 8:28-30)
– The key to overcoming depression and despair over unfulfilled plans is desiring Jesus above all (John 4:14; 6:35; 7:37-38; 17:3).