It can be very easy to accuse Christians as not being very Christian-like. This is something I know about all too well. It can be very tempting to even go so far as to judge Christians as false, either on an individual level or judging the Christian world at large as false.
When I first planned this article, I had a much different approach in mind than I do now. I was going to focus on Christians who do things like lie about other Christians, jump to hasty conclusions and make false accusations, or otherwise mistreat those of the faith. Instead, I’m going a different route. I’m going to write about me — a false accuser, and how Jesus is changing my perspective in a drastic way.
It would be very easy for me to use the Bible to accuse the Christian world today. I’ve done it. I’ve gone so far, in my own mind at least, to wonder if Christianity today was in-fact that Great Whore, drunken with the blood of saints. I’ve wondered if the Jesus Christians today worship is really Jesus, or something else. I could make a case for this. I could stand before God and make a case against Christians and use the word of God to do so. Jesus has other plans.
When I want revenge, Jesus teaches me about mercy and meekness. Although I could do like many others out there and condemn, Jesus would have me show compassion and walk in patience. He would have me seek to my own salvation, my own change of heart, and grow up in His image. He would have me healed so that I can help other Christians be fruitful, not accuse them.
Much is wrong in the Christian world today. I don’t deny that. There are many teachings that are bad, many false doctrines, many lies about Jesus. Though some measure of speaking about these things is needed, forgetting the patience of Jesus that leads us to repentance is a grievous mistake. Forgetting that God ordains all things, including the present-day churches which many are too eager to stand against is a grievous mistake.
I stand here, an accuser of the brethren, who has been shown mercy by Jesus. Who has been forgiven. Who is being redeemed. I don’t want to act on the side of the prosecution anymore. I want to stand in the defense of Christians. Now, I know there are future events mentioned in Revelation that might make some who read this pause. I’m hesitant to mention it, but I think it is needful because I do not think we have the right understanding. I’m going to write briefly about the two witnesses in Revelation 11.
What about the plagues and fire that devours enemies? Honestly, I don’t really know for sure. However, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood.” Who are the enemies? People? Flesh and blood? Or is it “principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world, and spiritual wickedness in high places?”
Maybe there is a time when fighting flesh and blood is called for. I wonder though if we understand this. Think about Jesus. Was the Messiah what the Jews expected? They expected a conquering king who would slay their enemies and free them. Jesus did this, but not in the way they thought. When we read about his return and overthrow of the false prophet, that certainly seems more in-line with that conquering king. See Revelation 14 and 19. Even so, what about us? What about love those who hate you? And Jesus does not come with his vengeance until all of His are slain.
Anyhow, the reason I even bring this up is because there are many out there who judge the Christian world, and many of them claim to be the “two witnesses.” I don’t know about you, but as someone who was shown mercy and patience of the Lord, I think I’d rather be a witness for the defense and not the prosecution. I also believe these two are many people, not two individuals. That’s the way I was taught it, and I believe that to be the soundest and humblest interpretation. In any case, we should be careful in how we handle the book of Revelation, and this is a point of vanity for many people, so I’m trying to tread lightly. I do need to touch on this though.
My point here is this. We cannot forget that God is in control. We cannot forget mercy. We cannot forget patience. No matter how terrible this world gets, we cannot be overcome with evil. We are to overcome evil with good. Lies with truth. Anger with patience. Selfishness with compassion. Hate with love. And though we might have the power or ability to accuse or act otherwise vengefully, that does not mean we should.
Jesus was meek. He had the power to call down legions of angels if he wanted. He did not. He gave up his life instead.We cannot expect to receive power if we are not tame. If we are not meek.
Vengeance belongs to God. We should be careful in following those who execute condemning judgment. We are not accuser, judge, jury, and executioner. This is God’s domain. We can only witness to the truth we have been shown by living out the gospel of the kingdom of Jesus Christ.
This article is part of the series, “Answering The Accuser.” For the other articles within this series, visit this page.