As Christians, we are not vessels of wrath. We are supposed to be vessels of honor. We are supposed to be light and goodness in this world. We are supposed to fill others with good things. Love, peace, kindness, compassion, truth, and so on.
This is easier said than done. At least for me. My temptations are not in covetousness over money or prosperity, power, lying, backstabbing, or others. I have been in the past, like most of us. As of now, my temptation is in wrath. I hate seeing the brethren mistreated—especially by others within the faith. I hate all lying ways that confuse and deceive people in the faith. I hate seeing the poor cast out from church socially because they do not have the right cloths or status. I hate all these things, and I am certain the Lord hates these things too.
However, wrath is not meant for me. Vengeance is not mine.
I have so struggled in this. More than I can express. I want to tear it all down and save the oppressed people. But, here is the problem. I cannot judge minds and hearts. I cannot know what is really going on deep down. I cannot see things the way God sees things. If I take it upon myself to start fighting it all tooth and nail, there will be the inevitable “friendly fire.”
On one hand, I feel negligent if I do not stand up for those who are oppressed and deceived, yet I know that all is going according to the will of God. I am supposed to trust in Him and His timing. I am supposed to trust in His righteous judgment that will overthrow the high things and raise up the lowly. This is His job. Not mine. Not in wrath.
I keep going back to this, though I sometimes lose focus: We are not to overcome evil with evil. The way is to love those who hate. To declare the truth despite deception. To pursue peace despite conflict. Even until the very end, no matter how bad it gets.
It is my belief, so just take it for what is is worth, but I strongly believe that the end times persecution of Christians will come from within. It already does, just to lesser degrees than it will in those days. Christians already murder each other with words and actions, deceive with false teachings, ministers keep people in bonds to sin with incomplete gospels or oppress with law, Christians accuse others as being fake or false. This will only get worse. This might even have something to do with that “hour of temptation.”
It is good for me, and for others, to be exercised in restraint. It is good to know how to overcome evil with good instead of repaying wrath for wrath. There is something even virtuous about having an ability to use wrath and refraining from it.
I’m coming to view certain “end times” events much differently than I used to. I think many are going to be deceived by our desires of vanity, vengeance, and self-preservation, to name a few. I do not think there will ever come a time when a true child of God should overcome evil with evil. I could be wrong, but in any case, sufficient to the day is the evil thereof. Today, we are not appointed as vessels of wrath. God raises up the wicked for that purpose. We need to overcome evil with good.
More on that soon.