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Christians & Rioting Part 6

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Godly Constraints to Evil

The Church

The final restraint is the church, a spiritual restraint

  • The Spirit who indwells us truly changes our default nature.

Internal Restraint

James 1:14–15 (NKJV) 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.   15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

  • The real cure for problems in the world is to change human beings internally (the heart) because that’s where all the sin originates. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

  • You become a new kind of person.

Ezekiel 36:26 (NKJV)  26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

  • The Church via the process of Salvation makes new hearts. 
  • The power of God then comes from the inside, overpowering that corruption. 

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How Should Christians Respond to the Riots?

Romans 13:1-7 1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.

3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.

5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

Christians are to be:

  • Good citizens
  • Lawful
  • Obedient to the authorities unless they ask/require us to sin
  • Peaceful and quiet:

    Romans 12:18 (NKJV)  18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

    1 Thessalonians 4:10–12 (NKJV)  10 and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more;   11 that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you,   12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

Never with Despair or Hopelessness

No matter how hard things are or in what situation we find ourselves in, Christians should never despair or be hopeless.

  • No matter what, we are to live for Jesus and know that the day is coming soon when all the hopelessness of this life will be no more:

(2 Corinthians 4:8-11) – “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed– always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (NKJV; emphasis mine)

Prayers of Repentance

(2 Chronicles 7:14) – “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (NKJV; emphasis mine)

(Psalm 81:13-16) – “Oh, that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! I would soon subdue their enemies And turn My hand against their adversaries. The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him, but their fate would endure forever. He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; And with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.” (NKJV)

  • National repentance starts with personal repentance.
  • We must repent individually and then move on to teach our families, friends and those we influence.

Pray for Godly Courage

Pray for preachers, teachers and leaders who will proclaim the truth and wake up America. Pray that when the time comes, no matter what the circumstance, you will choose Christ over all else.

(Matthew 10:32-33) – “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. “(NKJV; emphasis mine)

Expectation

Christians should respond with expectation and the knowledge and awareness of the decline of our country.

Discernment

Instead, as wise Christians, we must be discerning in knowing the truth from a dream.

(2 Timothy 3:1) – “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.” (NKJV; emphasis mine)

In context, this is speaking of the last days of humanity, but in application, it is equally true that in the last days of the nation’s existence, perilous times will be the natural result.

Longing for Heaven

It is a Godly byproduct of suffering in trials that our longing for Heaven is naturally increased.

(Revelation 21:3-4) – “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (NKJV)

Opportunities for God

All the troubles of this world open the doors of opportunity for the next.

  • In a very real sense, if the decline of America will bring about true hope and salvation, then it is a decline that we should hope for, even if it scares us.

Who is to blame for rioting, looting, turmoil and destruction?

  • The sinful human heart is the real culprit
  • Salvation is the only real and lasting solution
  • Only the return of Christ will end sin for once and for all.
  • Until then, persecution refines the church. Chaos creates hopeless which results in people looking for answers.

People looking for answers are more open to the Gospel.

End of Series