Tuesday, 25 April 2017

What Would Jesus Do?

Scripture:  Philippians 2 v 2 - 8: "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
 3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
 4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
 5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
 6  Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
 7  But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
 8  And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."

To know what Jesus would do in our world and particular situation we need to know what He was like when He was here on Earth.  He made Himself of no reputation and esteemed others more highly than Himself.  He was humble and obedient, a true servant of humanity. 

If we are following Him we need to be like Him in nature.  He had no vanity or self esteem.  He did not strive or dominate by force.  He wants us to be like-minded and in unity, at peace and filled with His love.

I have been trying to compare this mindset with those who are pushing Dominion Theology, a phrase coined by Sara Diamond in the 1980's.  It follows on from John Calvin who wanted to see the whole world run on the laws of God.  It is very strong in some sectors of the Church, particularly in America.

In Dominion Theology or Dominionism, and its offshoot Kingdom Now Theology, Christians are urged to be leaders in business, politics, science and every place where they can control this world and occupy it for Jesus.  When we have accomplished this everywhere then we can invite Jesus to come back.

When Jesus was on Earth and the crowd wanted to make Him King of Israel and overthrow the Romans He refused.  As He declared to Pontius Pilate, He said to them and for us today, My Kingdom is not of this world.  He came to save us out of this world system not entrench us in it.

It would be wonderful to know that our rulers and those in authority are guided by Christian principles and Bible laws.  President Donald Trump will probably tell you that its a very difficult thing to do.  The unrelenting criticism and opposition to his presidency, the hate speech and mass protests must be very irritating.

He and his staff at the White House have prayer meetings and Bible Study regularly, and call on the Lord Jesus Christ to give them wisdom to guide the nation, but as Jesus said, if the world hates Me it will hate you too!  And we still have to love the world and rescue sinners out of it.

We are aliens and strangers, pilgrims, passing through this world but no longer part of it.  We are a new creation of which the Resurrected Jesus is the firstfruits, or prototype.  Our goal is to become like Him and do the things He said, so others may believe that He is the only begotten Son of God.

He wants us to pray for our leaders so that we live in a peaceful land, but as the Antichrist and his lawlessness and anarchy are rising into position, peace can be hard to find.  However, when we have the Prince of Peace reigning in our hearts, we have peace that the world cannot comprehend.

Being a new creation, a being that is no longer "only human" but a being that has put on Christ, we no longer fit into this world system.  It is run by Satan and peopled with those who are unbelievers and enemies of Christians.  They pass laws that are contrary to our God so they can commit abominations without condemnation.  It is refreshing to see President Trump overturn some of these laws.

Christians no longer have "human rights" because when we belong to Jesus we surrender all to Him.  We don't follow worldly causes but the will of the Father.  Our guidelines come from the Bible and the world is in conflict with us.  When we are baptised in water, we are buried with Him because we are dead to the world.

If you are still clinging to worldly ambition and being a success in the world's eyes, you are not dead enough.  When Israel escaped from Pharoah into the wilderness, times were hard and it was not long before some Jews regretted leaving Egypt and wanted to return.  In a Christian sense that is called backsliding, or sliding back into the world down a slippery slope.

So when you are faced with choices you need to ask What would Jesus do?  He may even let you go a few steps back into the world so you can see for yourself that it has lost its appeal.  It is a toil and hardship full of compromise and not worth the pain.  It is so much easier to walk in the light with Jesus and work with Him to save the world, than to try to achieve this in the flesh through Dominionism.

When He said Occupy till I come, He meant that the areas where He has given us His authority and power of attorney is in spiritual matters.  We must be overcomers of evil spirits and fight the good fight against Satan and his demons.  We must subdue principalities and powers of darkness through prayer.  

We must carry on the work He started of healing the sick, preaching the gospel, deliverance of the oppressed, and extending His kingdom.  That is what Jesus would do, and will do through His servants, the family of God.  Trying to force the world to accept Christianity through domination will bring strife and even war.  Let us rather have the nature of Jesus as found in Galatians 5 v 22 - 23: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

Prayer: Heavenly Father let us exhibit the faith, patience, love, peace and joy of Jesus in our lives to draw the world to You through righteousness.  Let us always discover what Jesus would do if He was in our shoes facing a problem.  Let us die completely to the temptations of this world and enjoy eternal life with You. In Jesus' name. Amen.