馬太福音 5:43-45 (ESV)
43 “你們聽見有話說，‘你要愛鄰舍，恨你的仇敵。’ 44 但我告訴你們，要愛你們的仇敵，為那迫害你們的人祈禱， 45 好作你們父的兒女誰在天堂。因為他使他的太陽升起在惡人和善人身上，給正義和不正義的人下雨。
然而，這與一心要摧毀我們的黑暗勢力不同。通常，迫害可以並且曾經被上帝用來淨化我們，管教我們，像金子一樣提煉我們，使我們變得更美麗。是的，黑暗勢力是不同的，就像公國的撒旦勢力一樣。上帝摧毀了埃及的偶像，他降下 7 次瘟疫摧毀了他們，就像埃及所崇拜的尼羅河一樣。我們被要求拆除堡壘，並拆除它們。上帝的王國正在前進，並以武力奪取它。上帝的國度從不吝嗇。我們要剛強，要成為得勝者。但是，在我們的熱情和缺乏對聖經的理解中，我們絕不會詛咒一切似乎阻礙我們的事情。不，我們確實需要為那些迫害我們的人祈禱！但與此同時，我們確實需要知道我們在打一場屬靈的戰爭，而上帝已經呼召我們不要對空中之王撒但的勢力溫柔。
Many people wondered if we could ask God to pour out his anger on those who taunt Christianity and devalue, diminish our values in schools, cultures, TV, and even families. Christians are intimated by the fierce secularizing voices out there on the streets, that many believers are seeking refuge or simply stop showing any trace of the godliness our Lord Jesus has endowed us. Often the world labels us as on the wrong side of history, but like one preacher commented, “I am not worried about to be on the wrong side of history, but I am worried to be on the wrong side of eternity.”
The forces of secularization has altered the very fabrics of our faith in Christ, challenging our holy scriptures, the high inerrant scriptures of God. If there is any doubt on that, they are experts in twisting the gospel to a man-made salvation religion and appease everyone on earth. Because the reality is, real authentic Christianity faith in Jesus is offensive to many, no wonder Jesus said, many will be stumbled. Jesus is the corner stone, and stumbling block to many. To the Jews who are seeking signs and wonders, and the Greeks seeking wisdom, Christ is neither, but Christ is the power of God to save.
So when we see the evils done in the world, from abortions, transgenderize, same sex sexuality issues, and to the recent shootings in Texas, Irvine, Buffalo, wat do we make of it? How do we respond?
Many are confused and restrained by the gospel teaching of Jesus who said if someone slap you on one cheek, turn around your other cheek. He also said that if you only love your friends, and not love your enemies.
This is a stunning and counter intuitive teaching:
Matthew 5:43–45 (ESV)
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Jesus taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, as the Father makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good. I would argue that God the Father, yes makes sun rise on the good and the evil, and sends rain to the just and unjust, that’s a temporary set up. A temporal scene, because judgement of God will come when He returns. We are to pray for those who persecute us.
This is , however, different from the forces of darkness that are bent to destroy us. Often, persecution can be and had been used by God to purify us, to discipline us, to refine us like gold to make us into something more beautiful. Yes it is different for the forces of darkens, like the satanic forces of principalities. God destroyed the idols of Egypt when He sent 7 plagues that destroyed them like the Nile River that was worshipped by Egypt. We are called to demolish strongholds, and tear them down. Kingdom of God is marching forward, and taking it by force. Kingdom of God takes no wimps. We are to be strong and to be overcomers. But in no way, in our zeal, and lack of biblical understanding, that, we curse everything that seems to be in our way. No, we do need to pray for those who persecute us even! But we do need, at the same time, know what we are fighting a spiritual warfare, and God has called us not to be gentle with the satanic forces, the prince of the air.
That’s why :
6 Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call upon your name! 7 For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.
Psalmist prayed that God pour out his anger on those who don’t know God! Why? Because they devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation. Who is Jacob today? That speaks of the church of Christ! So anyone who devoured the church, we pray for God to pour his anger on them! Not praying for them!
10 Why should the nations say, Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes!
You see avenge the outpoured blood of your servants. They killed Christian servants; we pray for vengeance of God!
11 Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die! Preserve those of believers who are doomed to die, but God can intervene and save!12 Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord!
Return seven times those who taunt our God. Do it!
13 But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
But we the people of God, the sheep of our Jesus’ pasture, will give thanks forever. From generation to generation to count God’s praise! Our children are not to be snatched by the devil, pray to God to save them! God’s promise!