Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shaking Christchurch (5) - Remnant

God sometimes uses traumatic events to shake people loose, so he can draw them back to him, but he does not do this just for fun. He will only send judgement, if he has a remnant faithful to him, who are equipped to serve those who are shaken and get them back on to the right way. If the remnant is not prepared to demonstrate the love of God during the crisis, it is wasted and evil benefits. A crisis can open people’s hearts, but if no one is there to pour oil on their wounds, the scars will harden their hearts to the gospel.

An earthquake cannot preach the gospel. Only people can testify to Jesus to what Jesus has done. An earthquake cannot convict people of their need for a saviour. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.

This was true in Paul’s day. The Philippians jailor became a Christian after the earthquake that opened the gates of his jail.

The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:29-30).
This was not a spontaneous response to the earthquake. What made the difference was seeing the faith and joy of two men who had been “stripped and beaten” “severely flogged” with “their feet fastened in stocks”.
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them (Acts 16:25).
The jailor became a Christian, because he had seen two wounded and bound men praising and worshipping God in the middle of the night. The jailor was a hard, tough man. His heart was blown open, because he saw the Holy Spirit working in the lives of Paul and Silas during their time of crisis.

If his earthquake had struck on any other night of the year, the jailor would not have become a Christian. He would have cursed and beaten the prisoners and carried on with life. The living faith of Paul and Silas made the difference.

Carrying this forward to the earthquake in Christchurch, most people just felt an earthquake, and it did not preach the gospel. They have seen Church leaders calling on the government to rebuild their collapsed church buildings, but only a few have seen the faith and love of the Christian remnant.

My view is that God has had to put his plans for shaking New Zealand on hold. He has had no choice, because his remnant is not prepared. Without a ready remnant, any judgment would be wasted and become pointless evil. God is not in the business of supporting evil, so an earthquake was not on God’s plan for Christchurch.

I believe the Lord is saying,
Do not be distracted by the earthquake.

Do not be impressed by the earthquake.
Compared to the power of my Holy Spirit,
the power of the earthquake is nothing.

Do not let the earthquake set your agenda.
My plans and my purpose for Christchurch have not changed.
My people be shaped by my word and my Spirit>
Commit yourself to obeying my will
and fulfilling my purposes
and you will see a great harvest.
Christians who assume that the earthquake will make their commission easy will be disappointed. Jesus sent his disciples out in power pairs to heal the sick and proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Paul and Barnabas were beaten and bound in prison, because they heeded this call, but that is what will bring in the harvest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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