Saturday, March 26, 2011

Types of Prophetic Event (7) - Whacking Society is Suboptimal

The cross changed everything. In the Old Testament age, judgment was often a necessary last resort. In the New Testament age, shaking judgment is a sub-optimal method for changing people and society.

  1. Judgment events are mostly indiscriminate. Just as radiation therapy kills the good cells and the cancer cells, the good, the bad and the ugly are harmed equally.

  2. Judgment was mostly ineffective in bringing change. Judges, 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles record the history of Israel and Judah. These nations were judged again and again, but they deliberately continued down their path to oblivion without hesitating. Judgement did not turn them around. God had not poured yet out the Holy Spirit, so this was inevitable.

  3. Shakings restrained the worst evil. Evil kings and leaders were removed before they could do too much harm. This was the best that Judgment Events can do. The Holy Spirit can do far better.

  4. The outpouring of Holy Spirit and the gospel of Jesus provide God with a far better ways for transforming peoples and nations. This reduces the need for judgment and shaking. They are less frequent in the New Testament age.

Gospel and Spirit
Some Christians still believe that God changes the world by whacking it with judgments. They delight in disasters, because they believe he will use them to turn society around. These people do not understand how God works. They have more faith in earthquakes, hurricanes, and economic collapse than they have in the Holy Spirit. This is sad, because God cannot transform society by whacking it with a big stick, because that mostly turns people sour.

Since Jesus death, resurrection and ascension, the Holy Spirit and the gospel are God’s preferred vehicles for transforming society. Repentance comes from hearing the gospel of grace. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit drawing a person to the Father.

God needs people to share the gospel and carry the Holy Spirit into the world. He can only get to the hearts of unbelievers, if we are carrying him into their midst. God can only transform society through a living body that carries the Holy Spirit where he wants to work. Until he gets a body that is up to the task, God will not waste his effort shaking society.

God must transform his church before he can transform society. Then if he shakes a nation, his revitalised church can be salt and light to shape it in a new direction. If the church is not carrying the Holy Spirit into the world, shaking achieves nothing. Society will just carry on down the gurgler, because it knows nothing better.

God prefers to work through the Holy Spirit and the gospel. Prophetic warning of judgment should be rare. Exhortation to proclaim the gospel in the power of the Spirit and should receive far more airtime, because that reflects the Father’s heart.

This full series is at Prophetic Events.

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