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Home The Light Articles from 2000 Are You Willing to Risk Offending God?

Are You Willing to Risk Offending God?

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Are You Willing to Risk Offending God?

by Jerry Johnson

"And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God" (Acts 5:38-39).

God ordained the apostles to be His instruments in fulfilling His purpose of preaching the gospel. The Pharisees were determined to eliminate them, which, if accomplished, would thus overthrow the work of God. Gamaliel observed that to interfere in the work of God would be to "fight against God." His judgment was intelligent and logical. Obviously, no man could win in such conflict, but he nonetheless warned the council that any attempt to overthrow God’s servants and their work, would be, in fact, fighting against God.

Notice further that this Jewish doctor used the reasoning "lest haply." He reasons of a matter which to them was unclear, uncertain. IF the apostles and their work were of God (some denied it, some were unsure), but IF so, he courteously reminds his brethren that they would be in the impossible strait of attempting to thwart the very plan of God Himself. It is also properly implied in the context that it should be a matter of fear and dread to array oneself against God.

There is an application to be made of this in our day relative to political involvement.

The high priest and the council were attempting to thwart God’s purpose by eliminating His servants and their work (Acts 5:39). Of political candidates in our day, the aspirant who will be successful is ordained... "there is NO power but of God" (Rom. 13:1). Since it is wholly impossible to know God’s plans for the future, or whom God has ordained to fill a given position, modern voters may very easily attempt (unintentionally) to eliminate God’s potential servants and their work by the ballot used against the men God has selected. The Pharisees were doing all within their power to defeat God’s purpose–the preaching of the gospel–by hindering God’s men. The voter is doing all within his power to defeat God’s purpose (a purpose unknown to the voter) by using the ballot against His ordained man. Is there really a difference?

1.) Scripture clearly illustrates all "powers" are in office–even evil men–by God’s decree. 2.) Because it is impossible to know the Father’s will and direction for our nation, we can be doubly assured that it is impossible to know the man God has ordained to fill an office. 3.) The only rational criterion we have in voting is the "best man" policy. But because we know not God’s plan for our rebellious nation, it is impossible to know who the "best man" is. With these three points being so, it is obvious that we may easily (howbeit, ignorantly) attempt to frustrate God’s purpose or plan with our vote. If Gamaliel’s logic was sound, we, like his brethren will be found "even to fight against God."

(Perhaps it should be noted just here that the choice of many many voters in the last two national elections was not the man whom God had ordained. They voted against God’s choice. Clearly, we cannot know God’s selection prematurely!)

Have We Lost Our Fear of God?

Instead of taking the chance of offending God with a vote, why do not Christians work in areas where they can be positive their work is in harmony with God’s purpose? Besides, has our faith so waned that we fear God will not be able to do (without our "help") what He so faithfully and positively said He would do, and has been doing for 6000 years? Why cumber ourselves with the weight of politics (Heb. 12:1)? The fearsome possibility that we might be actively working against God should strike fear in any Christian’s heart. Moffett renders Acts 5:39, " may even find yourselves fighting against God." Another translation says, " are in danger of fighting against God." Still another renders it, " risk finding yourselves at war with God." Even the enemies of Jesus, in all of their ignorance, seemed to be fearful of "fighting against God." Surely we would not wish to engage such a formidable opponent. And should it not be considered that God, being so very good to all of us, deserves better from His people? Should we not avoid at all cost even the possibility of offending His Holiness? I say, why would we want to take the chance?

–HC 63, Box 72, Mullin, TX 76864



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