Day 39 Sacred Season
39. 17th July Coming in fire: Rev 19:11-15; 2 Thess 1:6-10
Rev Ron Brookman, New South Wales
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. (Rev 19:11-12
Basis of Union Paragraph 4: The Uniting Church acknowledges that the Church is able to live and endure through the changes of history only because its Lord comes, addresses, and deals with people in and through the news of his completed work
The thought of the Suffering Saviour, riding through the Heavens on a mighty white stallion to wage war, seems incongruent with His words of peace, with His refusal to fight the enemies who falsely accused, then crucified Him. He died being faithful and true to love, peace and righteousness. Risen and ascended He reigns in Heaven, waiting, while all His enemies are brought under His feet. The greater power of Love will prevail over the lesser, though apparently more fierce, powers of evil.
These principalities and powers, these world forces of darkness and spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places, work relentlessly through human history to subvert Godâs purposes and glory in this present age. Fiercely luring people into their grip, they work their sinister purposes of destroying souls and lives, as they deceive, seduce, or draw into addictions, violence, and slavery, etc. Whether through Government corruption, multi-national avarice, war, terrorism, inhospitality to refugees, drug cartels, or as seemingly insignificant as one personâs merciless revenge against another, these powers diminish and distort Godâs image in us, through injustice and unrighteousness.
A parable: The trooper lay for days in the forsaken battlefields of France, unable to move. His legs had been broken by the force of a grenade that had blown the lives of several of his mates to the netherworld. Finally rescued, he was stretchered to the makeshift medical camp for immediate surgery. Though gangrene had set in, the doctors hoped to save his legs. With primitive anesthetics he endured agony as contaminated flesh was cut away from his calves, and some toes were amputated. The pain seemed merciless, but was the greatest act of mercy he could receive.
Jesus is a God of justice. Mercy, which always triumphs over judgement, endlessly streams from Heaven, through the gospel and the Word of the Cross. How urgent the task of proclaiming it! But like the need to excise rotten flesh from the trooperâs diseased legs, to heal and strengthen them, sometimes mercy is expressed through judgement, through eradication of the forces of evil, and of people who align with it.
This is the fire of judgement. The Lord Jesus âwill be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,â bringing evil under His feet, in order to bring the fullness of His Kingdom, the new Heavens and Earth. Faithful and True, Jesusâ authority to judge is reflected in the fierce flames in His eyes. Though this passage states that the armies, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses in Heaven, these peacemakers can also be seen as His Church below, armed with prophetic weapons of prayer, faith, love, truth and courage.
Lord, give us wisdom to understand, and courage to stand, in Your truth.
Make us faithful to resist evil, in our own lives; in ways it seeks to defile the church;
and in the manifold ways dark powers and the spirit of the world bring injustice and destroy lives.
Make us bold to pray for, proclaim and point to the peace of Your Kingdom.
In these last days of the Assembly lead us to stand courageously with You in faithfulness and truth.
Rev Ron Brookman
Pray for: Unitingworld partner â The Protestant Evangelical Church in Timor
Prayer for Assembly: Today is a busy day in Assembly with many proposals coming forward including final ASC proposals on marriage.
Please continue to pray that the Lord Jesus Christ would truly be the living Head of the Uniting Church in Australia.