Sunday, January 17, 2010

Prayer for Haiti

Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His Holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Our Father and God,

We know that You govern all things, whatsoever comes to pass; and we know that You work all of these things together for the good of Your servants. We ask that You would remind Your church in Haiti of these promises, and of the assurances we just read from Psalm 103: that You are the One Who heals diseases, redeems life from destruction, crowns us with loving-kindness and tender mercies, and satisfies our mouth with good things! Strengthen them with these assurances, and give the Haitian saints and the missionaries laboring there opportunities to show Your love to others in need. Your Word affirms that You are the One Who executes righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed, and we ask that You would do so for our brothers in Haiti.

And on a larger scale, use this catastrophe to draw men all over the world to Yourself! Let them see the awe-inspiring images of destruction and recognize that all flesh is, indeed, as grass; and cause them to cry out to You for salvation! Grow in Your international church a spirit of generosity, and a renewed constancy in prayer for those impacted by the quake. You have blessed us, the seed of Abraham, very greatly; and we ask now that You would help us be a blessing to Haiti, and to all those of other nations who witness our compassion.

Grow in each of us a sense of the true unity that You have designed for Your body catholic. For we all partake of one communion, all share in one baptism, and all worship one risen Savior Who now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit; one God, most blessed forever. Help us to manifest that oneness even now as we lift our united voices in the prayer that Christ taught His disciples, saying…

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Salvation and Judgment

I'm currently reading a book by R.J. Rushdoony entitled The Biblical Philosophy of History, and was struck by his statement in chapter 8 (on "Inescapable Knowledge") that "Salvation requires judgment."

Many Christians prefer to avoid the topic of judgment -- particularly when conversing with unbelievers -- because, not surprisingly, it's a trifle awkward to look a friend in the eye and tell him his sin condemns him to hell! It also makes people nervous to think they might, themselves, be vulnerable to God's judgment. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that salvation comes at a price. As Rushdoony says:

Without judgment, there can be no salvation. The salvation of Noah from a world of tyranny was the judgment and destruction of that world by a flood. The salvation of Israel from Egypt meant the judgment and destruction of Egypt. The Cross of Christ is the supreme coincidence of judgment and salvation. It is God's judgment and sentence of death on man the sinner, and also God's salvation through the atoning death of Jesus Christ.

We cannot accept salvation if we reject judgment. In order to save godly men from an evil and apostate generation, God must judge that generation and destroy its works, and the believer must move in terms of that reality. The reality is simply this: no judgment, no salvation. This means, moreover: no judgment, no God. Judgment reveals God and His justice...

Those who hate judgment hate salvation also; they resent deliverance. Men who hate God's judgment want the total enslavement of man, his entrapment in guilt and in the outworkings of past history. If there be no judgment, no salvation is possible.

A denial of God's judgment on sin is a denial of His holiness, and as Rushdoony says, denies God's very existence! Thus while a mindset of universalism may seem an easier pill to swallow than the biblical doctrine of judgment, the pill is really poisonous. The universalist hates justice, hates holiness, and hates God.