Posted by: tscottmorton | August 31, 2014

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

There are two serious concerns that I see within the church today. The first is a very great lack of unity, a lack of apostolic leadership that brings interconnection, wisdom and direction into the church. It’s a very great lack of cohesiveness resulting in clear and God defined direction for the worldwide church. It’s as sea full of fish, all wandering every which way, unable to manifest the unity that is required to bring change and salvation into the world.

The second very great problem is a manifestation of worldly hate in response to world events. It appears that the church is mostly responding to world events in the very same way the world responds one with another. Responding with defensiveness out of the woundedness of being hated, are we responding to hate with hate? It is to this second issue that I write.

As I write, it is August 2014. We are in a season of rapidly increasing worldwide evil, hatred and warfare. Israel is under attack, the church in the Middle East is under murderous persecution, planes are being shot down and lands are being forcibly taken with evil intent. As hatred is ever rising against God’s chosen people, Israel, so it is also rising with persecution and open violence against the worldwide Church.

As these manifestations occur, how is it that the church should respond? As the church enters into times of persecution, even the killing of the innocent, how shall it respond? Shall it be hate for hate, eye for an eye, with vengeant self-defense being our mantra? Or, shall it be in love and mercy, even towards our enemies face to face? How we respond in the days ahead shall define us to the world in the days ahead. Therefore, this issue is of vital importance. Please read with an open mind?

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgment

James 2:13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

The religious church is no different from the world in what or how it concludes. Conclusion is of the mind of man, but revelation knowledge leads the Spirit filled church toward and then into mercy, love and truth.

The religious church, as it is in the world, looks at evil from the viewpoint of vengeance, anger and judgment. But Jesus, and thus God, looks at sinners from the viewpoint of mercy and love.

Judgment condemns and discards, but mercy releases and saves. Judgment leads to death, but mercy leads to life everlasting. Judgment, as expressed in the world, is based in revenge, the very product of hatred.

Judgment is done from a high position condescending down to the sinner. Mercy is done from a low position of sacrifice, acceptance, and love, lifting up the person with encouragement. Mercy motivates me to look up to the sinner as one better than myself. Jesus lived this by going to the cross.

Judgment discourages, but mercy encourages. Judgment is based in fear, but mercy is based in love.

Jesus said that He did not come into the world for judgment but to save the world. The word of sin was already spoken, which lead to death. But He came to die as a servant to change that death sentence to life in the fullest. His is an amazing mercy leading to life from the dead!

John 12:46-48 “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.” And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him– the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

Jesus is saying here that He operates apart from judgment. He operates in mercy towards those who choose Him. One might say that there is no such thing as judgment in Heaven. For it is true that all who are there have already been fully released of the penalty of sin, never again to face the fear of an eternal judgment of misery. Why then should we, who are in Christ, operate an anything other than mercy? Mercy leads the lost to liberty. Mercy, and mercy alone.

What a liberating notion! To know that it’s not by my actions that condemn me. It is only by my choice to believe in the One whom the Father has sent on my behalf that I am saved from judgment. For I am keenly aware of my failings, of all the things left undone which I ought to have done, and all of the things which I have done which I never should have done. If I were to be judged for all of these flaws, most certainly my place would be hell… thanks be to Jesus Christ, He set me free!

I wonder how flawless John the Baptist was. I wonder how flawless was Moses. I wonder how flawless was Mary, the mother of Jesus was (who thought her son was nuts prior to the Cross). I wonder how flawless Saul of Tarsus was while he was ordering the killing of Christians. I wonder why God chose to use Paul anyway? Even after Paul’s conversion, he spoke of himself like this (paraphrased), “I keep on doing the things I should not and don’t do the things I should. What a wretched man I AM (not, “I was”, but “I am”).”

And then Paul said, “Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:7-25

If Heaven can be gained by our good works and through our ability to live a perfect sinless life, Jesus would not have needed to die. But die, He did… for all who would choose Him. For, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And so mercy stands apart from judgment.

We, the church, get nowhere when we pass judgment. We get nowhere when we respond to evil with hate. We declare Christ crucified, and which is victory over judgment. We declare Christ crucified which is love that has overcome hate.

So here we are today, Israel is under constant attack and the children of Christians are being murdered in Syria and Iraq. We see evil abounding in the world. We see these things, but what is our first response?

There is a Godly hate for evil and which should lead the church into an action that reaches out to the hurting, the wounded and the lost. It should unify us one with another. It should lead us into action that manifests a real hope into a dying world.
But there is a worldly hate. This hatred leads us down the road of condescending judgment and which is equal to the hatred manifesting from evil. It is an evil that, if enacted upon, will spin the merry-go-round of hate, faster and faster and faster until the world sees no hope at all.

Declaring What Sin Is

The question must be asked. Is it passing judgment to openly declare what is sin and what is not sin? Certainly not! Though Jesus did not come into the world to judge it, He made very clear in articulate words what sin was.

It’s one thing to say that homosexuality is a sin. It is a judgment to tell someone that they are condemned in their sin. We speak the truth in love so that those who have ears to hear might be spared a very great suffering, even eternal death. We speak such truth in love so that those with ears to hear might have their eyes opened, that they might be receptive to the liberating, healing love and mercy of Jesus Christ.

Today you have people like Jerry Fallwell and John MacAurthur declaring verbal war against the sinful world. They publicly define who shall and who shall not be going to Heaven by way of their actions. They bring a judgment that manifests hatred and division with their words. The Spiritless church wags its finger at the world in anger and accusation. These are judgments.

The church does not wage war as the world wages war. We wage war not in accusation or in the lobby. We win our wars on our knees, fighting our fights with spiritual weapons. We win our wars by loving the lost, the wounded, the hungry and the infirmed one by one. We then watch as the Lord supernaturally wins our wars according to His plan and His timing, just like Gideon did.

Defining sin is not judgment; it is a matter of information. Condemning someone of sin, bringing condescending accusations, that is judgment.

Judgment is reserved for the last day. Until then, no one is judged who still has the choice to believe. Therefore Christ must be expressed over judgment. We don’t judge them into church, we love them into church.

The wisdom of expressing the definition of sin into the world is found in the expression of the mercy that covers it.

If mercy does not permeate the expression of sin, the expression of sin will fall on deaf ears, and rightly so!

Without an expression of overcoming mercy, any declaration of sin leads to death, as it was in the Old Testament. The written word (letter of the law) condemns, but Christ brings life! Christ died for our sins, which has made (past tense) the believer righteous in every way. To not first express the loving mercy that covers sin when talking about sin is to deny Christ’s completed work. Christ is left misunderstood to the world. It’s no wonder why the world hates the church!

There are two very different issues of error here. The church condescendingly accuses. The world senses our judgment. The church errs by passing judgments of the world without first expressing Christ through the manifested Holy Spirit. The world errs by accusing the church of intolerance and hypocrisy. The world hates us and we hate them for their sin, meanwhile ignoring our own sin. Both are grave errors that feed off each other. The extreme of these errors can be exemplified in the crusades of the middle ages. This manifestation of “hate versus hate” results in the manifestation of every evil work.

James 3:13-18 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and strife exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

1 Cor 3:3 For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

C.S, Lewis wrote the following: “Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, `Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that,’ or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible? If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. [We begin] to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything – God and our friends and ourselves included – as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.” – C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

These errors are tools of Satan to disqualify the church in the eyes of the world and to keep the Holy Spirit out of the church. Those who are hungry for real love and real truth walk away in disgust and disillusionment. Meanwhile, the church operates in other than love, Spiritless, and is as a resounding annoying gong to the world! People move around from church to church looking for the truth, searching for liberty from their issues but find only accusation, the Holy Spirit all but gone.

The only way to silence the critics of the church in this hour is for the church to be filled with the Holy Spirit in manifest power, the Spirit Who reveals the truth of the mercies of God! Only through the Holy Spirit manifesting through the church can the church operate in true and tangible mercy and love.

The result is the revelation of Father God’s tangible truth, which washes the church of falsity, His outpouring of radical revelation truth. The result is an outpouring of selfless love that no one can come against when they walk into it. God’s power reveals the Father heart of God, who loves us all like sons and daughters. No one can stand under the weight of the joy of His great mercy! People get healed in His love. People get delivered. The dead rise to life. Suddenly, those who seek Him are delivered out of sin and move easily into the harvest. In such a place, judgment dies.

When the Spirit of the Lord is released into a place, accusations cannot stand, neither from the world nor from the church. They just melt away in the light of the intimate merciful love of the Father.

The answer is mercy. Mercy finds its’ root in love. Love leads to Kingdom wisdom revealed. Kingdom wisdom revealed leads to freedom in every sense of the word. And:
2 Cor 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Now there is no other way but for the church to be restored to the original purpose for which it was formed; to love the world with a simple expression of inherited, unmerited, unlimited mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment because Christ triumphed over death!


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