Response to "Grace"
In one sense, of course God’s Grace and Mercy were extended, “even when you weren’t open to hearing,” etc. But the COST of that position was extremely high. He certainly did extend more “chances” (although He is also VERY capable of “sending a powerful delusion so that one would BELIEVE the lies”). Yet, while those “chances” were extended, OTHER things were happening in the background as a direct result of the unwillingness to listen. There will always be a very high cost in such cases. And, of course, God is Merciful. But He also is VERY aware (obviously) whether a person is just foolish and disconnected, and their lack of obedience or understanding is more of the temporary and “innocent” variety because they were mistaught, *OR whether their building and practices and lives and “beliefs” are the result of rebellion, pride, greed, laziness, fear of man, or some other similar wickedness. God said that we would understand if we would obey Him (Jn. 7-8; 1Cor. 2; Acts 5:32, etc.). SO, it is important to consider that willful rebellion in some area is NOT acceptable to God as a reason for “not understanding.” “Foolishness of thinking and darkened understanding” so that “they CANNOT understand” because the Father has “hidden Truth from the prideful and revealed it to those that would be as children”—this is not a call for God to be more Patient and Merciful, of course. This is, rather, a mark of God’s choice to NOT be patient any longer with one who has chosen rebellion and self-life over Truth. In SUCH a case, we would be rebelling against God to “extend mercy and patience” when God has NOT.
SO........... here’s the bottom line, but it requires a LOT on our part: When God knows that a person needs nurturing, we nurture and are infinitely patient. When God knows the person is filled with “rebellion, pride, greed, laziness, fear of man, or some other similar wickedness,” we must do EXACTLY as He commands (if we are REALLY “HIS BODY”) and “spew them out of our mouth,” “don’t eat with them,” “don’t associate with them,” and “expel them from your midst.” NOW, here’s the rub—we’ve got to be walking closely with God in order to know the difference!! Automatic rejection is dead wrong. Automatic “grace and mercy” is dead wrong. ONLY cooperation with exactly what God is Thinking about it is acceptable! Wow, huh? If you get a chance, take a couple of minutes and read Setting Captives Free (the booklet) and Nature of the Miraculous. I think you’ll see how all of this connects in a Union with Jesus to BE His Body and do what He CURRENTLY is wanting in any given situation. Assuming EITHER way in a situation is VERY dangerous and misrepresentative. To accept what He is rejecting or disciplining would be like the arrogant and foolish and sentimental neighbor who swoops in and consoles a child after they are punished by a wise and knowing parent. It CORRUPTS the child and their view and their ability to learn from the discipline because of the interference by the “do-gooder.” On the other hand, to be harsh and cruel and unforgiving of someone caught in weakness and wanting help is pathetic and evil, undoing the Work of the Father’s Love. Can you see them both? So, we CANNOT assume anything, or take an automatic position of patience and ignoring evil or ignorance that is destroying God’s People, nor can we be caustic and hostile and disconnected from loving people. We just need to reflect what HE is doing right now, and of course we cannot do that just by “wishing” it were so. It really requires a REAL walk with God, not a hypothetical one based on ideas. SCARY!!!!! But available.