Provoked: A Call to Extraordinary Good Works


(Image via Twitter. An upside-down flag is a distress call. Orwell speaks for himself.)

I’m sending out a call. A call to extraordinary good works.

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works… (Hebrews 10:24)

A provocateur of love and good works for the people of God is what I’m called to be.

Now, just what these good works will look like is getting harder and harder to say these days. Consider that people who live by their biblical morality are finding it more difficult to do so without intrusion. Good works might not look so good to people around us.

Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)

Because our first love is to the Lord Jesus Christ, we obey Him in all things. If we seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness, then all these other things will be added to us. We can’t attract sinners by making them feel good. Our kindness will prick their hearts, and our refusal to conform to the world will be an assault to them.

Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. (‭Acts‬ ‭4‬:‭25-26‬)

Our good will be evil spoken of, our love will be rejected. The heathen will rage.

Let us be sure that we are citizens of the heavenly kingdom, that needs no patriots to stand up for it, that is ruled by a righteous King and is in danger of no tyrant. Then let us work with all the power Christ has given us from heaven through His Holy Spirit within us, to knock aside every obstacle that would prevent the lost from coming to Him. His kingdom come, His will be done.

Jesus has won the war, but we can’t lose the battle. Lest you think I’m too political or earthly-minded as you read my exhortations, read how Jesus was in constant defiance of the political structure; John’s gospel in particular details many times the Pharisees sought to take Him, taking up rocks to stone Him, but He escaped. And how the apostles regularly testified of Christ before councils, declaring the gospel and exerting their conscience in the face of opposition and tribulation. And remember that Paul’s end-run mission was to go before Caesar in order to talk about Jesus. Paul exerted his right as a Roman citizen in order to do so.

Under an oppressive regime, our apostolic forefathers had no Congress or Legislature to appeal to for just laws. They did not have the right to vote for strong moral leadership. I’d like to think that if they had such rights and opportunities, they would have taken them in order to spread the gospel and obey their conscience in the Lord.

Make no mistake- the source of our rights and righteousness is not government, it is God.

For nearly 200 years in the history of the United States, our laws established justice based on the moral law of the Bible. Not simply because the Bibles said so, but because living by the Word of God works! People who murder innocent people should be tried and found guilty, then punished. As a pro-life man, I simply want out laws to condemn murder and our courts to try murder and convict those who are guilty. I’m not looking to government to legitimize life in the womb, God has already done that. I just call on our government to establish and enforce laws to reflect the fact that life is precious, intrinsically valuable, and worthy of protection.

Marriage needs no government to legitimize it. The Bible defines marriage as God established it- between one man and one woman. Our laws have recognized this for the majority of our history, because it is good for society. I call on our government to continue to do what is best for our society and continue to recognize the true definition of marriage in spite of the loud calls of a vocal minority.

These are but two of the issues we as Christians need to be beside ourselves about, to the point of speaking and acting out in every way possible. Endure the verbal attacks and name-calling. We won’t endure anything worse than what the apostles endured, certainly nothing worse than what Christ endured. Take the softball approach to winning souls? We don’t have time for that. We can stand for truth AND draw lost and vulnerable people to Jesus. Don’t think that it is impossible. Our stance may not be popular, but we stand for an enduring covenant that will not pass away, one to which all are called to take part.

The time has come for us to stand up for matters of righteousness that are at stake in the world today. If we the Church will not, who will? The crucial balance between pleasing God, reaching mankind, and enduring hardship, at such a time as this, is what makes for extraordinary good works in public life.

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