Mat 28:19, 20
This past week I had someone from our political mailing list
call me. He was greatly concerned about things which he kept hearing
about Bush's new world order, the beast of Revelation, the mark
of the beast and Bo Grits, among many other things. He was ready
to throw up his hands and quit. He ask if he could come up and
talk with me. This was the first time this particular man had
shown any kind of concern, so, being the good preacher that I
am, I took full advantage of it. He sat in my office for probably
1 1/2 hours while I read 2 chapters from Daniel to him and went
through some things.
He is a lost man, and I tried to make it clear that the Lord is the only hope that there is for the situation we find ourselves in. Since he came to see me, I laid it on. He left with a hand full of material, including the salvation book, which I am confident he will read.
As a result of that man's visit, I have two messages. Both deal with current situations in the world today; one from a biblical prophetic view; the other from the biblical view of the evil. This morning I would like to deal with the biblical view. Maybe another time we will deal with the prophetic aspect.
Our text today is one of the most familiar passages in the word of God. Within evangelical Bible believing circles, this passage is second only to John 3:16.
We rightly say that this is the regiven Dominion Mandate, but that is not our message today. We rightly say that this is a command by our Lord upon every child of God, but that is not our message today.
So, what is our message for today from this last command given to mankind by the Lord before He ascends to the right hand of the Father?
If you do not get any thing out of our message today, please get this. I want to point out two things that the Lord gives here: 1) the only means of advancing His kingdom on earth and 2) the only answer to the ills of the world.
Now, notice what the Lord did not say.
1) Go into all the world and vote good men into office. 2) Go into all the world and study the constitution. 3) Go into all the world and get good laws passed. 4) Go into all the world and protest the evil that is taking place.
All these things are commendable, and I either am or have been involved in all of these things, but the Lord said that the answer is to Go into all the world and preach the gospel, baptize those who receive the Lord of the gospel and teach them to the total of God's word.
The only means which the Lord has of advancing His kingdom here on earth is by proclaiming the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. And then teaching the converts to apply the word of God.
The only answer given by God to solve man's ills is to proclaim the gospel of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ. And then teach the converts to apply the word of God. 3 Any other answer for the ills of mankind is the spirit of anti-christ at work (as John said he was).
Now, concerning salvation I believe in election and that the sovereign Lord God of the universe has chosen who will be saved. I believe the word of God; therefore, there are two things which address the possible corruption from believing strongly in the doctrine of election which says, "Well, they are going to be saved, so why worry about it?"
1) God commands us to go preach the gospel to every soul that has breath. Disobedience will reap the wrath of God, as we are reaping it today in unjust rulers and the spirit of anti-christ having dominion (even in Christianity).
2) 1 Cor 1:18, the only means which God has ordained to reach the elect is by the preaching of the gospel.
The answer to the family's ills, The answer to the church's ills the answer to the community's ills The answer to America's ills, the answer to the world's ills,
is clearly presented as the preaching of the gospel and then teaching obedience to God's word.
The command is so clear and the answer is so obvious, the question aries, "Why cannot people see that this the answer?"
Why cannot professed Christians see that the Lord has clearly given us the answer to the crises around us, and that answer is not in some far away place or unreachable object. According to Deut 31:14, But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. The answer is right before us in Mat 28:19, 20, and it is not at all difficult to see or understand.
Why will Christians dedicate themselves to everything except getting out the gospel? Why will Christians find time to do every thing except obeying our Lord's command to get out the gospel?
And all of this is an introduction to the message. I will try to restrict it, yet give a basic understanding of our point.
The question we want to address is this: Why cannot Christians and even pastors, see that the Lord's commission here in Matthew is the only answer which will change things for the Kingdom's sake?
A term which we hear which describes the situation is JUDICIAL BLINDNESS. By this term we mean that men are blinded by God so that God can bring judgment against sin.
As an intorduction to these thoughts, let me mention 2 points:
I. 2 Cor 4:1-6 Judicial blindness prohibits men from seeing cause and effect, especially in their own lives; therefore, they see no need to repent, to turn or to obey God's word. If they would see the need to repent, they would see God's mercy in every area of society, including their families and civil government.
II. It prohibits Christians from seeing the obvious teaching of the word of God. In our text, judicial blindness prohibits Christians from seeing that the answer to society's ills is the presentation of the gospel and the application of God's law.
Basically we could sum up Judicial Blindness as an escape from reality on the part of those blinded. Those who are not in this Judicial Blindness are astounded at the blindness of those, including God's people, who are unable to see any cause and effect either in their own lives, in the decisions they make or in society around them. They are unable to see the answers for societies ills in the word of God. So they must look elsewhere.
In my contact with people, including pastors, there are times that I am amazed at the blindness present; they seem to be totally oblivious of any connection between what they see happening all around them (in their families, in their society) with any sin in their lives. The Scriptures say a great deal about this Supernatural Blindness; a few passages would be: Ex. 5:2; De 29:4; 32:28.
The first dirrect record we have of Judicial Blindness is with Pharaoh and the nation of Egypt. Pharaoh was blinded (hardened) by God so that God could bring judgment against Egypt for its sins against Him and against His people.
Judicial Blindness was also sent upon Israel so that God could judge them for their sin against Him (they rebelled against His man, Moses, and absorbed much of Egypt's ungodly culture). All of Israel's Egyptian generation had to die because they were Egyptian slaves at heart.
There are a few things that enable us to recognize Judicial Blindness. Let me remind you that Judicial Blindness IS NOT limited to the unsaved; rather, it is in relationship to the law-word of God. Accordingly, both professed Christians and pagans can be blinded to cause and effect in relationship to His word.
Now let's consider 6 points about Judicial Blindness (and multitudes of passages):
1) Isa 29:10-12; Rom 11:25; 2 Thes 1:8, 2:11, 12, the purpose of Judicial Blindness is so that the Lord can take flaming vengeance upon the disobedient to His law-word; ie. that God might judge sinners.
(Ps. 79:6; Pr 4:19; 10:21; 13:18; 14:12; Isa 6:9, 10 [Mt 13:14; Jn 12:38-41]; Amos 9:10; Mat 15:14; cf. Tit 1:16; 1 Jn 3:4)
2) 2 Cor 3:14, a result of blindness is that people cannot understand (or ignore) Moses. (1 Jn 1:6, 2:4-9, 3:1 all fit into the same category.)
3) 1 Cor 1:18-20, blindness replaces the wisdom of God with the wisdom of this world.
Judicial Blindness seeks to solve society's problems through many other means other than obedience to our Lord's final command to proclaim the gospel and teach the application of His word. This is extremely prevalent among Evangelical circles.
4) Acts 26:18; Eph 4:18; Col 1:13, only God's supernatural intervention will deliver one out of the kingdom of blindness (darkness) and into the kingdom of light.
5) 2 Tim 3:13, Our Lord warned us that from His time on, we would see Judicial Blindness increase; therefore, we should not surprised that people cannot see the obvious teaching of God's word.
When Christ said that For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind, Jn 9:29-39, He was speaking specifically of and to the nation of Israel of His day.
In Mat 23:34-39 Christ said that Jerusalem was going to be judged for all of the innocent blood which had been shed upon the earth from Abel unto Zacharias. Thus, He came, not only to redeem His people (Isa 53:8), but to judge those who rejected Him (ie. Jerusalem) and the One He represented, the Heavenly Father. In other words, Israel was supernaturally blinded to Christ so that they would crucify the Son of God (Acts 2:23), and so that God could judge them for all the innocent blood that had been shed upon the earth. Israel's murder of Christ resulted in Israel's destruction as judgment for her evil ways.
It took about 4000 years for God to avenge the inocent blood of Able. When He did, He did it by blinding them to Christ so they would reject the gospel message. I believe that part of the vengeance of God of our day against the murder of the many millions of innocent people from 70 AD, is the current blindness to the obvious teachings of the word of God.
Even Christians will not believe the Lord's words of Mat 28:19, 20, because if they did, our society would be healed.
6) We are left with this question regarding Judicial Blindness: "Why does blindness increase instead of decrease?" Let me give 3 reasons why blindness increases. Though there is an abundance of passages which deal with this question, we will only look at a few.
First, Isa 42 (v. 21), it is through His judgment against sin that,
a) men forsake their false gods and graven images. They learn that all of the things which they trusted in (even good political leaders, as I told this man in my office) are nothing but wood, hay and stubble.
b) The time-frame of Isaiah 42 is important: it was set in motion at the time of Christ, v. 1-4. Therefore, through His judgment, His law is magnified and made honorable in these last days which started at the time of Christ.
Why does blindness increase?
Second, Isa 48, it is through His judgment against sin that the hypocrite turns from his hypocrisy.
Third, Isa 51 (v. 4-6) defines God's salvation as His judgment against sin, eradicating sin. Isa 11:4 tells us that God's righteous judgment against sin (the rod of his mouth..) will result in three things: 1> the slaying of the wicked, 2> the exaltation of righteousness and 3> the earth being filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Ps 72 (cf. Ps 96 & Isa 55:10), tells us that as His righteous judgment against sin descends like the rain, righteousness and peace will flourish like the new mown grass.
Moreover, God's judgment against sin establishes His dominion from sea to sea, unto the ends of the earth; it causes all kings to bow before Him and all nations to serve Him. In addition, His deliverance of the needy, the poor and those who have no help depends upon His judgment falling against sin. (See also Acts 14:17.)
Therefore, the answer to the questions, "What is the purpose of Judicial Blindness?" and "Why does blindness increase instead of decrease?" is that God increases blindness so that He can bring in His righteous reign and justice here on this earth.
As time progresses from Christ on, men grow harder and harder in their refusal to turn to obedience to even the simple things of the word of God; things such as the Lord's great commission.
The result will be the expiration of the Lord's goodness, forbearance and longsuffering, His wrath revealed from heaven against all ungodliness, His law exalted and magnified and, finally, righteousness and salvation springing up as the new mown grass after a rain storm. (Cf. Rom 2.)
Judicial Blindness is prevalent today, not only among those who make no profession of Christ, but among the great majority of God's people. People are unable to make any connection between their personal relationship with the Lord and His law, their personal lives (attitudes and decisions), and what is taking place around them in society. People are unable to see that society only reflects their attitude toward the Lord and His word.
The result is two-fold:
first, men, even "Christian men," seek answers everywhere except where the answer lies: renewed faithfulness to the Lord and to His total word, and
People no longer see the foundational importance of proclaiming the gospel, teaching the law of the Lord to the converts and of long range planing. People now look for short cuts through protests of all kinds, laws, political and religious leaders, but they will only find judgment.
second, the situation only gets worse, hastening God's judgment against sin.
But in spite of the apparent impending flood of fiery wrath against sin, we have a sure promise: judgment descends like the rain so that righteousness, justice and salvation might flourish as the crops in the field.
Ill: At the first of this month, the corn out our way looked very sickly. Since the rain started, it has grown at an astounding rate. According to the word of God, heavy rain on sickly corps pictures God's judgment against sin. Then the resulting growth pictures God's righteousness after the judgment.
First, the answer to Blindness is to sincerely seek the Lord, Pro 28:5;Ph 3:15.
Second, the answer is to obey Mt 28:19, 20. The spreading of the gospel and the instruction in God's total word is God's only ordained means to address the problems of our day. Any thing else clearly unscriptural.
God has given our church an exceptional opportunity to obey Mat 28:19, 20: proclaim the gospel and teach God's word. We dare not be blind to what the Lord has permitted. We must be faithful in the proclamation of His salvation both in regeneration and living a victorious life.
What a marvelous day for the faithful servant of God to live in!