The times we live in are quite dangerous! Just watch the news on a regular basis and you will know what I mean. Recently I heard a news report which informed me that over the weekend fifty-nine people had lost their lives in the greater Chicago area because of gun violence. This was not the total of one mass shooting, but instead, a person here and a person there.
When we hear such terrible news, we often feel a need arm ourselves that we might defend ourselves. We do have a constitutional right to do so. But how does God feel about a child of God who is prepared to wound, injure or kill another human being?
In the Old Testament God's people not only defended themselves as individuals, but as a nation as well. Some of God's best known servants wielded the sword. Abraham did. Joshua did. David did. Of course they for the most part acted on God's will.
But what of God's will for His people today? The Lord Jesus told His followers to "turn the other cheek" Mt. 5:39, and to "love your enemies", Mt. 5:44. Do we as Christ's followers REALLY feel that way? Are we prepared to set aside our rights when we are threatened?
Paul instructed the church in Philippi to, "Do all things without complaining or disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world." Phil. 2:14,15.
So here is the wisdom of God concerning our right to kill or hurt others in an effort to defend ourselves. First, the only threat to you and I comes from those who are sinners. Those who are not God's children. Secondly, we are called to SHINE as lights in this world. We are to be different! Jesus said as much in Mt. 5:14-16. If I act in darkness, I CANNOT be light! And thirdly, to that extent the child of God MUST be "harmless". I am not free to harm or injure anyone at my discretion because God says I must be different!
This teaching from the Lord is not very popular in a world where we cherish our rights. However anyone who is in Christ must surrender to HIS authority if he wants to be Jesus' disciple, ( Jn. 8:31,32, Lu. 9:23). So to this end, as in all cases we must make every attempt to do the will of Christ. If we choose not, then we may not be truly His disciple. Think about it....