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Take Courage!
10/21/2016 1:34:00 PM by: Hannah S. Hunter

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”(Rev. 21:8, NLT)

Does this verse rock anyone else beside me? In other versions it calls cowards those who are fearful. Seriously! The second death, the lake of fire is their portion. Lumped with murderers, unbelievers, practitioners of witchcraft, etc.

I remember my pastor relating stories of persecuted pastors who were betrayed by their own fellow leaders or parishioners. He said they were the cowards (fearful ones). My mind had trouble wrapping around this because I was hearing this sitting in a nice comfortable pew in my church far from the persecution or violence I often encounter on the continent of my second home.

Yet this past month and week this concept became alarming real to me personally. I found that in trauma or catastrophic events such as hurricanes, fires, or terrorist attacks the hidden things of a person are revealed in a glaring spotlight. None has stunned me more than watching the church responses to our presidential election. The glaring spotlight that is invading the recesses of our soul is exposing unredeemed parts of our mind, heart, and emotions that have not been redeemed by the blood of the LAMB.

Mercifully, this is not for condemnation, but to call us to repentance and redemption. This election, however critical, is not as critical as our responses as the church. GOD always looks at the response of the church. You would think our hope is in the election and who will sit in the White House.

Debates are not for the church, but for politicians. Debates are not for seeking truth and walking in it. Debates are to try to convince me you are right and I need to be informed and corrected. As a part of the church I need to let HIS love always make the way and see each person as my valued brother.

I am appalled how we even begin to pit prophet against prophet throwing out things like “He is a false prophet” simply because he does not agree with my view. Pastor is pitted against pastor and on and on ad nauseam. Do we not see the enemy seeking to divide and destroy? The hostility I see lends frightening credence to “cowards” (fearful) betraying their own brethren for the sake of being right and making sure the preferred candidate gets to the office of the President of the United States.

We forgot our LORD’s admonition and commandment to loving HIM with everything in us and secondly to love our neighbor as ourselves. We also forgot we are to pray for our enemies or those we perceive as our enemies. Our behavior and speech is releasing hell into our lives and churches.

Absolutely we need to vote. Without a doubt, we need to study our choices through the truth of HIS WORD and be informed. While we are humbling ourselves and seeking HIS face, we have no time while on our knees and in our secret place with HIM to castrate our brethren. YES I used a strong word because, my beloved church, we are in a dangerous place allowing our souls to dictate our actions and to hurl horrible words of death to each other. Do not bring glee to the destroyer of your soul.

This week, we were in Yom Kippur. Let us truly examine our hearts, humbly bow our knees, and repent. Ask HIM to rescue us from every trap. November is coming. Once the decision is done, January and a new year will be on this nation. What will you do with those you vilified? Will you gloat or slink away in disgust or anger? I implore us as the church to now, while we still have time, to run into this fray with HIS love and bring true peace to hearts.

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