At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
- Luke 13:31-35
I have read a few posts about how the prophets were killed. Some give gruesome tales about the death of one prophet or another. The question has been asked many times before, “Would we kill the prophets today?” After all, who wants to hear that they are doing things wrong and that God is not pleased?
In our Sunday school class, we are studying the minor prophets. One person, after having said that they did not mind continuing in the study or switching to something else, blatantly suggested in class that the study was making them uncomfortable. Later on, they realized what they could learn from the minor prophets and backed off their stance. All these changes of heart before we ever finished the first of these prophets, Hosea.
But we have something in our society today that is worse than murder, worse than killing the prophets. It is called cancelling. Take the torment Jeremiah went through and add a gag. When the supreme court made their horrible decision to take prayer out of schools, two things were spawned from that decision, maybe more: 1) Anyone can now claim, truthfully or falsely, to be offended and the “offender” has to pay dearly – thus frivolous lawsuits abound in the USA, and the world has become horribly litigious. All because one woman was offended that her children heard a prayer. And 2) A little prayer over the intercom that was banned during morning announcements has spread to children getting in trouble for carrying a Bible to school, prayer of any kind at any time being banned at all school activities, not mentioning Christmas at Christmas time including teachers getting fired for just using red and green streamers near the Christmas holidays – oh, I am so sarcastically sorry, the “winter break” – etc. Then it grew out from the schools to enter into every phase of life, and by the fear factor, it has even entered the church. “Oh! Don’t be so hard core! Nothing is black and white! Everything is gray! You will offend other church members with what you are reading from the Bible.” Really!?!?!?!
Is Jesus saying, while seated at the right hand of the Father, “Washington, DC, Washington, DC, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Or should we substitute any other major city in the world or the United Nations? No one is listening to God as a Nation would listen.
But getting back to offending church members: Oh, would it be so that I could offend the hypocrites in the church, and they would leave and find somewhere else to be self-righteous… But maybe that is a wrong attitude also. Someone might think me to be a hypocrite. We each have a bit of hypocrite within us.
But if someone were to hear me say, and I have often written similar words, “Repent!!! The end is near!!!” and then they killed me, I would go to my Father in Heaven. My struggles would be over. But if I were cancelled, I would continue to live in all this mess with people going even further away from God and the teachings of Jesus Christ. I would be repeating what I said to have had me “cancelled,” but no one would hear.
If you stood by a cliff and watched people jump to their death as if it were a fun activity and you could neither get them to hear your warning or reach out and save anyone, would you not wish to take the leap yourself due to the pain from seeing others do it? And you may ask why you could not reach out, but what if you were tied to a tree? What if you were nailed to a tree? Jesus said to take up our cross and follow Him. The prophets before Him did just that, figuratively. Will we?
That is why I think that cancelling is worse than murder. There is a double edge. You are ignored, as the prophets were ignored, but they came from God with a message. It was important that people listen. And the other edge is that the cancellers might have a moral code that says not to murder, yet they have a moral code to always cancel someone who disagrees with them. Thus, their adherence to their moral code justifies and encourages the cancellation and prohibits murder, making them doubly self-righteous by simply cancelling you. They can even spit on you and be justified by their sick moral code.
But we need not invent or hear new prophecy or obtain it from God. It is already there. It is in the Old Testament prophets, talking about Judah and Israel, but by transference to us. It is in the Old Testament history and the concept that history repeats itself. But look at the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles, there are repeats of the Old Testament prophecies in the New Testament.
Israel sinned and Assyria was used to scatter them. Assyria was punished for having done so. Judah sinned and Babylon was used to send them into exile. Babylon was destroyed as a result. Throughout history if a Godly nation arose and then corrupted itself, they have faded into oblivion or simply been ‘cancelled’ – made powerless. Who will destroy the great powers of today or will they crumble from within?
We can learn from the prophets if we read their prophecies and take them to heart. Or we will learn once the prophecies have come to pass against us. Pray that it will not be too late to repent and turn back to God.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.