When Do We Resist Evil and Defend Ourselves?Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, June 19, 2013.
When Do We Resist Evil and Defend Ourselves? I. When should we not resist evil? 1. It is acceptable with God when we suffer for doing well (1Pe 2:20). 2. We are called to suffer for righteousness as Christ did, whose example we are to follow (1Pe 2:21). 3. Jesus did not resist the government when they came to arrest Him (Joh 18:1-9). A. They came for him with weapons (Joh 18:3). B. Jesus had easy access to a weapon with which to defend Himself (Luk 22:38; Joh 18:10). C. Jesus could have destroyed them (Mat 26:53). D. Jesus did not fight because His kingdom is not of this world (Joh 18:36). E. Jesus even rebuked Peter for fighting to defend Him (Joh 18:10-11; Mat 26:51-53). i. In this case Peter was trying to defend an innocent man who could have defended himself. ii. He was not trying to defend a person who could not defend himself. iii. The significance of this will be apparent later. F. Some might say that Jesus didn't resist because it was God's will for Him to suffer (Luk 22:42). i. It is likewise given unto us to suffer for Christ's sake (Phi 1:28-29). ii. We are appointed unto it (1Th 3:3-4). 4. The apostles did not fight to defend themselves when brought before the authorities. A. Jesus told them it would happen and never told them to resist (Mar 13:9-11). B. Peter and the other apostles didn't resist even when beaten (Act 5:40-42). C. Peter went to prison and we don't read of him resisting (Act 12:1-6). i. Peter had a wife (Mat 8:14) that he would not be able to take care of while in prison. ii. Peter had a church (Act 12:5) that he would likewise not be able to care for while in prison. D. Steven didn't resist the Jews who killed him (Act 7:54-60). E. Paul didn't resist when put in prison (Act 16:22-25). F. Paul didn't resist when he was beaten, stoned, and imprisoned (2Co 11:19-30). G. The Hebrew believers took joyfully the spoiling of their goods when they were persecuted for their faith (Heb 10:32-36). i. Patience - 1. a. The suffering or enduring (of pain, trouble, or evil) with calmness and composure; the quality or capacity of so suffering or enduring. ii. We need to learn to suffer and endure pain, trouble, and evil. H. Being brought before counsels could be a witnessing opportunity for us (Mar 13:9). 5. Jesus taught us to let minor offences go, even if they are not because of suffering for righteousness (Mat 5:39-41). 6. Though we should not resist persecution with violence, we certainly can and should try to avoid it and to flee from it. A. Jesus did (Joh 10:39; Luk 4:29-30; Mat 12:14-16). B. Paul did too (Act 9:23-25; 2Co 11:32-33). C. Jesus instructed the disciples to flee persecution (Mat 10:23). II. When should we resist evil? 1. We should protect those under our care. A. Jesus sought to protect those under His care (Joh 18:8-9). B. We should and must provide for those of our own house, including their safety and security (1Ti 5:8). C. We will be judged by God for not defending those that are drawn unto death (Pro 24:11-12; Pro 31:8-9). 2. We are permitted to, and should, defend ourselves against criminals who would harm us or rob us. A. Jesus instructed His disciples to be armed (Luk 22:36). B. Jesus said that a strong man ARMED keepeth his goods in peace (Luk 11:21-22). i. This shows that we can be armed. ii. This also shows that we can use arms to protect our possessions. C. Jesus said a goodman (The master or male head of a household) of the house would not suffer (To tolerate, allow) a thief to breakup his house (Mat 24:43 c/w Exo 22:2). III. Scenarios and situations of when or when not to resist evil (even with violence sometimes) based on the above information. 1. Fleeing and using diplomacy should be our first recourse, but if that fails then resisting can be an option under certain circumstances. 2. Before resisting, it is always wise to count the cost (Luk 14:31-32; Pro 20:18). 3. If you or your family are attacked by a criminal (murderer, rapist, thief, etc), then you can and should resist him with violence if necessary. 4. If you are personally persecuted by a government or a religious group (Catholics, etc), for righteousness, you should not resist (like Jesus didn't). 5. If they come to take your wife or children, then you should seek to have them spared like Jesus did for His disciples, and if that doesn't work, you could resist them to save your family from being delivered up to death (Pro 24:11-12). A. This would include if you decided to educate your children at home and the authorities came to remove them from the home. B. This would also include them coming to remove your children from your home because of spanking, etc. C. Whether or not you resist in this case would depend on if you thought they were going to harm your children or wife. 6. If they come to take you (a father or mother) away from your family, you should not resist (like Peter who had a wife when he was taken to prison). 7. If they come to take you and your family, you should seek to spare them, and if necessary, you could resist them if they try to take your family. 8. If they come to arrest our church, we should not resist (like Jesus didn't).
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