SermonVengeance, Aggression, and Worldly Thinking
An all-creatures Bible Message

Vengeance, Aggression, and Worldly Thinking
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
27 September 2015
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Esther 7:1-10
Psalm 124:1-8
Romans 12:16-21
Revelation 2:8-11

Vengeance, aggression, and worldly thinking are all a part of this corrupt world.
We can never have true peace or live in the heavenly will of God as long as we allow aggression, vengeance, and worldly thinking to be a part of our way of life, or part of the way our community or country operates; for they all lack the heavenly will of God.
We need to be the loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God that Jesus called us to be, and take a firm stand against all forms of aggression, vengeance, and worldly thinking.
We need to separate ourselves from the ways of this world.
This is what Paul wrote about in Romans 12:16-21Ö

16. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.

If we think we are better than someone else, we are thinking like the world thinks, and not as God wants us to think and act.

17. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.

And, most importantly, we need to respect what is right in the sight of God.
We need to recognize that any form of evil done against another person or an animal is a form of aggression, and to pay back evil for evil, is vengeance, and thus ungodly.
Think about the horrible things done to farmed animals, yet we rarely hear of any of these animals turning on their abusers; they just donít seem to consider vengeance to be an option.
Are these farmed animals more Godly than most humans?

18. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
19. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

This is something that worldly thinking always forgets about: the only one who is entitled to commit vengeance is God, for He is the only one who really bases His every action with true righteousness, for what may be the right thing to do in our eyes, may not be in Godís eyes.
Then Paul gives us some heavenly food for thought.

20. "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."

This is not a form of aggression or vengeance; it is overcoming evil with good, for our Godly actions are likely to bring moral conviction upon the heads of the enemy that will burn like hot coals in their heart and soul with the knowledge of the evil they have done, and hopefully the errors of their way to such an extent that they will repent and seek to become peacemaking children of God that we have shown ourselves to be.

21. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

This is thinking in the heavenly will of God.
Now, letís compare this with what we are told in Esther 7:1-10.

1. Now the king and Haman came to drink wine with Esther the queen.

Even in this first verse, we can see the worldliness of this kind of party.
And, if we look before this passage of Scripture, we learn that this banquet was planned by Esther as a way of taking vengeance on Haman for his aggression.

2. And the king said to Esther on the second day also as they drank their wine at the banquet, "What is your petition, Queen Esther? It shall be granted you. And what is your request? Even to half of the kingdom it shall be done."
3. Then Queen Esther answered and said, "If I have found favor in your sight, O king, and if it please the king, let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request;
4. for we have been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed, to be killed and to be annihilated. Now if we had only been sold as slaves, men and women, I would have remained silent, for the trouble would not be commensurate with the annoyance to the king." 
5. Then King Ahasuerus asked Queen Esther, "Who is he, and where is he, who would presume to do thus?"
6. And Esther said, "A foe and an enemy, is this wicked Haman!" Then Haman became terrified before the king and queen.

Now Esther has stopped Hamanís aggression by exposing him, but she still seems to want vengeance from the king to come upon Haman.

7. And the king arose in his anger from drinking wine and went into the palace garden; but Haman stayed to beg for his life from Queen Esther, for he saw that harm had been determined against him by the king.
8. Now when the king returned from the palace garden into the place where they were drinking wine, Haman was falling on the couch where Esther was. Then the king said, "Will he even assault the queen with me in the house?" As the word went out of the king's mouth, they covered Haman's face.
9. Then Harbonah, one of the eunuchs who were before the king said, "Behold indeed, the gallows standing at Haman's house fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai who spoke good on behalf of the king!" And the king said, "Hang him on it."
10. So they hanged Haman on the gallows which he had prepared for Mordecai, and the king's anger subsided.

It is also obvious that the king wanted vengeance upon Haman for his aggression.
Even though the Jewish people have turned this event into the annual celebration and holiday of Purim, this is still a story of paying back evil for evil.
This story implies that this kind of aggression, vengeance, and worldly thinking is approved by God, but it can never be in the heavenly will of God; it is of this corrupt world.
We cannot have it both ways.
See it for what it is.
Psalm 124:1-8 is a psalm of praise for the Lord because of His protection.

1."Had it not been the LORD who was on our side,"
Let Israel now say,
2. "Had it not been the LORD who was on our side,
When men rose up against us;

The psalmist is praising the Lord for protecting them from the aggression of evil and worldly men.

3. Then they would have swallowed us alive,
When their anger was kindled against us;

This is showing the fear of aggression that the psalmist feels is coming from those evil people.

4. Then the waters would have engulfed us,
The stream would have swept over our soul;
5. Then the raging waters would have swept over our soul."

The aggression planned against them was similar in their minds to a tidal wave that would have swept them away, but the Lord protected them from it.   

6. Blessed be the LORD,
Who has not given us to be torn by their teeth.
7. Our soul has escaped as a bird out of the snare of the trapper;
The snare is broken and we have escaped.
8. Our help is in the name of the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.

We are not told what the Lord did, or even if He took any vengeance at all, but the important thing about this Psalm is that the people seemed to have relied upon the Lord, and not become involved in any form of aggression, vengeance, or worldly thinking.
And finally, to understand how strongly the Lord wants us to avoid all forms of aggression, vengeance, and worldly thinking, letís take a look at what He told the people of the church in Smyrna as we are told in Revelation 2:8-11.

8. "And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write:
The first and the last, who was dead, and has come to life, says this:
9. 'I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich), and the blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

People who are a part of the worldly thinking that is all around us consider aggression to be an acceptable way of achieving their goals, which is the reason that there is so much violence in the world that causes millions of our fellow human beings, and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
And because these kinds of people didnít like the people of the church of Smyrna, they decided to falsely persecute them and kill them.
These evil people are followers of the devil no matter what they may say to the contrary, just as the Lord says.
But most importantly, we need to understand what the Lord wants the people of Smyrna to do, and not to do.

10. 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

We are not to fear these evil worldly people, even if they torture us to death; we are not to seek vengeance upon them nor resort to the kinds of worldly thinking that these evil people have.
We are to always remain true to the Lord our God.

11. 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'

The second death is the hell that separates us from the Lord for all eternity.
Vengeance, aggression, and worldly thinking are never to be part of our thoughts or actions.

Vengeance, aggression, and worldly thinking should never be a part of a true Christian's life.
We are to always be the loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God that Jesus called us to be.

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