Pat Robertson, Haiti & Judgment

January 19, 2010

When Pat Robertson made his comments about Haiti it ignited a firestorm of criticism from a variety of sources from the White House to Whoopi Goldberg to Rick Warren.  Many took issue with Robertson’s content while others took issue with his tone. Few supported Robertson. Whether He was right or wrong regarding Haiti’s pact with the devil will be revealed by eternity. I must say that I am glad that Robertson’s comments struck a chord because it revealed much about how we view God and His judgments. So rather than dissecting Robertson’s comments I’d like to talk about the issue of God’s judgments.

After browsing comments from Christians and non-Christians alike I am once again made aware of the fact that most in the world and in the church have no grid for the God who releases judgment. In fact its not just politically incorrect to declare God’s judgment it is socially and religiously incorrect.

Yet, the Bible is full of passages that identify the opposite. The judgment of God is not merely an Old Testament phenomenon, but rather it is throughout the New Testament as well.  In fact Jesus, himself, declared that God’s judgment would come upon Jerusalem and that she would be destroyed (Mat 23:37-38, 24:2).  This happened in 70 A.D. when the Roman army under general Titus completed a 3.5-year seige of the city, destroying the Jerusalem temple and killing a million Jews.

Jesus also described the state of the earth in the season of His return, declaring that there would be wars, famines, pestilences and earthquakes.  He went on to say that these things must come to pass (Mat 24:6-7). So before we say God doesn’t do judgment, I think we need to re-read the Bible and get a more clear picture of who He is and what exactly He does. My opinion is that we are living in the times that Jesus described will precede His coming. I believe we are going to see many more events like the earthquake in Haiti leading up to the Lord’s return.

We must understand, however, that God’s judgments are actually a function of His mercy, for when the judgments of the Lord are in the earth the people learn righteousness (Isa 26:9). When people turn from wickedness because of judgment events, it could be said that through judgment, by His mercy, they are  spared from ultimate judgment, eternity in the lake of fire.

The book of Revelation identifies 21 independent judgment events that are still to come. Jesus himself is the one who is going to unleash these judgments upon the earth. These are truths that should make us re-evaluate what we think about judgment and  cause our hearts to tremble before God.

The question then becomes how should we conduct ourselves as it relates to God’s judgment. Here’s three thoughts:

First, we should live soberly and prayerfully, looking to ourselves while crying out for mercy. Joel 2 calls us to fasting, weeping and mourning in light of impending judgment events. We should turn from sin and pray for mercy, knowing that by our sin we have signed up for the judgment of God. God is rich in mercy and of great kindness. Joel said that if we turn to the Lord with all of our heart perhaps God will relent from doing the judgment we deserve and bless us instead. He is just that kind. If people will turn to the Lord, He will release mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Second, we should refrain from proclaiming judgment unless we have been branded with the heart of the Lord through fasting and prayer. Nothing sounds more shallow than a matter-of-fact proclamation of judgment from a messenger who has not been marked with God’s emotions.  The prophets of old proclaimed the fearsome judgments of the Lord through tears and travail. Jesus himself, with weeping, declared the judgments of God over Jerusalem. One who is speaking for the Lord in judgment, will not do it with a smug arrogance, nor a matter-of-fact complacence but rather with a broken heart of contrition. Only after you have been possessed with His heart through intercession are you qualified to proclaim His heart in judgment.

Third, Jeremiah 27:18 says, “If they are prophets… let them make intercession.” Those who see that judgment is coming must give themselves continually to prayer on behalf of the recipients of the judgment. I believe the whole planet is living in the land of the judgments of the Lord. Therefore, the recipients include all of us. Let’s pray and do acts of compassion. Let’s call the earth to repentance, always looking to ourselves lest we become puffed up and arrogant. Through intercession, acts of compassion, works of power and the proclamation of the Gospel, many will find their way to salvation in times of judgment.

So what was the earthquake in Haiti, a judgment, a warning… what? I believe it was a birth pang, one of a series of events that Jesus prophesied would take place in the season preceding His coming. There will be many more. The whole earth has signed up for this because our sin is great. And because God is just … judgment is coming.

Let’s respond with prayer and fasting, with weeping, and mourning. Let’s rend our hearts in repentance. Let’s engage in deeds of mercy and compassion, while proclaiming the gospel and manifesting the power of the kingdom. The days ahead are going to become more and more intense. I pray that we would come to a right knowledge of God that we may agree with His judgments and partner with His heart of mercy.

Feel free to respond with your opinons, comments or feedback, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Advertisements

24 responses to Pat Robertson, Haiti & Judgment

  1. 

    A much needed word, Mr. Humphrey. Thanks for writing.

  2. 

    I completely agree! It is also needed to wake up the sleeping church. We may pray about our families, friends & even the US but this crisis in Haiti has me crying out in prayer & intercession for Haiti & the earth. Orphans have been released I am praying for these little ones to be adopted by Godly people turning a generation around to be on fire for christ & have a holy passion for Him!

  3. 

    Thank God, there is finally a response I can agree with! I felt like what Pat said was not really wrong, yet it did not set right with me at all. This explains that. Thank you for writing it.

  4. 

    Thanks, Billy! It’s important that we keep two truths in tension: Amos 3:6, “When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?” and Lk 13:4-5 “Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

    YES, disaster IS the judgment of God – but that does not make those who underwent the disaster more sinful than we are. We all exist from moment to moment only by God’s mercy, and God’s judgment elsewhere should drive us to repentance and intercession here.

  5. 

    I full heartedly agree….My heart breaks for the hatian people…I will not say it is judgement or not…I do know that God is merciful, and is calling many to Him right now. we must show His love, pray and trust His sovreign power(love) to rule….the Lord works in all things for the good of those who love Him, I encourage Christian families to look into adoption, and ways to invest in the reconstruction of this nation, with the mind of God recieving Glory.

  6. 
    Ashley McCormick January 19, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    This is the best response to Pat’s comments that I’ve seen

  7. 
    Latasha McAlpine January 19, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Very well said Billy

  8. 

    Thank you, Billy, for your tender compassionate heart that does not pull back from being a clear voice to the truth.

  9. 

    Billy,
    I agree with you. Good response on this issue. The condition of these ‘birth pangs’ are mercifully giving us a chance to align our hearts with the Lord. We MUST pray, we MUST fast. Good proclamation and call to an active response. Along with compassion towards Haiti, we need to understand the season that we’re in.

  10. 

    Well said and very well thought out. I’ve felt hesitant to weigh-in on the topic because of my own inner conflict. This was very helpful for me.

  11. 

    Thank you! I agree 100% I was so sick over hearing the media AND Christians landblasting Pat I posted something on FB and got my own firestorm of comments. I’m sorry, but you know where people are with God and their understanding of Him by seeing how they respond on issues like this. Very well put!

  12. 

    Thanks Billy….I only wish your response to this could be heard by all who heard Pat Robertson!!!

  13. 

    Great word, Billy – and much needed. Another key aspect when we discuss the “judgment” of God is the context in which those events take place – things don’t just happen in a vacuum.

    God is love (1 Jn 4:8, 16), God loves the world and He loves the Church – His Bride. I agree with you that His judgments in, and to, the unbelieving world are actually acts of mercy. If He “blessed” us with a great life on earth and we ended up in an eternal hell seperated eternally from Him forever – would that be considered kindness?

    His judgments towards the Church can often be attributed as “acts of love”, as well. God is our Husband, not just our Master (2:16), and when those who are part of His Corporate Bride sometimes act out the part of an unfaithful wife, who would offer up an accusation against the Eternal Bridegroom from jealously going after the things in His wayward wife’s love that hinder His love for her and keep her from being all that she was created to be?

    I know for myself, the whole Haiti things is a wake up call. We are praying for Haiti now, why weren’t more hurting and praying for Haiti one week ago? The crisis might have been lessened or avoided completely.

  14. 

    Very good word, Billy.

  15. 

    I too often wonder why some Christians always say it’s God’s judgment when something like this happens and I do believe that judgment is a part of God’s mercy toward us. But I don’t believe that the judgment that is to come is this … an earthquake. I believe it is what Jesus spoke of, what Pastor Billy said the wars and rumors of wars the earthquakes in divers places … the beginning of sorrows.

    I don’t think it was wise to say what Pat said I think the timing was off as was the audience. The world doesn’t understand God as it is, and we shouldn’t be sending a message of insensitivity and callousness. But we do need to tell them what is to come, they need to know that God loves them and that His Son died for them and that His heart aches for them.

    There will be more catastrophes and more deaths to be sure before the time of the coming judgment, will we still continue to tell the world that God is judging them for their sin or will we tell them that Jesus died for them freeing them from the bondage of sin? We should be busy making disciples … if Jesus didn’t call it judgment why do we. Plus if there ever was a nation and should be judged shouldn’t it be ours? But then again Jesus said these things would be … right would be called wrong and wrong would be called right.

  16. 

    A well-written, truth-bearing article. I wholeheartedly agree… May the word of the Lord run swiftly…

  17. 

    Thanks for sharing not your opinion, but God’s word — clearly and in context. We desperately need that. Blessings.

  18. 

    I’ve been listening to the IHOP Atlanta podcasts for a while now, which is how I found out about your ministry, and although I’ve never met you, I just want to say thank you for this post. It is so necessary for a voice that will speak of the judgement and the mercy of the Lord in one sentence, and then go and weep in intercession for the very same thing.

    Thank you for being a voice for the One who judges righteously and delights in showing mercy.

  19. 

    Just heard your message on Jesus the Judge. Please keep teaching this stuff.
    I don’t get fed this anywhere else. Totally get it.

  20. 

    I love what you have just said. God is politically, socially and religiously incorrect. He doesn’t have to abide to what we deem to be correct or fair. He has a totally different way of running business. Great word.

  21. 

    A word in season. Well said…

  22. 

    Billy great word, and oh that the earth would wake up, the bible says as it was in the days of Noah so it shall be at the coming of the Son of Man. Regardless of whether these are warnings, judgement s, birth pangs and prophesies, people will still ignore the signs and go on living their way instead of surrendering their lives unto Jesus for salvation. Fasting and praying, weeping and mourning must be our cry day and night, night and day. Unceasing!!!

  23. 

    What a wonderful word, Billy! Christians are so wrapped up in the original sin mode of having to assign blame and judge everyone whenever anything happens. There is a vast difference between engaging in knee-jerk, habitual assigning of blame; and rightly, prayerfully, humbly discerning the judgments of God.

  24. 

    Thanks for resurfacing this….timely word that holds true for today.