Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Who is the Real “Troubler?”

Meditation for the week of May 10, 2009

1Kings 18:17-18
Then it happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, "Is that you, O troubler of Israel?"  And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house have, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals.

We used to speak about people being “troubled” when the Holy Spirit was convicting them of their sin.  This was a good thing.  It led them to search for peace in the right place and many came to the Lord Jesus for salvation.  Once they were saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus and sure of it because of the promises of the Word of God, they were no longer “troubled” but they were filled with joy and peace in believing. 

Now anyone who is “troubled” is considered by many to be disturbed and in need of counseling or medication rather than needing to have their sins forgiven.  Those of us who preach the Gospel are considered “troublers” because we read and explain Bible passages about sin.  Many of these sins are acceptable to society in general and to many Christians as well.  Christianity and Christ are considered to be the problems in our society rather than being the cure for our problems.  When this country was founded, the basic legal system embodied the virtues of the moral law of the Bible.  Our society was ordered by the concept that that we are to “do unto others what we would have others do unto us.”  Submission and respect to God and to governmental authority was taught in our schools and colleges.  Even those who did not believe in the God of our Bible or in the need for salvation, knew that abiding by the moral principles of the Bible would make for a healthy society.  Today that has all changed.

Who is the “troubler” in our society?  Is it the one who says that there is a God in heaven who hates sin and will judge those who turn away from Him and practice immorality because of their belief system?  Is it the person who preaches the Biblical truth that there is judgment coming both on this world that has rejected Christ and on the individual who rejects Him?  Is it a mercy to preach that we need to be saved or is that a message that only disturbs the peace of our violent, greedy, immoral society? 

Elijah preached against the idolatry and immorality of Baal worship.  A nation that had once known the Lord intimately and had seen His miracles when they were saved from the bondage of Egypt had been deceived by their leaders into believing that the sensual worship of idols was better than than the moral worship of the Living God.  Who really wanted the best for Israel?  Was it Ahab and Jezebel who promoted powerless Idolatry?  Or was it Elijah who “caused” a drought and famine so that the people would remember that God had promised that this would happen if they turned away from Him?  Was the troubler Jezebel or was it Elijah?

I am willing to be a “troubler” if by being that I can help a few people see their need of the Lord Jesus.  I am going to continue disturbing people by telling them that there is a heaven to gain after we die and a place of eternal conscious punishment to avoid.  I am going to continue preaching that God is holy and that the definition of sin has not changed as society has changed.  I am going to continue to preach that the Holy God that they are going to meet wants them to know these things so that they can be saved.  He sends out preachers and He sent His Son because he is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9).  God really does love us.

I believe that a person can feel well and find out that they are sick by going to the doctor for diagnostic tests to determine the state of their health.  It may disturb them to find out that they are sick.   But finding out that they are sick in time to do something about it is obviously a blessing.  Please do not consider those of us who are preaching the Truth of the Bible to be the problem and the troublers.  Christ is the answer to the person who sins are troubling them.

Bruce Collins

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