If Not Now, Then When?
The verse for this conference focuses on Esther, the Jewess who was favored and called to be Queen of Persia and to save her people from the evil Haman.
Here’s the verse:
“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
Esther had standing, she had favor, but until this point, she really didn’t know it.
I think this problem plagues the Body of Christ in particular and pro-family activists in general.
There’s a lack of boldness, there’s an obsession with obeying rules that have been laid out unfairly, unjustly, unconstitutionally.
Church people are not bold. They are not speaking out. They are afraid to be perceived as mean, they want to seem “loving” at all costs when fighting against the LGBT Agenda. Militant homosexuality and transgenderism is destroying our country and our culture, and the promoters of this bigotry have been very clear about their intentions. They sound a lot like Haman, don’t they?
Now we must not be “utterly silent”. The word Mordecai says to Esther in Hebrew conveys a sense of complete silence. This is wrong. Someone will rise up, sure, but we will see churches that say nothing – never be able to say anything ever again.
We need to stand up to this abusive LGBT Agenda!
Now, the question arises. Why don’t we see churches, why don’t we see pro-family activists speaking out? It’s not for a lack of learning techniques and strategies, I believe.
They lack boldness, they still fear the reproach of men, and in my view the Body of Christ today still does not understand all that Jesus has accomplished for us at the Cross. They are not established in righteousness—God’s righteousness.
Consider what Isaiah the prophet outlined for us:
“In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.” (Isaiah 54:14)
That word “oppression” represents political tyranny. Indeed, Jesus died on the Cross to free us from Satan’s power. He gave us His life, his standing, his grace. He also freed us from political tyranny!
Jesus did not die on the Cross for you and me to sit in the back of the bus! He died, rose again, and was seated at the Father’s right hand. Did you know that God the Father seated us in Christ, too? Read Ephesians 2 and Colossians 3.
We are now kings and priests, a ROYAL priesthood! We have come to the kingdom, just as Esther was royalty!
But what’s lacking still? Why aren’t we acting like it? We don’t know the favor that we have. Look at what Esther did when she came before the king without his invitation:
"1Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel, and stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house: and the king sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the gate of the house. 2And it was so, when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, that she obtained favour in his sight: and the king held out to Esther the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther drew near, and touched the top of the sceptre.” (Esther 5:1-2)
Notice that she obtained favor, and she touched the top of the scepter.
Gold represents righteousness—God’s righteousness. Touch the top of the scepter represents the revelation that wherever we go, His righteousness covers us, protects us.
This righteousness is a gift that we are invited to receive—and keep receiving!
“For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)
Notice that as we receive – and keep receiving—that abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, we REIGN in life? We are indeed kings, we are royalty, and we have been called to such a time as this!
Now Esther was afraid, because she had not received a command to appear before the King.
But we today, because we are in Christ, don’t have to wonder if we have his favor.
Paul exhorts us:
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
We have no reason to slink away from the fight!
“But wait! Didn’t Jesus say ‘turn the other cheek’?
The Sermon on the Mount is a full testimony of God’s righteousness. No one can keep it. Especially that leper whom Jesus healed when he came down the mountain.
If we were to follow the Sermon on the Mount, we would have churches filled with the maimed and blind. Did Jesus not say “Cut off your hand if it offends you? Pluck out your eye if it offends you?”
No. Jesus was not giving us commands on how to live. He demonstrated that we cannot live the God kind of life that we are called to.
Jesus would take the hits on the cheek. Isaiah prophesied:
(I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.” (Isaiah 50:6)
Jesus bore our burdens and then some, going two miles when asked to go one. Jesus turned the other cheek for us, so that we in turn do not have to.
We need to stop turning our cheeks, folks. We need to start turning over tables. We need to give up being “The Church of Nice” and Embrace our righteousness, kingly calling to reign in this life, and to overcome all this evil.
We are not called to suffer as Jesus did. If you think about, that’s pretty offensive. None of us can suffer as He did:
“He became sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him”
We were bankrupt, with nothing, dead in our trespasses. There is nothing that we can bring to God to make us worthy. God brought Himself to us through His Son.
No, we are not called to be lambs to the slaughter, to suffer with dignity, to lose beautifully.
Paul even rebukes this idea:
“36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
“37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” (Romans 8:36-37)
Notice that part “NO! We are more than conquerors, hyper-victors, through Him who loved us!”
It’s time to start acting that way. It’s time for us to be established in His righteousness, not our own, and with that, we will see the Body of Christ rise up:
“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” (Proverbs 28:1)
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17)
We don’t need concerned parents—we need angry parents. We don’t need concerned Christians. We need to be like Paul and withstand this evil to its face. We need to confront, exhort, and admonish, and reject the shame and reproach of men.
Do we not believe God’s promise, that no weapon formed against us shall prosper? Did you not see how Esther risked her life, and not only was she spared, but she saved many other lives, too?
So the question comes back: If not you, then who? If not now, then when?