Evangelism Part 14: The Woes Series

Evangelism Part 14: The Woes: to those without fear of God

There is a saying that, when there is joy there is sadness, when there is blessedness there is also Woes, there are rich and poor, sinners and saints, masters and slaves, righteous and wicked. But why is that? It exists at the same time on one earth. Do heaven and hell exist on the same earth but in a different dimension? Is the kingdom then the same kingdom we have now? Why does everything changes,  the moods of the people, from honest to corrupt or devious living, fear of God – to love of God, from being jealous, to be trustworthy? God is in control, so all these things happen for a reason. We must submit to Him all the consequences after trying to use it positively for His glory and we must also submit to Him the unbearable, and He will take care of the rest.

Sorrow, misery, misfortune, hindrances to moving forward, climate change, famine, the threat of another world war, false prophets robbing people’s money to support their lifestyle, buildings collapsing, floods destroying livelihood, volcanic eruption, and many more catastrophes. They are signs of God’s punishment for disobeying the laws He gave to us, which therefore shows a clear submission to the ruler of the earth,  the prince of the air. The Pharisees and Scribes were the woes at that time for their hypocrisy and willfully offending God.

If a woe means punishments exclusively for the Jews (Pharisees and Scribes) who offended God thousands’ of years ago because of their disobedience and rejection to the Anointed One, why do the woes continue to this day? Why do the woes of the offenders of yesteryears still haunt their descendants to this day? Why do the non-Jewish (Gentile) people will take part in the punishment? Is it because the non-Jewish (Gentile) people are predestined to be part of the punishments since no human meets the standard of God when it comes to sin. Non-Jewish (Gentile) are connected to Jewish people when it comes to world salvation.

Jesus answered, “I was commissioned by God and sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Matthew 15:24 (Amplified Bible) and in Matthew 10:5-7, Jesus sent the twelve disciples with the following instructions: “Do not go onto the road of the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.”

Jesus in his speech in Matthew 5 He said: “For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:20 (Berean Study Bible). Jesus’ mission on earth is to save the Israelites, John 3:17, ESV: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through him.”

The Israelites rejected the Son but it doesn’t mean that Jesus’ mission was a failure but rather proved the power of free will. The Israelites had their  choice and the consequences of their choice remove the effectiveness of their relationship with the Father. This opened up salvation to the Gentiles. John 3:16 said: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The “whoever” in the scripture means whoever; Jews and Gentiles will be saved and all it needs is to believe.

Woe is so important that the Bible discussed this topic in a few ways, either by individual confession or group declaration. King David said Woe is me! “Woe is me that I sojourn in Mesech that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!” While Isaiah said: Woe is me! “For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell amid a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Job said: If I am wicked, woe unto me; and if I am righteous, yet will I not lift my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;

The group said: 1 Samuel 4:7-And the Philistines were afraid, for they said; God has come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore. 1 Samuel 4:8 Woe unto us, who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? Woe unto us! We are all spoiled to sin over doing good works because we are free to abuse the freedom of will.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees. Woe to you, blind guides! Why these woes are so many pointing their established hypocrisy directly to the group of Israelites especially the Pharisees and Scribes. Woe unto me, woe unto us, and woe unto you; three types of woes addressed to three kinds of people at that time; The Jews, the Gentiles, and both believers; the Jews and the Gentiles.

Woes Teachers of the Laws and the Pharisees was a very direct charge to groups of hypocrites individuals,  Scribes and the Pharisees.

God is all in all.

Bishop Joseph

Dr. Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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