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The Kingdom Suffers Violence.

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Matthew 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."

Now, this is a very interesting verse of Scripture that I've often pondered without a real understanding of just what, exactly, was going on here. a brief study has revealed a few facts to my mind and I hope others here can add some info.

As a background, Israel had not heard a Prophet speak for 400 years. John the Baptist comes out of nowhere and preaches repentance from sins and holds a Baptism in the River Jordan. Historians say that John preached at least a year before Jesus the Son of God makes His appearance.

I think we have to discover the scene here. The Jews were so moved by this new Prophet that the crowds were continually hard pressing John for anything that resembled the Kingdom of God. Some of these people were so buffeted by their world and sick of the Roman rule that if possible, they would have tried to seize entrance into the Kingdom by force.

Others were drawn to John out of a deep love for YHWH and pressed hard on John for what ever he had to give them. I imagine they thought, Ok, the Kingdom is about to come, I'd better be Baptized and repent of all my sins before the Kingdom comes and I miss it.

Then we have Israel's Leaders. They pretty much opposed anything that was out side of their little minds as to just how the Kingdom would come. I suppose they thought of God coming Himself and destroying their oppressors and setting Israel free to enjoy their promised Land forever. John the Baptist just didn't fit into their expectations, therefore they fought against it and Herod, with a violent hand killed the Prophet.

There is a sense that for the miracles of the Christ to enter and change a lost sinner, there was an element of violence. Here were wicked sinners, prostitutes, thief's and the like who were so stuck in their ways that It would take an act of Holy violence to enter their hearts to change them.

I hope this spurs some of you to research a little to add your perspective to this verse. I'm sure that I missed some important elements of this important historical event and I'd love to hear your thoughts.
 
Loyal
Very interesting topic.

(NLT) And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it.

I don't usually read the NLT, but I wonder if that's a better translation?
"From the days of John the Baptist". John was about 6 or 7 months older than Jesus? ( Luke 1:36-42; ) So does this mean only for a few months?
Elizabeth was a relative of Mary, so it stands to reason John was a relative of Jesus. ( Luke 1:36; )

Even today the kingdom of Heaven is advancing all over the world. There are more Christians than ever at any time in history.
But yet there are atheists, Muslim's, and others "attacking" it.
 
Member
I would say that's not a better translation, because the the kingdom of heaven is not forcefully advancing , matter of fact the there is nothing forceful about his kingdom, its not forced , but by love , and love is not forceful.
What I would say is from John till now , the ones who make it into the kingdom had to suffer much violence, and always will , just like Jesus said , if I have suffered you shall also suffer,

What did he suffer ? Violence
What did all believers suffer?
Violence
From who ?
The world
Why?
Because they hated him , they will also hate us.
 
Active
I would say that's not a better translation, because the the kingdom of heaven is not forcefully advancing , matter of fact the there is nothing forceful about his kingdom, its not forced , but by love , and love is not forceful.
What I would say is from John till now , the ones who make it into the kingdom had to suffer much violence, and always will , just like Jesus said , if I have suffered you shall also suffer,

What did he suffer ? Violence
What did all believers suffer?
Violence
From who ?
The world
Why?
Because they hated him , they will also hate us.
I agree with your reasoning. There are some that believe that there is some violence in the Kingdom's advance. Look at this Scripture....Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

That seems to me as speaking about spiritual forces at war for the Salvation of souls before they loose their choice of being saved. We really don't know much about the ongoing workings of Jesus the Son of God and His Holy Spirit as they go out into the highways and hedges working with Missionaries and Evangelists in their appeal to souls about Salvation.

I would think that there have been many mighty battles in the Spiritual realm over the repentance and Salvation of souls in our Country and especially in foreign lands where there is much persecution against folk who are Christians or want to become a believer in Christ Jesus. Just look at the violence that ISIS pours out on anyone who refuses the Muslim cult.
 
Loyal
That seems to me as speaking about spiritual forces at war for the Salvation of souls before they loose their choice of being saved.
An interesting perspective. (OSAS shows up in every discussion :) )
But even after we are saved, we are still in a war. This is why we need the armor of God.
Also Eph 6:12; mentions spiritual warfare of the Christian.

Those who aren't saved aren't in the war. Satan has no reason to "conquer" them. They already belong to him.
 
Active
An interesting perspective. (OSAS shows up in every discussion :) )
But even after we are saved, we are still in a war. This is why we need the armor of God.
Also Eph 6:12; mentions spiritual warfare of the Christian.

Those who aren't saved aren't in the war. Satan has no reason to "conquer" them. They already belong to him.
This is right my friend. The unsaved already belong to Satan. The war is when we enter into what the Holy Spirit is trying to do in bringing a person from the gates of hell to the doors of the Kingdom. I'll relate a true story of such an account.

His name is Forrest Peasely Jr. He was a rugged forest lumberjack. He saved his money to start a trucking business hauling logs from his forest to spots all over New England. He had about four tracker trailers. One evening, I took one of my Deacons along as I went out once a week to call on people in my small Community in hopes to evangelize.

Forest let us in, I noticed that he was quite busy with his drivers and a few customers. We started talking about the Lord and his need for Salvation. His Wife was a Christian already and she was in the living room praying. I could feel the presence of a demon force there in the kitchen as we spoke. Every time I would start speaking about the Blood sacrifice that Jesus paid for him, the phone would ring.

Deacon Pearly Carver and I spent about 3 and 1/2 hours there. Every phone call was very urgent and Forest had to come up with a solution, which he did. The battle was on and hot it was for a while. At one point, Forrest was on the phone with a driver who was going to quit driving and leave Forest's truck somewhere in New York. Forest was angry with his driver so I had the opportunity to pray to the Holy Spirit to intervene.

After about 35 minutes on the phone, Forest was able to talk his driver to return with his truck, thank you Holy Spirit. After about 45 minutes without the phone ringing, I was able to zero in on repentance and allowing Christ Jesus to come into his heart and life as Forest's Master Owner. We spoke about Baptism and I answered a bunch of his questions. Deacon Pearly spoke several times.

At the end of about 3 and 1/2 hours, I asked Forest if he was ready to confess that he was a sinner, and ask our Heavenly Father to forgive his sins, repent of them and to confess Jesus as his Lord and Savior of which he did. I could tell that the Holy Spirit was leading him because of the watery eyes on Forest several times in our conversation.

When Forest's Wife heard him say he wanted Jesus as his Savior, she came into the kitchen with a big hug and kiss for Forest. The four of us knelt on the kitchen floor and Forest prayed a wonderful teary eyed confession and pleading for Jesus to save him. From that time until I left that Church to go to another, Forest was a regular at both Sunday services as well as our Wednesday night service.

Violent? Yep, there was a spiritual war for Forest Peasely's soul that night and the Lord thru His Holy Spirit won, Praise our Lord for rescuing the perishing. Deacon Carver said that He'd never gone out to evangelize the lost. He said that he'd never ever witnessed anyone leading another person to Salvation. He was so excited about that night and gave a wonderful testimony of the event the next Sunday evening service.
 
Active
Also B-A-C, I want you to know that aside from the Elect of God, Ephesians 1:4 & 5 who cannot loose their Salvation, those who come to Jesus thru the General Call of the Gospel can loose their Salvation....Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

AND....Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;


So you see my friend, OSAS is not for all Christians. There are some who make a profession and might have some good works for a while, but they MUST hold fast, firm, unto the end. Also, they MUST hold steadfast unto the end.

Also, a reminder that in....
2Thesalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2:2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


So, as you can see, OSAS does not apply to these people. They will rebel against our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus and depart from the Faith. What will they prefer? They will follow the son of perdition instead of Jesus.


 
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