“The Lord Will Handle It”
By: Brian A. Yeager
Many times I have heard someone use the phrase, “the Lord will handle it”, when someone they know has sinned. We all know that the Lord is going to judge all of humanity and that He will handle everything (Matthew 25:31-46, John 5:28-29, Acts 17:30-31, Romans 14:11-12, and II Corinthians 5:10). To this end, I have no objection.
What I do have an objection to is the tendency to allow someone to continue in sin while just saying, “the Lord will handle it.” Again, He will handle the sins of mankind. However, we can easily fall into a trap of allowing people to sin while using His judgment as a copout not to deal with it ourselves. It is here we are going to start our study.
We Have A Responsibility To Deal With Sin In The Lives Of Others
When it comes to those who have never obeyed the Gospel, what is our responsibility to them? Are we not bound, when opportunities arise, to attempt to teach them the Gospel? Now, we should all understand that the heart has to be ready and that person has to be interested in learning for us to be able to teach that person (Mark 4:33, Luke 8:1-15, and I Corinthians 3:1-3). However, when those conditions exist, we should be teaching people (Proverbs 11:30, Matthew 5:14-16, Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Romans 1:14-18, Galatians 6:10, I Thessalonians 1:7-8, and James 2:8).
When it comes to our brothers and sisters in Christ, if they sin, what should we do? Should we just “let the Lord handle it”? Have we not erred if we leave sin amongst saints alone (I Corinthians 5:1-13)? Can we claim to love our brethren if we leave them in error (Proverbs 27:5 and Revelation 3:19)? Consider the following Scriptures in regard to dealing with the errors of our brethren: “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican… Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him… Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted… Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear… Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (Matthew 18:15-17, Luke 17:3-4, Galatians 6:1, I Timothy 5:20, and James 5:19-20). Clearly, we have to diligently act when brethren err.
Acting With Haste When Souls Are At Stake
Under the Law of Moses, when salvation was not even fully realized (Acts 13:38-39), there was more action than we often see today when God’s people erred. Notice: “For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth… I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, And give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:1; 6-7). Shouldn’t we, who fully know the salvation and damnation to come, be more diligent than those of old?
When we have brethren who have erred we should know how serious that is (Hebrews 10:26-31). With that knowledge, we should act in a way to restore that brother or sister so that they do not inherit the wrath of God. Jude, through inspiration, said this: “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 21-23).
Rather than this attitude, we have all seen and maybe even have been apart of, a lackadaisical approach to restoring the erring. This is when you either hear or think, or even say that “God will handle it” copout. Other than our responsibility that we have covered, have you thought about why you shouldn’t want God to handle it?
We Should NOT Want God To Handle It
Sure, vengeance does belong to God and we do leave that in His hands (Nahum 1:2-3 and Romans 12:17-19). Should you want that to happen though? Even if someone has wronged you, should you want them to be punished by God (Matthew 5:38-48)? Should we be happy that someone will be judged by God (Proverbs 24:17-18)? Those who really love the souls of men do not find joy in the perishing of the ungodly (Psalms 119:53, Psalms 119:136, Isaiah 15:5, Isaiah 16:11, Jeremiah 13:17, Luke 19:41-44, and Romans 9:1-3). How could you wish the eternal torment (Jude 7) of Hell upon someone (Mark 9:43-48 and Revelation 21:8)? If we let God “handle it”, that is going to be what happens.
The fact is, few will be saved (Luke 13:23-24). Thus, we know that much of our efforts to help the lost will not turn out as we’d like. Regardless, we still have to try (Ezekiel 2:5-7) or we will be accountable for them being lost (Ezekiel 33:8; cf. Acts 20:26-27). It may be challenging because we may try to correct someone just to find that our efforts hardens them even more (Proverbs 29:1). We cannot allow ourselves to be swayed by the lack of response or even by the negative responses to our efforts. A person cannot be turned back to God if they do not know they are wrong or how to make it right. Let’s be motivated, not by results, but by the fact that we DO NOT want God to handle it. Love those who are lost like you love yourself (Galatians 5:13). If you erred in the faith, would you want to wait until the Judgment Day to find out? I would not. Therefore, treat others in this regard as you’d want them to treat you (Matthew 7:12). Don’t let God handle it!
Volume 14 – Issue 25 - March 9th, 2014