God causes it to rain on the just and the unjust. Be careful that you don't wrongly interpret its meaning.
I've been dashing in and out of stores today, running errands in the midst of an unrelenting downpour. The rain is soaking all who venture out into it, no matter if they are good or evil, just or unjust. "For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45).
I've heard many frightened Christians shout this verse in support of their idea that God will visit pestilence equally on the lost and the saved (how that is comforting I'll never know). Their argument is that while we may have a measure of hope that God will ultimately heal or rescue us, we must expect the exact same "rain" to hit both believers and unbelievers. The force of the assault, whether it's a demonic advance or judgment of God, can't be avoided.
Of course, any true Christian would agree that they have an advocate in Jesus. So, the disposition becomes, "We can't avoid the plague, but we can hope that God meets us in that place." Basically it's the passive, hands-off "whatever God wills" belief system. This is the belief that can be exceedingly dangerous.
The Sun and the Rain
Let's read the verse in context.
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what are you doing more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:43-48).
Spoiler alert: Both the sun and the rain are good!
Many are expecting to be plagued by coronavirus or other ailments and other demonic attacks because of a terrible misunderstanding of the meaning of this passage.
The context of this truth is all about love. God loves both those who are evil and those who are good, the unjust and the just. His mandate is that we are to do the same. In farmer-speak, both sun and rain are very good.
"Ask for rain from the Lord during the season of the latter spring rains. And the Lord will make the storm winds; and He will give them showers of rain; all will have vegetation in the field" (Zech. 10:1).
"For land that drinks in the rain that often falls upon it and bears a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated receives a blessing from God" (Heb. 6:7).
This truth about rain on the just and the unjust has absolutely nothing to do with expecting ills and ailments. The reason a wrong understanding of this passage is so deadly is because it causes us to come into agreement with a demonic strategy.
We as Christians are absolutely not sitting ducks! If we stand in great faith, refuse the taunts of the enemy and resist leaning on our own understanding, we will rise up with great authority and command with fiery resolve that no plague shall come near us.
"There shall be no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your tent; for He shall give His angels charge over you to guard you in all your ways" (Ps. 91:10-11).
Waving the white flag of surrender by accepting plagues and pestilences will bring death and destruction to the people of God. This is not our portion!
"He did good and gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying our hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17b).
How to Stand
Simple prayers of petition that are driven more by fear than faith may do more damage than good. We don't want unbelief to be the driver of our intercession. Rather, we must stand in our great authority and insist that what's in the Word of God manifests.
We command the enemy to back down!
We move the mountains!
We heal the sick!
We decree and declare the Word of God!
But first, we have to ask ourselves if we truly believe the Word of God or not? If so, powerful faith will burn through our being!
This rampant wrong understanding of the sun and the rain has caused many to expect the worst instead of contending for what the cross of Christ has provided for us.
It's not possible to believe that plagues will visit both the just and the unjust while also believing the many Scriptures that proclaim our protection!
"But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one" (2 Thess. 3:3).
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. A righteous one keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken" (Ps. 34:19-30).
Why Does Trouble Come?
Of course, many would argue that Christians do have trouble visit them. Sickness does come. Poverty is a reality for many. It would take another article or a book to fully address this, but I wanted to at least encourage you to venture into the Word of God for your answers. It's true that Satan won't stop raging, but the secret to our success is in our response.
Of course, a barrage of arrows hurled by the enemy will strike us if we allow them to. My wife once had a vision of someone standing confidently with a massive shield of faith protecting them. Then, strangely, when the arrows started flying, they lost faith and dropped their shield. The shield of faith is the most important piece of armor we have!
"And above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one" (Eph. 6:16).
If we stand in great faith, we will have great success. If we fight the enemy, go to battle, renew our mind, take thoughts captive, pray with power, stand in our authority and believe every single word of the Bible, we will most certainly live in victory!
John Burton has been developing and leading ministries for over 25 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. John has authored ten books, is a regular contributor to Charisma Magazine, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City. A large and growing library of audio and video teachings, articles, books and other resources can be found on his website at www.burton.tv. John, his wife Amy and their five children live in Branson, Missouri.
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