|“Your heart may burst with love and devotion to Christ, causing you to want to do great things for Him. This is only natural and God accepts such expressions. But remember what He said to King Solomon: “…walk in My statutes and execute My judgments, and keep all My commandments…” Nothing you ever do for God can act as a substitute for a life of obedience.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases?” I Corinthians 6:2
Engaging a fellow-believer in litigation before a secular court did not happen in the Old Testament Theocracy; there was no such thing as a secular court. During the dispersion the Jews settled such cases among themselves. But how does God want Christians in New Testament times to handle such matters? Paul answers by prohibiting the settling of civil disputes between believers by the government. Note that he does not prohibit Christians suing non-Christians, nor does he argue that the believer must submit to extortion if another “believer” threatens with a civil suit. He says that you cannot initiate such a suit. Criminal matters, in most societies, are considered crimes against the state and are thus handled by prosecuting attorneys who act on behalf of the state.
In the life to come you will judge the world. If you call upon secular authority to settle civil disputes, you communicate that Christians have no basis for judging such matters, implying that God does not judge right and wrong. This harms the cause of Christ.
When tempted to bring a civil suit against another Christian, consider the following. First, in litigation, what is right and protecting your rights often part company. As you force others to defend themselves they easily convince themselves that their cause is just, even when the evidence demands the opposite. Second, There is no quicker way for you to discover the object of your hope than to be defrauded by another. As you wrestle with this issue, ask, “If God wants to make me rich, does He need this money to do it?” If no, then don’t litigate and trust God to make up the difference.
Psalm 146-147 1 Corinthians 15:1-28 (New King James Version)
1 Corinthians 15:1-28
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