Kingdom Truth - What is the Kingdom of Heaven in the Bible?
Chapter 8, Part 5
Blessed are the Merciful
"Mercy", the Scriptures tell us is what God desires. This is true during the time period when the Jewish peoples' "goodness is like a morning cloud and like the dew which goes away early." (Hos. 6:4, 6) Also in the New Testament time when the Pharisees attempted in diverse manners to plot against the gracious Lord, He declared this again according to the Scriptures (Matt. 9:13; 12:7). This is in God's bowels (heart)! (Luke 1:78) As His children, we have His nature (2 Pete. 1:4); we also ought to have His bowels. Ministers especially need to have this kind of bowels! For this reason, in Paul's letter to Timothy, in addition to his benediction of grace and peace, he added mercy to become: "Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." (1 Tim. 1:2 and 2 Tim. 1:2) Only when ministers have mercy from above, then they will have the merciful bowels to save the lost souls and shepherd the flock. However, in this verse, it says that all Kingdom personnel must have the character of mercy to be merciful to others. Otherwise, those who have not shown mercy will be judged mercilessly! (Jas 2:13)
We who are conservatives often criticize the liberals who preach the social gospel. They are only concerned with charity and not with one's soul. They are only concerned with poverty and not the spiritual needs. The liberals have forsaken the fundamental to pursue after the immediate. They have reversed the sequence, but we too often have neglected the importance of showing mercy to people. There are some brothers and sisters who love the church and would donate tens of thousands for a building program. But if a poor brother needs assistance, they would not even give a few dollars. This is also forsaking the fundamental! The Lord said, “For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings." (Hos. 6:6) The word "loyalty" should be mercy according to the Lord's usage of this verse in the New Testament in Matthew 19:13. The Lord does not delight in our sacrifice but He desires us to be merciful to the poor! If the church has brothers and sisters in need, we must strive to help them so that they do not need to go outside to seek assistance. If a member of the Smith family needs money but the family members are unwilling to help and he has to go to the Jones family for help, it is a shame on the Smith family! In like manner, if God's children need help and the family of God is unwilling and forces him to go to the gentiles for assistance, the Lord's is shamed! Scripture tells us that "If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever" (1 Tim. 5:8). The previous discussion is not only applicable to the believers for mercy but should be extended to everyone! Nowadays, there is such a strong emphasis on evangelism! There are numerous books on evangelism and meetings on evangelism with all kinds of fancy attractions. But how many have been saved by grace? What is the reason? Probably there is no mercy in the bowels. How many evangelists in the pulpit have wept for the lost sitting in front of him in the congregation? How many pastors fast and pray in tears for the non-believers? How many of you evangelists who have cried aloud and presented the importance of evangelism in the pulpit shared the gospel with the cab drivers and the hotel staff where you stay? If you have not, then it is proof that your loud pleading is nothing but hokum. You are deceiving yourself and others. However, you cannot deceive God! So often, our evangelistic effort is like singing country western music. Who will be deceived by us? Messengers of the gospel, have you considered your unbelieving friends sitting next to you? If they die, they will for ever and ever suffer pain in the eternal fire and cannot even get a drop of water to cool off the tongue! Do you really have pity for them? Are you trying your best to save them? Let us cancel some of our meetings and come to the Lord more frequently on our knees. Ask Him to give us a merciful bowel. Let us fast for the non-believers and shed more tears for them. Then the church will be revived and Kingdom personnel gained!
...for They shall receive Mercy
The word "mercy" in the New Testament comes in five forms. Other than the verb form, the adjective and noun both have two forms. It is translated as "mercy", "compassion" or "pity" in different translations. In this verse, "merciful" is an adjective. In the original, "shall receive mercy" is one word in the future tense and is a verb in the passive voice. With the exception of the first and eighth beatitudes, they are all in the future tense as in "shall be comforted", "shall inherit the earth", "shall be satisfied", "shall receive mercy", "shall see God" and "shall be called sons of God". So all these blessings are intended for the future Kingdom. These are "the joy of your Lord" which the gracious Lord has prepared for His Kingdom personnel. No wonder the Scriptures say "Mercy triumphs over judgment". (Jas 2:13) The gracious Lord has told us that the merciful are those who see their brothers in hunger and give them food, thirsty and give them drink, strangers and invite them in, naked and clothe them, sick and visit them, and imprisoned or sick and come to them. These are considered as righteous and shall inherit the Kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world. This Kingdom is not a last minute plan, neither was it planned after the Jews rejected Christ but it was planned by God for the merciful since the creation of the world. Those who are merciful shall be called 'blessed of my Father"! Praise the Lord!