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Tuesday, March 10, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

“It is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you. . .” (II Thessalonians 1:6).

Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies.

For instance, B. Hussein is my enemy. He is the enemy of our democratic Republic. Therefore, I pray for him to be saved via the grace of Jesus Christ in a personal conversion.

The Holy Spirit is dealing with B. Hussein, Marxist Muslim, for many are praying that same intercession. Therefore, God is working on his heart for conversion to Christ, away from Allah.

If B. Hussein disobeys God, he will spend an eternity in hell, just as all others who disobey God spend their everlasting in hell.

So B. Hussein is my enemy. I pray for him. I leave the afflicting up to God.

In the ministry for half a century, the devil has put many foes in the middle of my righteous path. I have seen them. I have tried to bring them around to biblical values. Some have come around. Others have persisted in sin, thwarting the work of my pastorate.

Now I have seen God afflict those enemies with His own anger. One man, Jim, was so mean that God brought him an early death. His son found him on his bed one morning, no warning that he had been sick.

Another man, Mike, and his wife, Jean, were obstructing God’s work in the church. They were chiefly gossips and malcontents. I prayed that their souls would mellow into the goodness of God. But they persisted in ruining the work. One day Mike died, fell to the floor. A few years later Jean died.

Now these three—Jim, Mike, Jean—are dead. They have no more influence on this Earth. I have lived to see my enemies come upon God inflicting His own judgment upon them.

It was not up to me to bring that upon their souls. God took care of it far more precisely than I could. Further, it is not my prerogative to do what God has promised to do for the kingdom’s sake.

Barbara was a gossip and nasty agent for the dark side. She plotted against my gospel preaching by planting a tape recorder in the sanctuary. She hoped to record something heretical I would state in a sermon.

I don’t preach heresy. I preach the Word of God.

Barbara and her spite-spirited husband continued that shenanigan over time, hoping to snare me and report me to the higher echelon. But it did not work. One day Barbara dropped dead.

A young woman in the church warred against my preaching the holy life. Therefore, she posted beer bottles at my parsonage front door. She snipped the telephone wires to my home. She phoned us in the middle of the night, threatening us with death and hell. She spray painted SINNERS across the parking lot.

Now today she is dead.

One woman declared that I had the spirit of Satan in me; therefore, she could not get near my shadow. However, she was the church custodian.

Therefore, when she was on church property, she made certain to stay far away from my presence. I looked out the study window one morning to see her running from the church to the fellowship hall, not wanting to be near my frame. She ran.

Today she lives physically; but she has frizzled into a spiritual mannequin, giving forth the language of being born again but hollow all the while. Her husband has joined her in death of soul.

A fellow turned against the ministry for money had become his deity. His 401-K became his security. He put on a pretence of being a Christian; but he worshiped other than Christ.

When that happens, the first figure to be attacked by the backslidden is the gospel preacher for he represents the God that the backslider is betraying.
With that, the man left the church, shriveling in his soul to a fear-stalked mortal in search of a base upon which to plant his feet.

A woman in her 70s who was once the picture of a smiling saint let her grousing get to her spirit. She changed from that happy Christian to a faultfinding snit.

In short order she lost her house, her gardens, her worldly goods except for a token to take with her to the elderly persons’ residence. No more fancy dinnerware, accommodating bedrooms, lush kitchen and living room, sunporch and two-car garage. All gone within weeks of her turning against God and His witness.

There are countless enemies in America networking every day to undercut our values, the Christian heritage and God Himself. These ones will come under divine affliction.

God will see to it.

Christians, remain faithful. God will honor your obedience by caring for you and afflicting your foes.

“It is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you. . .” (II Thessalonians 1:6).