Peaceful Rebellions and the Bible

David Osteen

Can a rebellion be led by a righteous man?  Can a great rebellion be governed by peace?  Can a Christian ever be a part of such a thing? 

The answer is Yes, Yes, and Yes! When sin so dominates the land that unrighteousness has dominion of the hearts and minds of its people, then righteousness and purity become the rebellion of such a land.

Peaceful Rebellions in the Old Testament

Consider the days of Esther, when Mordecai would not bow down, or pay homage, to Haman.  It was rebellion in the eyes of the ungodly (Esther 3:2-3). 

Consider Daniel, sitting at his window praying to the Lord Jehovah his God.  It was rebellion in the eyes of the ungodly (Daniel 6:3-13). 

Consider Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; when they would not bow their knee to the king at the sounding of the trumpets.  It was rebellion in the eyes of the ungodly (Daniel 3:8-12).

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Is. 5:20)  In a world that is morally upside down; to be pure, righteous, and holy… is a rebellion.

A Peaceful Rebellion Led By the Greatest Rebel

The Greatest Rebel of all is Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God.  When you consider the life and death of Jesus it is tragic.  Tragic for many reasons, but one of the greatest being that Jesus was such a kind, caring, compassionate individual who gave (John 6:11-14), and helped (Mark 9:15-27), and served (Mark 10:45). 

Jesus lived in such evil times that as He went about teaching truth, men turned away because the truth was too hard to bear (John 6:60, 66).  He lived in such evil days that as He healed people of their infirmities and even raised people from the dead, that men sought to kill Him (Matthew 26:4). 

And ultimately that’s exactly what they did.  What greater evidence do we need of the godlessness of the times, than by Jew and Gentile alike, conspiring to set a murderous sinner go free (Matthew 27:16-22), so that they could crucify a peaceful innocent Man who had spoken truth, fed thousands, and saved many of lives? (Acts 2:23&36)

Jesus’ Peaceful Rebellion

His Great Rebellion was completely peaceful (Matt 5:9; Mk 9:50).  Jesus Christ was peaceful and truthful when He taught that “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” and yet the people of His own hometown synagogue of Nazareth sought to kill Him (Lk 14:16-29). 

Jesus Christ’s miracles provided relief to thousands of people, and His teachings were an enlightenment to their souls, and yet the chief priests and scribes sought to kill Him (Mk 14:1).  Jesus traveled with a companion, a disciple, who He blessed with the opportunity to be a part of His innermost circle – The Apostles. 

And this man who sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His wonderful teachings, this man who witnessed Christ’s magnificent power over nature and even death, this man who was blessed to be served by Christ when Jesus washed his feet, this man Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus into the hands of godless men and sinners.  Jesus’ rebellion was completely peaceful, and yet He died a most violent death.

Christians are Rebels at Heart

A Christian can not only justify being a part of the rebellion (which is Christianity); a Christian who is not a part is hardly a Christian at all! In a world overrun with wickedness and darkness we are called to be a light of righteousness (Matt. 5:14-16). 

We live amongst such evil that our good deeds are considered evil.  Our conservatism, our stand for biblical morals and values, our faith and virtuosity seem backwards to a backwards society.  But it is the call of the Christian to “Not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good” (Ro. 12:21). 

We are Christian soldiers, soldiers of a righteous rebellion, standing spiritually firm against the evil forces of darkness (Eph. 6:10-18).  

Are You a Rebel?

Who is the Great Rebel?  You are to be!  Who is the Great Soldier? You are to be!  Who is the Soldier to wield a sword of peace and salvation? You are to be (Eph. 6:17)! 

You are to be the Great Rebel as you follow in the footsteps of the Greatest Rebel – Jesus Christ (I Jn 2:4-6).  The way you think, the way you talk, the way you act, everything that you stand for is to stand in opposition to the deceitfulness of ungodliness. 

You are to be a Great Rebel and you are to be nothing less and nothing else.  If you are a Christian, then you are honor bound to be a true disciple and follow the Rebellion of Christianity (Jn 8:31).

When sin and unrighteousness becomes so common amongst man; when you can’t tell the differences between “leaders” and criminals, because corruption and hypocrisy are so prevalent; when injustice is rewarded and wrong is glorified… the great rebel is the Christian, and his rebellion is the righteousness of living Christianity.

Jesus Christ was a great Rebel of righteousness in His day, so much so that He received the death penalty for His crime of kindness, truth, purity, and righteousness.

When it comes right down to it, you have to pick a side; are you going to rebel against God, or are you going to rebel against the world?  Jesus picked His side (Matthew 4:1-11)… do you have the courage to follow Him? 

Do you have the courage… to be a rebel of peace and righteousness? 

Do you have the courage…?