Thursday evening brought with it the last night of the Convention. (If you're wondering where Wednesday went, I was on carpark duty for the convention service.) The speaker for the evening was Ps Peter Vincent (Glasgow assembly), who expounded Psalm 2 under the title 'The LORD reigns!'.
Ps Vincent linked Psalm 2 with Acts 4:23-31 where it is quoted at a prayer meeting. The result of that prayer meeting was that the believers received boldness to proclaim the gospel. We want to go from the Convention back to our assemblies with Pentecostal boldness. Boldness means confidence and courage; confidence in the message and courage to take it.
Psalm 2 is made up of 4 speakers.
1st Speaker (verses 1-3): The Voice of Rebellion
The word translated 'rage' means to assemble tumultuously. Think of the turmoil of a storm at sea. Note their stubborn will and unity in their stand against God and Christ. In verse 3 the world sees God's rule as a prison. They think freedom means getting rid of God.
These verses describe very accurately our 21st century world. The world around us is not atheistic, rather Christ and the Church have been marginalized to an irrelevant place. We are living in a broken society.
But 'the peoples plot in vain' (v1). They are constantly trying to push Jesus out and replace Him with futile attempts to bring order. Yet, when you push Jesus out, you are pushing the author of order out. 'Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people' (Prov. 14:34).
2nd Voice (verses 4-6): The Voice of God's Response
God laughs because He sees the absurdity of it all. This is God's world and He laughs at puny man who tries to push Him out of His own world.
Yet it is a serious matter. In verse 5 He pours out His wrath upon them. Calvary shows us that the other side of God's love is His justice and wrath. Sin is not a laughing matter.
God laughs, shows them His wrath, and then points to Jesus (verse 6). The message of this Psalm is very clear: God has sent His Son into the world to save it and Jesus is on the throne! There is nothing that is not subject to Him. Eph. 1:22-23. God has installed Him on the throne and so He will always be on the throne. 'Thy throne O God is forever and ever!'
3rd Voice (verses 7-9): The Voice of the Anointed One
He has proclaimed the decree of the LORD. God has decreed through the shedding of Jesus' blood to save us from our sins. Christ is God's proclamation of salvation. Heb.1:1-2.
'You are my Son' - this phrase comes again and again in the New Testament when the Father vindicates the Son. Resurrection brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. N.B. Tenet no. 3! (Have the Tenets been preached in your church recently?)
He will reign on the earth in the Millennium. His rule and His reign is happening now and it will happen then. Verse 9 is used twice in Revelation. Perfect justice will prevail in the Millennium, when Jesus comes. Perfect peace and justice come to us through the Cross.
4th Voice (verses 10-12): The Voice of the Holy Spirit (Application of the Psalm).
Judgement Day is coming for those who wilfully revolt against God and His Christ.
'Kiss the Son' - Holy Spirit doesn't only speak of judgement, but also calls us out of it through the Son.
Acts 4 - this Psalm used at the Prayer Meeting. Does your assembly pray? Is there a prayer meeting? A church without prayer is like a car without petrol.
Knock on your pastor's door and, after you've asked him about the Tenets, ask him about the prayer strategy in the assembly. It is arrogance for Christians to think they can do everything without prayer.
Prayer links His Rule and His Reign in heaven with His Rule and His Reign on earth. John Wesley - ' God does nothing in this world redemptively except through prayer.'
Christians must not hide behind the size of the fellowship or a perceived lack of influence. God can use you and make you effective. God delights to take the little and produce the miracle (e.g. Gideon's 300 or the boy with 5 loaves and 2 fish). 1 Cor. 1:31.
We can't just go out in the main road and stop the traffic. But dressed in a policeman's uniform it's possible, because there is authority in the uniform. We have the authority of heaven in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are clothed with power divine from on high.
We need to recover our confidence in God. The world must understand that God is ruling and reigning. The world needs to know that God has installed His King and the Church cannot be exterminated because it is of eternal origin and eternal consequence.
The broken society needs to be replaced by the alternative society - the Church.
We are not to be ashamed of the gospel. We need confidence in what we believe and boldness to proclaim it!