WACO—Though revenge seems sweet and payback fair, God commands His followers to let Him take control of the situation, Pastor John Ogletree from First Metropolitan Church in Houston told guests at the African American Fellowship of Texas worship rally on Nov. 16.
Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Waco hosted the rally preceding the 2014 Texas Baptists Annual Meeting. Visitors engaged in worship facilitated by the Antioch choir and a sermon based off Romans 12:17-21.
"This message is to people who know something about being a victim," Ogletree told the audience. "As believers, we have to understand it's alright to be a victim, but we cannot be vindictive."
He directed their concentration to verse 18 where Paul says, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone."
The challenge to do so often comes when believers become doubtful of God's promise in verse 19 to inflict His wrath on those who do wrong, Ogletree said. When the natural human inclination is to take control, thoughts come to mind such as, "God may take too long," "He may not take our advice," or "He might decide to be merciful when we don't want Him to be."
Though revenge seems sweet even to believers, that sweetness only lasts a short while, he said, and typically leaves a bitter feeling afterward.
"What we've got to do is let God handle it," Ogletree said. "Vengeance is God's demonstration of His righteousness in compensating for a wrong. It reflects the justice of God…and God is a God of justice."
He went on to say God is not only holy, but He is also just, an attribute often overlooked. There could be no righteousness without justice because the original Greek and Hebrew words for "righteous" are also the words we get for "justice", he explained. The two cannot be separated.
"Amens" and claps echoed throughout the rally as Ogletree gave his message. Leaders from various African American churches across the state contributed to different portions of the program. Dennis Young, pastor of Missouri City Baptist Church in Missouri City served as master of the ceremony and Delvin Atchison, pastor of Antioch Baptist, was honored for their church to serve as the host of the rally.
The African American Fellowship was one of three rallies that took place Sunday night commencing Texas Baptists' 2014 Annual Meeting, which will take place through Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Waco Convention Center.