A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

The sheep that will enter into eternal life are the ones who gave a glass of cool water to the thirsty

You can articulate all the right theology but if it doesn’t lead you to giving a cup of cold water for the thirsty, food for the hungry, and declaring freedom for the oppressed and the captives, then all you are doing is whistling nonsense.

The One Who Wouldn’t Look Away
Hebrews 11:23-27
Ps Sam Powell

The words of the gospel are important but they should lead to actions. Jesus said love for God and love for neighbor – that’s what all of the prophets are about. On those two commandments hang all the laws and the prophets.

Knowing all the uses of the Greek participle, or being able to speak intelligently of the Trinity, or being able to articulate the Ordo Salutis, or having memorized the catechism  — all of those things are good things. But if they don’t lead to giving a cup of cold water for the thirsty, and food for the hungry, and declaring freedom for the oppressed and the captives, then all we are doing is whistling nonsense.

Only Jesus can call Lazarus from the tomb. Only Jesus can give newness of life. But when Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb he gave the people standing there a tremendous privilege. They could share in that work. When Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb he could easily moved the stone himself. He could have easily uncovered all the things that bound Lazarus, but He wanted His people there to share in that work of redemption. So He said, “Roll away the stone.” He said, “Untie him. Let him go.” Jesus could zap salvation into anyone, but He has given us a tremendous privilege to share in that work.

Proclaim liberty to the captives. Give a glass of water to the thirsty. Visit those in prison. Be a voice for the oppressed. Don’t look the other way. Sit with the suffering. Weep with the prisoner. Listen to the brokenhearted. Or, as Peter says, “Be ye holy, saith the Lord, for I am holy.”


This is paraphrase (beginning at 38:26) from Ps Powell’s sermon, The One Who Wouldn’t Look Away, which can be found in its entirety at sermon audio.



  1. Dale Ingraham @ Speaking Truth In Love Ministries
  2. E

    So very true. My children and I were recently at a large gathering of “Christian families”, and we were spread out from each other, when an abuser started quoting scripture during his presentation. Each child later came to me separately and said, “My stomach started hurting, when he was speaking and quoting the Bible.” The verses he spewed were the “dad’s in charge, wives submit,” etc. It was hard not to rise up inside against the abuser’s words themselves, instead of just against how they were being insideously twisted by a cruel man who was praised by this gathering as a model father.

    We saw how “the name of God is blasphemed” (Romans 2:24) through the wolf’s having been given the pulpit: there were children there whose wolf parent had recently been exposed, and this man made the gospel a stench to them.

  3. Starlight

    Pastor Powell has it right!! He understands what Jesus’ words mean – “to be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” in justice and mercy, in loving others, relieving oppression, recognizing and opposing the destruction of our fellow man though evil that the emissaries of the devil choose!! Thank you pastor Powell, narrow is the road and few there be that find it, thank you for being a guide and shepherd who has understanding by the spirit!!

  4. W

    Thankfully Starlight commented on this sermon as I was then able to listen to Ps. Powell’s linked sermon and it was great.

    For anyone who has ever heard the “should’ve made better choices” slap in the face from loved ones or people close to you, this sermon has something for you.

    People whose lives have not been destroyed by evil look down on the victims and blame them for their victimization — as though anyone would willingly and knowingly and freely opt to marry an abuser, to be severely victimized, etc. ….. Predators don’t operate like that. You don’t know they are a predator until it is too late and the trap has already sprung and the destruction is well under way.

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