In Balance?

  Though they are not as common in this world of high tech measuring devices as they once were, most of us can remember and appreciate the functionality of a balance.  It is a T shaped instrument with a pivotal cross member (like a seesaw at the park), each end containing a suspended tray.  On one tray a specified weight (e.g. 1/4 lb.) was placed, and on the other tray a commodity (e.g. sugar) was added until the cross beam of the balance became level.  At that point it was certain that the weight of the commodity was equal to the specified weight in the opposing tray. (i.e. 1/4 lb of sugar).

  It is a horrifying reality that most people in most cultures where there is a God consciousness, believe that someday they will be judged by God using the principles of a balance.  They believe that on “Judgment Day” God will place their bad deeds on one side of His balance and their good deeds on the other.  If their good deeds are more plenteous (heavier) than their bad deeds, God will be pleased and let them into His Heaven.  On the other hand, if their bad deeds outweigh their good deeds, God will reject them and cast them into the fires of Hell.

  The analogy may seem plausible, but in reality, nothing could be further from the truth.  In God’s way of reckoning, we were all born with a sinful nature, and as we drew our first breaths we became sinners by choice.  Since bad only produces more bad, if God were to use the balance method to determine where we would spend eternity, we would have nothing to place on the “good deeds” tray.  No one would go to Heaven.

  But there will be no balance on Judgment Day.  God sent Jesus into the world to live, die, and be resurrected from the dead, to pay the penalty of your sins and mine.  For those who will exercise their faith and call upon Him for help, He offers forgiveness and reconciliation (restored fellowship) with God.

  Jesus Christ offers to take your sin upon Himself and give you His righteousness instead.  God’s justice is then satisfied because the wages of sin have been paid—your sin.  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)”

Rumors Of Wars

  Before Jesus died on the cross, four of His disciples were with Him on Mount Olivet, a mountain ridge adjacent to Jerusalem on the east.  From there they had a panoramic view of the city with its magnificent temple, one of the wonders of the ancient world, in the foreground.  Jesus told His disciples, “…verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. (Matthew 24:2).”  This was alarming to His disciples and prompted them to ask, “…Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (v.3)”  Strangely, He answered them with language that might be used to describe the ever increasing pains of childbirth.  The harsh characteristics of the age began almost unnoticed and will intensify until Jesus returns to the earth.

  “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows (i.e. birth pains). Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Matthew 24:5–14)”

  Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the temple was fulfilled in 70AD when the Roman Emperor, Titus, ended a revolt by the conquest of Jerusalem.  Jesus’ description of the age is a fair representation of life on earth since His first coming, and the hardships and horrors have steadily intensified—similar to the pains of childbirth.  One might surmise that the end of this age is near, that soon Christ will return to complete the story of time.  Are You Ready?

Without A Preacher

  Perhaps you have read of WWII Japanese soldiers who were forced into remote areas and ordered to fight to the death.  Several of these men were discovered years after the war had ended; they were still in their hideaways, and still armed and vicious.  Why?  They professed, “Nobody told me that the war was over!”  They were ready to die for a cause that no longer existed.  Peace had been won for all the peoples of the earth.

  Similarly, peace has been won for all of mankind in the spiritual realm—peace with God.  The victory came as a result of the sacrifice of one man, the God/Man, Jesus Christ, but many haven’t received the good news and have become casualties in this war already won.  Who is to blame?  It’s me; please forgive me if we have met and I failed to share the good news with you.

  Quite often I am reminded of our Lord’s commissioning of His followers to take the good news of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection to those who have never heard, or have not yet responded. “For the Son of man (Jesus) is come to save that which was lost. (Matthew 18:11)”  Christ purchased your forgiveness with His own life’s blood.  This is the foremost theme of the Bible.  Delivering His message is imperative if one hopes to discover peace, receive God’s blessing now, and live in His presence forever. 

  God tells us that, “…whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13),” but in the next verse He poses a series of questions that remind us of our responsibility to Go and Tell: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (v.14)”  The word “preacher” in v.14 is not talking about the Pastor of a church; this word “preacher” could refer to anyone, and everyone, who is willing to herald the good news about Jesus’ offer of forgiveness (the gospel).  As a matter of fact, if you know God personally through faith in Jesus Christ, you too are commissioned to tell others.

  I would be thrilled to share the good news with you and yours!  Please call!

Which Way Is Up?

  I’m sure that you have noticed how the word UP gets a lot of good press while the word DOWN is treated with disdain.  A few examples will suffice: You never hear of anyone working their way down the corporate ladder to success.  No one would be proud to divulge that they go down to their penthouse apartment.  When times are tough, we delight to hear someone announce, “Things are looking up!”  Let’s face it, UP is generally associated with good and positive things while DOWN is more commonly used with reference to the dreadful.

  In His Word, God makes it abundantly clear that His ways and thoughts are different, even contrary to those of men.  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8–9)”  There are numerous examples of this divine anomaly in the pages of scripture, but perhaps none more boldly displayed than this: “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Corinthians 1:26–29)”

  So, from God’s perspective, UP and DOWN may be mischaracterized.  He would have us to know that the way to deliverance, to success, to usability, to happiness and fulfillment is down.  He says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: (1 Peter 5:6)”  He told His followers, “…whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: (Matthew 20:26–27)”

  Our God is willing to reach DOWN and bless us!  Let’s get into position.