2022 Archives

Our Only Hope

  …all seemed lost.  Many were already dead.  Dave was not expected to live more than a couple of hours. Angie had just taken a turn for the worse, and Kevin was even now descending the stairs to help them, sliding his hands over the handrail that was contaminated with the noxious compound that would soon be coursing through his veins, ebbing out the substance of life. There was only one hope, but would they discover it in time?

  This little paragraph describes a very serious event in sketchy terms that raise an abundance of questions:  Who are these people?  Where are they?  What is this horrid substance?  Where did it come from?  What is their only hope?  How much time do they have?  We need more information to process this situation and determine what can be done.

  Perhaps we Christians are guilty of drawing just such a sketchy picture of the plight of man with regard to God, sin, and eternity.  Everyone needs to know: God, the Creator of the universe, created man in His own image for His eternal fellowship, but man broke God’s law and severed the relationship.  Because of his sinful nature, there is nothing man can do to diminish his plight, even if he wanted to.

  But God, seeing the hopelessness of His fallen creatures, committed His own Son to pay the penalty accrued by sin.  Jesus came to earth and took on Himself the form of a man.  He lived a perfect life and died as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of mankind.  After three days, having paid in full the sin debt of every man, He rose victorious from the grave.  God ordained that “…repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. Luke 25:47”  He said,  “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)”

  Salvation requires believing in things that you cannot see nor touch.  Satan would have you believe that faith is a gamble, but God says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)”   Jesus Christ is both Lord and Savior; He is your only HOPE!

Thanksgiving

  If you were a historian and wanted to describe life on planet earth in the year 2022 for future generations, you would likely employ terms that are descriptive of the political, social, and economic movements that seem to define our times.  In recent years our political elites, in lieu of any constitutional awareness, have, perhaps unlawfully, flexed their legislative and judicial powers to turn our social lives into solitary confinement or familial cloisters.  Our economy was put on hold for a year and a half, so that full recovery is still in question as we await, precariously perched on the precipice of a crippling recession.  Sounds gloomy doesn’t it?

  But wait, all is not lost!  We have food and drink, our clothing seems sufficient, there are still roofs over our heads, the sun rose this morning, and we have a measure of health so that we can enjoy the love of friends and family.  For the moment we are warm, and the cool air outside is refreshing to our lungs.  You get the picture—we have much to be thankful for!

  So, who shall we thank?  Our contemporary leaders would like for us to thank them this Thanksgiving season.  They even have the gall to take credit for the simple pleasures of life.  But we know better; it is not them, nor is it ourselves that provide for our basic needs, and certainly not the niceties of life.  If you are honest with yourself, you will have to agree, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17)”  Much to the annoyance of those who choose to overlook the obvious, there is a God who delights to involve Himself in the affairs of man. 

  I for one am resolved to ignore the commercialized hustle and bustle of this Thanksgiving season.  I refuse to give turkeys more attention than God.  I praise Him for His great love that afforded me eternal life in His presence through the gift of His own Son who paid the penalty for my sins.  He is my Heavenly Father, and He alone is all that I need.

 “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1Thessalonians 5:16–18)”

The Big Picture

  According to the Bible, we all have a beginning of life, but no ending.  Every soul ever born into this world will live forever somewhere—some in the presence of God and others eternally separated from God.

  Though we never experienced it, every one of us believes that there was a world before our beginning; a world filled with people, places and things.  Some enjoy examining evidences of life on earth before their birth; we call them history buffs.  But since we cannot see, taste, touch, smell or hear anything that existed before us, most simply accept life today as the supreme evidence that there was life, time, space, energy and matter before us. 

  As for the present, we must engage in constant discovery to keep reality defined.  We grapple with things that are too small or too large to be detected by our senses.  Non-material things like invisible energy moving across the sky, undetectable gasses, invisible waves of sound and light, are barely comprehensible to most.  We simply believe elements of arguments produced by fallible experts who belong to the ever changing scientific community.

  When it comes to the future, again we cannot experience with our senses that which is not yet, and so we muse.  There are no old buildings or artifacts to uncover, no civilizations to unearth, no books written, no records to study. But, as in the past, we accept life today as the supreme evidence that there will be life, time, space, energy and matter beyond our feeble existence.

 For now, most of us purposefully and cautiously limit our perception of the whole. But, since it is obvious that there has always been more to life than meets the eye, perhaps we should carefully consider the realms that we cannot see or experience in the present.  Perhaps we need to venture a gaze into the distant past and into the future, at life, time, space, energy, matter  and more, as it existed then, or will exist—the Big Picture.

  That Big Picture will necessarily include God the Creator, it will include the eternal existence of spirit and matter.  It will include your eternal soul, either in the presence of God, or without.

The Point Of No Return

  Occasionally I use the illustration of an individual rowing his little craft down the Niagara River with his back toward the falls.  Without notice, he has passed all warning signs and is startled to find that he is already beyond the “Point Of No Return.”  This is the last stretch of river just before the falls in which the current is moving too quickly to reverse directions and paddle back upstream to safety.  At this point, unless someone intervenes, he is going over the falls, and probably to his watery grave.

  The illustration serves as the perfect parallel to many situations that are common in the lives of individuals, businesses, and nations. For example: Because of unrestrained, foolish spending, the national debt, which now stands at over $31 trillion dollars, will eventually pass the point of no return and our country will not be able to afford even the interest to service our debt.

 Similarly, our beloved nation has been paddling toward destruction in the moral and spiritual realms for many years.  We are even now precariously perched on the edge of a spiritual precipice with strengthening currents that threaten to push us into the abyss with every passing day.  Those who know God and are astute students of His Word, have been stationed along the route that brought us to where we are today, to sound the warning and aid in reversing the direction of our national drift.  But here we are, seemingly committed to the fast waters that promise to transport us to certain ruin. Is there yet hope?  YES!, but our deliverance will not be at the hand of a politician, nor any device of man, but by the God who created us. 

  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,  …Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;  To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.  Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.  For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name. (Psalm 33:12, 18–21).  “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2Chronicles7:14)

The Last Days?

  The Bible tells us plainly that Jesus is God’s Son; He is Deity.  “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (Colossians 1:16)”  During the first century, He lived, died and rose from the dead—a satisfactory substitute that would appease God the Father for our sins.  Before He ascended back to heaven, He promised that He would return to earth at the end of this age.

  The Bible makes it very clear that no one can know the day or hour that God will once again, supernaturally, intervene in the affairs of man, but He has described what the world will look like when Jesus returns: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (1 Timothy 4:1)”  “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. (2 Timothy 3:1)”  But wait, these descriptions are true of our day; many have departed from the faith, and perilous times are even now upon us.

  More specifically He tells us: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:2–5)”  As I have said, nobody knows when the end will come, but who can deny that these characteristics sound like our world today?

  Perhaps you think this is all a hoax, a master plan to deceive and steal away your pleasures, and make you accountable to God.  It is important to note that something is not true because I believe it; nor is it untrue because you don’t.  It behooves both of us to examine the evidence.  To think that there is no knowledge beyond our own understanding, and nothing more powerful than feeble man, is foolish.  What we observe in the universe, though not eternal, is very complex—its existence requires an eternal, all powerful God.