Who Is On The Lord’s Side?

  Perhaps you have noticed, we live in a day in which the spiritual battle between good and evil is raging.  For those of us who know the history recorded in the Bible, our minds are drawn to Exodus 32.  Israel had just been delivered from 430 years of bondage in Egypt, and Moses had been sent by God to lead them out.  Miraculously, God brought his millions to the foot of Mount Sinai where He would present His laws to Moses, but while Moses was on the mountain, many rebelled and engaged in idolatry and immorality.

  When Moses returned, as he approached the camp he could hear their jubilation below and cried out, “…Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. (Exodus 32:26)”  Many died that day as a result of their rebellion.

  While we are not Israel, and God’s instruction to His people today is not the same as in those days, there is a similar rebellion taking place today, as nations continue to fall away from the divine principles that insure life and peace.  In the fray, we are called to be warriors, not to fight a physical battle, but spiritual—to contend for truth and right.  So, we say with the songwriter…

Who is on the Lord’s side? Who will serve the King?
Who will be His helpers, other lives to bring?
Who will leave the world’s side? Who will face the foe?
Who is on the Lord’s side? Who for Him will go?
By Thy call of mercy, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

Fierce may be the conflict, strong may be the foe,
But the King’s own army none can overthrow;
Round His standard ranging, vict’ry is secure,
For His truth unchanging makes the triumph sure.
Joyfully enlisting, by Thy grace divine,
We are on the Lord’s side—Savior, we are Thine!

Hurry!

 It would probably be unsettling to know how many dollars have been wasted by people in a hurry, how many lives have been lost, how many homes destroyed, and how many dreadful emotions unwittingly unleashed.  Hurry at the wrong time can be quite devastating.  But at the same time, because of hurry, some have become rich, lives have been saved, homes have been preserved, and negative emotions have been avoided.  So, the point is, one must know when to hurry, and when to pull back on the reins.

    The Bible, the Word of God, gives several examples of things that should not be done hurriedly.  e.g. In the book of Acts, the Bereans were commended for not hurriedly accepting anything as truth, without first confirming it in the Scriptures. “These [Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (Acts 17:11)”

  In his first letter to Timothy, Paul instructs his young liaison not to move too quickly in ordaining a man to the ministry, because, in doing so, he would both condone, and become accomplice to, the sins of the man he appoints.  “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure. (1Timothy 5:22)”

  Biblical examples also abound, of things that must be hurried, because time is of an essence.  By far, the most important of these time sensitive issues is one’s preparation for life beyond the grave.  (Human beings, unlike all other living creatures, were created with eternal living souls.) “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,  And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28-29)”  Are you ready?  Which resurrection will you be a part of?

  “Getting ready” means to receive God’s forgiveness, by faith in Jesus Christ, who paid your sin’s penalty with His own blood. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)”

He’s Alive

  This announcement is almost always a cause for rejoicing: when a loved one is unearthed after a mining disaster, or a child is rescued out of a storm drain after a torrential rain, or when you rush to the hospital and finally get to the bedside of your father who has experienced a heart attack.  When you hear the words, “He’s Alive,” if you know God, you are compelled to shout, “Praise the Lord!,”—you know that He is the Giver and Sustainer of life!

  Jesus, God’s Son, understands your pain and emotion; He lived on earth for 33 years back in the first century (AD), and died a martyr’s death.  He was crucified (nailed to a cross) by the Roman soldiers at the behest of the High Priests and Pharisees of Jerusalem.  He was buried, and on the third day, some ladies went to His tomb only to discover that He was not there.  An angel appeared to them and said, “He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. (Matthew 28:6-7)”  The ladies left the tomb, to go and tell His disciples the most amazing news, “He’s Alive!”

  Paul later reported that, after the ladies, “…[Jesus] was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:  After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present [the time of writing], but some are fallen asleep [dead].  After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.  And last of all he was seen of me also [Paul], as of one born out of due time. (1Corinthians 15:3-8)”  Without a doubt, He’s Alive!

  Jesus died to pay the penalty for your sins; He rose from the dead to be your Savior and restore you to fellowship with God the Father.  John says, “…as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (John 1:12)”  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)  “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)”

Almost, But Lost

  In the first century, when Jesus had ascended back to heaven, two angels told the group of disciples that were gathered there, and had seen Him depart, “…this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11).”  These men committed their lives to telling the story of Jesus, beginning at Jerusalem and branching out into all the world.

  In time, they were joined by another Apostle, to whom the resurrected Jesus had appeared as he journeyed from Jerusalem to Damascus.  His name was Paul, and he was commissioned by the Lord to take His good news (gospel) to the Gentiles scattered across the Roman empire.  In time, Paul was arrested by the Jewish authorities who wanted to squelch all such preaching in Jesus’ name.  He was thrown into jail, and later, questioned by the authorities.  One of the inquisitors was King Agrippa (great grandson of Herod the Great).

  In telling his story, Paul conveyed to Agrippa that he had been sent, by the Lord Himself, to the Gentiles, “…To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, (Acts 26:18) “…Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. (Acts 26:22-23)”  Agrippa, responded, “…Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. (Acts 26:28)”  —almost, but lost.

  All but one of the apostles died martyr’s deaths for sharing God’s message of hope, …but, because of their sacrifice, many have found life and hope and peace by placing their trust in Jesus Christ as their personal deliverer (Savior).  Today, His message of deliverance from the penalty, power and presence of sin has been conveyed to you.  Now, “…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)”

Light and Darkness

   On Sunday morning, March 10th, all of our clocks were suddenly behind the times.  Daylight Savings Time, which is almost as predictable as a lunar eclipse, had rolled around again.  (I say “almost,” because the time Czar, whoever that may be, occasionally decides to change the date by a couple of days.)  Like it or not, the purpose is quite obvious; the change is an attempt to synchronize the daylight hours with our schedules.

  Light and darkness are used metaphorically several times, in the Bible.  In John 11:9-10, Jesus comforted His fearful disciples as they were about to enter hostile territory.  He explained how nothing could happen to Him, or to them, while it was yet day—a metaphor in which “day” represents the season of life (as determined by God), and “darkness” represents physical death.

  In a second, and more prevalent metaphor, “Light” is used with reference to God, spiritual life, and that which is right, good, and godly.  “Darkness” identifies with all that is opposed to God, with spiritual death, and that which is wrong, evil, and godless.  Consider how the Lord uses these terms in:

  “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended [overcame] it not. (John 1:1-5)”

  “He that believeth on him [Jesus] is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (John 3:18-21)”

  Jesus said, “…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (John 8:12)”