We can have enormous disappointments in our lives. Respected individuals have failed us; respected Christian gatherings or denominations have turned out badly; our nearest relations disappoint; we are alarmed at what we find within ourselves; governments fail; economies crash; our own health can give way; at times even Mother earth - the last stable thing that we have - quakes, and that really unnerves the bravest.
When your whole world seems to collapse, and nothing is stable or certain, cling to this grand fact - God is there! He is above everything and unchanging. Eternal.
How do I know He is there? By faith. Faith reaches out and acknowledges God. [We reach God through our need not through the reasoning of our intellect.]
Hebrews 11:6 - "But without faith it is impossible to please him [God]. For he that draws near to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him out."
Once I acknowledge that God is there, then I recognise that He has a right to make Himself known.
This He has done in the person of the Son, Jesus Christ. He has made known the grace and the truth of God. We have lost the right to life because of sin, but Christ has suffered, "the just one for the unjust, that He might bring us to God". Scripture tells me that "God commends his love to us, in that, we being still sinners, Christ has died for us", [Romans 5:8]. The reader well knows that no founder of a religion, whether of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. has ever died for his people, and even had any done so, it would not have availed anything before God. Only the death of the Perfect Offering could effect our justification. His resurrection is the proof that Christ's suffering for sin has been accepted by God ?attested to by many witnesses. His ascension was also witnessed. This means that we have a living Saviour. Not only did He rise from among the dead, but in His service here He raised persons from the dead. This in itself points to the fact that He has the power to raise all.
But Scripture tells us that there are two resurrections, that of the just and that of the wicked; the first is to eternal joy, the second to be judged and consigned to eternal punishment. God is infinitely fair. No one will be in hell because they "could not" believe, but because they "would not".
People are making their own hell now. Just imagine being alone with the worm of
conscience gnawing at one eternally, having ignored Christ and the grace of God -
"where their worm dies not and the fire is not quenched" as the Bible says; alone
in the outer darkness, away from the presence of God, with no forgetfulness, in torment of one's own making - remembering the sins of commission and omission.
People wonder why evil and chaos is allowed now. God waits for people to repent. If not, all actions will be brought to account at the day of reckoning.
Despite the solemnity of the above, we can say that "today is the day of salvation, now is the accepted time". The great news is that only repentance and faith are required from us. "Repentance towards God and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ", [Acts 20:21]. Christ has completed the work of redemption for us. We can contribute nothing to that. We become new persons, i.e. we have new tastes and desires. We are given the Holy Spirit and so have power for living rightly. The law of Moses made demands, but gave no power. Good works are to mark a believer in Christ - not to get life, but as enjoying the life of Christ, good works are the natural outcome.
To return to the people and institutions that disappoint as we discussed at the beginning of this paper. We can now look at things with a calmness that is superior to the distresses caused. We now know not to have faith in persons or anything here on earth - our faith is to be in Christ. He is the only man of whom it can be said:
"The same yesterday, and to-day, and to the ages to come", Hebrews 13:8.
MM January 2009