What follows is an email I wrote to my brother in response to his message which highlighted the hardness of this life and the tenebrous world to come. Please read with an open mind and a heart bent toward Christ, His Word, and His message of hope in the gospel.
“If the world didn’t suck so much, we’d all fall off.” – Unknown 🙂
There’s no doubt that, “…we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” – Ephesians 6:12. Though many find this topic foolish, it would be most beneficial for each of us to meditate deeply on these considerations at regular intervals.
On topic, last night I watched the documentary, “America: Freedom to Fascism.” The film chronicles the worldly view of what the bible previously prophesied regarding the coming doom of world government, united digital monetary systems, and implantable microchips; all as a system of global control and domination. Check it out next time you have 2 hours to spare – better yet, make time for it. The film will not serve as an agent to bring you out of depression (sorry ’bout that,) but it is well worth watching. When viewed from a view point of biblical prophesy, you may likely be brought low with Godly repentance… in well-placed fear of God. It is humanly amazing how world events are aligning with biblical prophesy, and how 99% of our world population seems fantastically duped… egotistically discounting the reality as a string of dismissible conspiracy theories.
Continuing on the positive note of God in control… it is required that we place our lives in His hands – as Stephen did in Acts chapters 6-7. Stephen embodied the courage and faith of this verse, “…I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.” – Luke 12:4-5. Spiritually, it is imperative we keep this powerful statement close at heart, striving to fully grasp its truth and depth, which cannot come to us of our own accord, but from God alone. We cannot simply conjure Godly repentance… rather we must petition the Lord with tears of reverence and humility in hopes that he may grant us eyes to see and ears to hear.
I think it is of much value for us to consider our end as if it were to come upon us tomorrow… what would we do? What would be the focus of our efforts in our last 24 hours? Would we sleep? Would we work through our budgets? Would we go to work? Or would we swiftly dash about our domain begging those within reach to repent and fear the God of the bible? I have a mind to believe I would do the latter… so what holds me back from doing it today? What is holding you back? Undoubtedly, that is a question each of us need answer for ourselves.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.” – II Timothy 1:7-13
Praise the Lord for His patience and longsuffering that far exceed anything our human minds can begin to comprehend. Now let us go out and serve God, according to his purpose for our lives.
Well said Matt! The world only begins to make sense when we come to realize that those “…principalities…powers…rulers of the darkness of this world…” are real and perpetual forces in the world. (Another translation attributes these to the “spiritual realm” which makes the case even deeper.)
I think one of the reasons anyone might be worn down about life or the world condition might be a belief in Utopianism–the belief that we’re moving toward and contributing to an ever better world. It’s a popular secular belief and it isn’t unique to our time. Though compelling, it’s also inconsistent with the hardship and tragedy we see all around. That disconnect, or contradiction, is what a lot of people struggle with. Progress toward a Utopian world is like chasing our tails and we might begin to realize it won’t be reached in this lifetime. (Or any other for that matter!)
Christianity teaches us to look heavenward–it doesn’t promise us worldly perfection, but rather struggle. In the secular sense that idea doesn’t win too many fans. But if we can realize and embrace that salvation is from and with God, the journey through a troubled world isn’t so perplexing. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” (2 Cor 4:17)
If it’s all about God, we can relax a bit and realize it isn’t all on our shoulders. If there’s no God, then it’s all for us, about us and dependent on us–that’s a burden no one can carry.
Matt Jabs says
“If it’s all about God,” is truthfully the only way bible Christians could have possibly embraced the suffering required them. Oh to be there… how comforting, to have a faith that transcends the troubles of this world and rests instead upon the hope of the promises of eternal life with Christ. That! is worth dying for.
Paul @ Tall Bunyan says
Well said Matt. You ask a very good question regarding my last days on earth. I’d like to think I’d also do the latter but I don’t know that I would. It’s also a convicting sentiment to make me think a little harder about those relationships I currently have where I’ve failed to bring up the conversation regarding the Gospel. This verse also makes me think more about a variety of my habits in life “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” 2 Timothy 1:7. Power, love and… self-discipline. That is something anyone should take to heart.
I will make time to watch this movie and see what it’s all about. In Him.
Matt Jabs says
I was thinking many of the same thoughts as I was writing this out Paul. Reading the history of Stephen in Acts 6-7 is a great way to help us conquer the spirit of fear!
Excellent to see you getting Tall Bunyan off the ground… exciting stuff. Godspeed.
Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black says
Thank you for writing this, as too many avoid this topic out of fear of offending, or of sounding crackers. It is a topic that gives me much thought, and indeed, much comfort. For if we didn’t know that God is ultimately in control and is the All in All, what would we have? Things of this world are tenuous and fleeting! We all need the reminder to discuss this more to bring hope to those around us, and to reach out to those who Don’t Know. Because I really can’t imagine a life without knowing Him and His Ultimate Plan for us and this world. Thank you God for your Kingdom and Glory to come by and by!
Matt Jabs says
So true Jolyn… thank you for your inspiring comment, and God bless.