Sunday, September 7, 2014

The End Times.7

"Do you see standing these temple walls? Truly I say to you, not one stone will be left upright! Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

The Michigan State University football team played the Oregon Ducks in a battle of top ten teams recently.  That is a fact.  Before the game was concieved in the minds of each school's athletic directors there was a chance, with the development of their programs, they'd be top ranked teams.  But no certainty. As game day approached, oddsmakers made the Ducks 12 point favorites.  I scoffed and predicted the mighty Spartans would win by two touchdowns!

I still have my day job.

The Spartans fell by a lopsided 46-27 score. Another fact.

Predicting the future is tricky business.  When emotions become a factor all kinds of crazy can happen.  Bets made, plans prepared, dizzying expectations launched and, most notably, facts ignored.

Much of life is spent trying to predict the future.  

  • If I take this job I can...
  • If I buy this house we will...
  • If I stick with this diet I'll have...
  • If I vote this candidate we will...
  • If I use this curriculum my kids will....
  • If I invest in this company it will....
  • This technology will...
  • If I marry this person we'll....
  • If I get my kids involved in this they'll...

How would you like to be the One Being in the Universe who can predict with absolute certainty the outcome of everything?!

Omniscience, by definition, means to hold all the facts of the entire universe and calculate in an instant of time the outcomes of every decision of every human being! 


Just think if I'd known --with certainty-- the final score of the Spartans/Ducks before the game was actually played how much emotional pain I could have saved myself.  Sad to know they'd lose but not emotionally crushed when they didn't live up to my expectations!

Although there were no Las Vegas oddsmakers around the time of 70 a.d., I'm quite sure the people of Israel, as tenuous as their position was with Rome, wouldn't have bet against themselves in keeping their nation together.  In fact, by handing the King of Truth over to Rome's quirky, malevolent judgment they bet on their own ability to escape condemnation!  

But God, himself, both warned and predicted that their collective decision to reject their King whose Kingdom is Love, would result in the very dispersion of their nation, scattered to the four winds of the world. Jerusalem has indeed been trampled under the foot of many nations for generations.  A historical certainty. 

All of this to say: our trust should not be in our ability to ascertain the future or understand all the predictions for this world.  Rather, our trust --and peace-- should be in the One who knows with certainty the final outcome of all that He's planned for every single person who is willing to know and love Him. 

You can bet on it!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The End Times.6

"The day will come when your enemies will lay a trench around your walls, and hem you in on every side. They will hurl you to the dust, and your children with you, and will not leave one stone standing upon another, all this because you failed to recognize the appointed time when God himself moved among you." 

"You can choose your behavior 
but you cannot choose your consequences." 
--The quiet admonition of a friend to her children.

Recently, a Canadian friend posted a comment about her favorable opinion of Barack Obama after listening to his audio version of "The Audacity of Hope." This sparked an animated discussion on whether a "good" person can author bad public policy.  One comment-er tried to make the case for his moral leadership by stating Obama's bad policy decisions are less bad than George W. Bush's. 

Social media allows us to air our opinions with more frequency and to a greater audience than at any time in the world's history.  But is the human race any more capable of discerning goodness than at any time in human history?  Can we see the "God-ness" in a particular event or person any more clearly than when God himself moved among us?


For some reason nearly every U.S. President is scrutinized by the public to determine their qualifications as saint or satan.  For instance, because Ronald Wilson Reagan had six letters in each of his names --666-- some were convinced it made him the Anti-Christ.  On the other hand Barbara Walters, venerated journalist, has referred to Barack Obama as Messiah. She's not alone in her adoration...

"Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. . . . He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh . . . Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves."
-- Ezra Klein

Had the Jewish nation embraced Jesus as their King how would the world be different today? The obvious answer is we Gentiles would not be here to consider the question! Their egregious rejection of God himself became our opportunity to be born...and born again! It also helps us understand God's willingness to allow his Will to be thwarted, at least temporarily, if not tragically, to sub-serve his greater purposes! 

If the challenge to first century humanity was to recognize God moving among men -- and the reaction to his birth indicates that centuries old prophecies had accomplished at the very least (for some) an awareness of the possibility of a heavenly visitation and (for others) an earnest anticipation -- is the challenge any less for modern mankind to avoid the same tragic mistake?  

If we don't have a certainty about Jesus the Man we have come to believe in and those qualities that make him the great I Am, how will we withstand the onslaught of false Messiah's with their promises of hope or threats of change for a world on fire? 

If you are putting your trust in doctrinal positions or theology, you will be swept up in the delusion that Jesus warned would impact even the elect.  

Will He find faith in Him on earth?  What is faith in Him? 
 "The leaving of your way, your objects, your self, and the taking of His and Him; the leaving of your trust in men, in money, in opinion, in character, in atonement itself, and doing as He tells you! To do His words is to enter into vital relation with Him, to obey Him is the only way to be One with Him! The relation between Him and us is an absolute one; it can nohow begin to live but in obedience: it is obedience!" -MacDonald
The Day is coming, and perhaps is closer than we think, when we must choose our allegiance between Jesus and this world order.  However, we make that choice daily by choosing to obey Him.  If you cannot think of one thing this day you have done because Jesus said do this or one thing you have not done because He said don't do this, you have good reason to fear you won't make the correct choice when it may cost you all!

Triumph or Tragedy.  Its all in a choice.  Choose today whom you will serve...