Before you finish that thought, take a gander at this. We find what we are looking for in the least likely places sometimes. Other times the answers are right in front of us.
A few weeks ago I visited another church to hear my brother-in-Christ preach on a beautiful Sunday morning. I’d made excuses as to why I absolutely needed to serve at my home church unyieldingly. But I was convinced otherwise. So many little distractions sought to derail me from hearing this meaningful sermon. Alas, I arrived unscathed and unrattled.
The humidity was high and the fans were whirling. The sweaty brows were merely preparing for the message that had been prepared days before. Days before. The message was about the days that were left. The minutes that were left. And if there was anything that would make a soul sweat, it’s the uncertainty. “Am I worthy?” That’s the question that is so often asked. And the answer is yes! “Is there time?” That’s a question that is not easily answered.
Spoiler alert! Tomorrow is not promised.
He preached on the book of Revelations. Specifically the tribulations as described in Revelations 6:1 I shall call them the Dees. There was Dominion; the Division that we are witnessing daily with the injustice and civil unrest in our nation and the world; the Deprivation that we can not ignore unless we live far from the urban areas; and the Destruction that is eminent.
This book of the Bible is always fascinating to folks who enjoy science fiction. However, calling any part of the Bible science fiction is practically blasphemy. Believers embrace it as truth, but non-believers become intrigued. If not for the evidence from our history and contemporary proof, agnostics and atheists would debunk every prediction as a scare tactic or as fables and myths.
Simply put, we are ignoring the laws that have been laid before us by God. Matthew 18:18 provides a rule for adhering to the laws made here on earth. We are making our own laws that could potentially be recognized in heaven (if we as a culture would adhere to them here on earth). But we do not. Romans 13:1-7 speaks a more intense truth.
Our laws are outdated, our law makers are corrupt and distracted, and our prisons are filled. We have allowed the wrong forces to rule dominion over us. Only when there is mass oppression is there an uprising. Where were the rebels when the laws were proposed? Who spoke up when the votes were cast? How did we as a people get so distracted? We’ve sought the world instead of God, and now can not recognize Him and His word unless it is discretely placed on a track in our favorite song. Even then God’s word is misquoted, misrepresented, and misguiding.
With the Bible being the most purchased book in the English language, it is still the least read. Seek ye first the kingdom of God. How do we know when scripture is taken out of context? We don’t. We defend that it was written by man, translated by man, and facilitated by man to justify man’s will, not God’s. The southern doctrine of slavery is proof positive of this. Global missionaries are also facilitated and supported based on the Bible and man’s interpretation that the gospel must be read from the highest mountain. This is not hypocrisy. This is doctrine. Without guidance however, mankind too often misinterprets the rules by calling them guidelines.
We witness division daily. We can not turn on the news without hearing about how “they” have oppressed us; or how “our” rights and liberties are in jeopardy. Them verses us is the daily argument. There hasn’t been a week in the past three years that our nation has not seen a steady incline of inequality. Foreign nations have been dealing with civil unrest for hundreds of years! The fights over the Holy Land have escalated to the point that the hype of the war-torn regions no longer peaks the interest of media fanatics. It’s no longer news.
There’s division in race, gender, sexuality, nationality, religion and creed, age, and the list goes on. The oppressors worry that they will become the oppressed. The fear is that vengeance will be sought by the righteous. But it is the meek who shall inherit the earth. Blessed are the righteous!
We see starving families at all corners of the world. When we can’t see it, the media surely broadcasts the impoverished nations for profit (either through corporate sponsorship or via fundraising campaigns). Scandal plagues our world and chips away at what is left of our trust and social conscience. Even the righteous and giving are left to feel stupid and used as they seek to follow God’s word–to help right the wrongs of the world. Trust is lost. The hungry continue to starve as fewer people want to help. Servants of God dwindle as the true believers struggle all alone.
Our society has no relief for the vacant homes that outnumber the homeless. The homeless perish in the winds of destruction, the floods, and the oppressive heat that is unpredicted and unexplained. The leaders rush to make sense of the perilous times as the followers scrutinize every decision. We believe everything that we read. But we refuse to check our source. We’ve no longer insisted on checking our facts. We deprive ourselves of knowledge for the sake of time. We refuse to use that same time that we saved to think about what we are doing.
The hungry stay hungry. Even the rich squander their wealth, risk their health, abuse life, and (stolen) liberty to maintain their privileged lifestyle. Don’t take my word for it (click on any of the highlighted links above to read more).
Although the apocalypse describes characteristics of our culture that are already present, in fact the worse has not yet occurred. We are only getting a glimpse. It took what was described as seven days to create the world (and the scientists translate those “days” into billions of years). Could not the last “days” already be amongst us?
Even the secular world is beginning to see the signs and the impending doom. I take relief only in knowing that despite the signs of impending doom, the mere prediction is not enough to know for certain. We won’t know. We won’t see it coming. And there won’t be anytime to prepare once it has begun.
It’s not too late to get right with The Lord. Tomorrow is not promised, but we still have right now. This is not a final synopsis. It’s important to get right today. Immediately! But even after salvation, there is much work to be done here on earth. The saints emphasize serving the Lord. We serve Him by serving man, but not by serving ourselves individually. It is the world that makes salvation tricky. There are no tricks in God’s word.
Be mindful of the D’s. In a time when we believe everything that we see, most of what we read, and a lot of what we hear, we are gravely at risk. We’ve given dominion to the wrong authority. We’ve willingly divided ourselves. We watched the destruction and simply rebuilt our lives on sinking sand. Waiting for the destruction makes even less sense.