Failing Fast

I’m a little worried about my cat, you see, she isn’t eating. Then I think and I realize that I haven’t been doing the exact same thing. I’m not taking in my daily portion of God’s Word like I used to. With it being so easy to access His Word on the internet I just haven’t found myself sitting down and reading it all. I remember watching Peter Pan sit down to eat with the Lost Boys in ‘Hook’ the places were all set, down to the utensils which were never used, they just had them. Has that happened to us? We have The Bible to have it, not to use it.

You see, if we used it, we would have to read it. We would have to hear it. We would have to eat it. We would have to do what it says. It’s so much easier having it than using it. No responsibility, or so we think. “12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. ” (Hebrews 4:12-13)

You know what happens when you skip an actual meal or two right? What happens when you skip spiritual meals? Something along the same lines, but in the end it leaves you without energy, without knowledge, and without the capability to respond to whatever comes your way. So, use it, read it, listen to it, eat up, and do what it says. Perhaps you’ll find yourself in a much better place, or at least, in one that isn’t worse.

Fear Not

Not long ago, I read a follow-up story about the wrong dooms-day prediction. Earlier that day, one mother was quite worried that her children would suffer, so she tried to kill them. She would have succeeded had the police not intervened, but the damage was done. Others were far more successful in committing suicide before the appointed date arrived. Fear entered the equation and the results were disastrous. It’s difficult to understand how believers can listen to the words of others so strongly and yet ignore the instructions of the Lord.

During Sunday School, our substitute teacher read from a book, what he said was basically this: One person was walking through the woods when he happened upon a moth’s cocoon. He saw that the creature was struggling to free itself and he wanted to set the creature free, so he carefully cut the cocoon. What he didn’t realize was that the process of freeing itself was what made the newly developed muscles strong enough to achieve flight. That moth was doomed to live out its entire existence unable to fly because a critical part of it’s development was skipped over.

It’s terrible to think of what people living through the end times as described in the Bible will go through. It’s horrible to think what life is like on a daily basis in a bad neighborhood. It’s just, you could try to spare somebody the horrors of living only to show them the gateway to torment in the process. You don’t know the hearts of your loved ones. You don’t know what it would take for them to choose heaven. If you believe, you have nothing to fear. If your loved ones believe, you have nothing to fear. If they don’t, then it is their choice and there’s not a thing you can do about it. One thing I do know is that committing murder most certainly isn’t the Lord’s work.

The Day After: Damage Control

I’ve been mostly absent from my blog for some time now, and I apologize for that – but for once I actually have something to say. Yesterday at around 6:00 (depending on your timezone) it was supposed to be the beginning of the end of the world. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people were disappointed to find out that the world did not end. Never mind the fact that people have been guessing wrong for a very long time, now it’s Christianity in general that looks foolish for a fairly small group of believers’ inability to read the Bible (Which in itself is nothing new.)

First of all, there is no exact date given in the Bible for the end of the world or just exactly what it would look like. The Bible doesn’t say: “And lo, on the twenty-first day of the fifth month eleven years after the millennium I shall come.” It doesn’t say: “Believer, if you divide the number of days since the flood by the dimensions of a bath taking away from it the time that the sun stood still in seconds you shall arrive at a figure which is that time in which I shall return.” The teaching of the rapture isn’t entirely agreed upon by the whole of Christianity. Some people say it won’t happen. Some say it’ll happen before, still others, in the middle, and some groups believe it’ll happen after. We don’t have a minute-by-minute plan, just a general play-book of what’ll come to pass.

So, just what does the fall-out look like? People are saying things like: “I knew it wasn’t the end of the world! The whole thing was made up.” “It’s time to examine these beliefs and whether or not it is time to finally set them aside.” “I went to the party with the non-believers and we’re all still here … I was disappointed to find out that the Christians are here, too. Oh well, you can’t win them all.” Congratulations, in one swift stroke you’ve managed to discredit Christianity. Where did you go wrong? Setting a date and time.

One person wrote that “Jesus’ return hasn’t happened since he left two-thousand years ago, one could argue that it was largely a non-event. Just like the promise of His Kingdom, believers are left with nothing to show for their efforts.” (And that was the nice paraphrase of a blog written by a believer!) So let’s look at their assertion: Jesus’ return won’t happen because he hasn’t come back yet. The thing about Christianity is that you have to have faith. If you throw a ball into the air, it’s going to have to come down eventually. If you don’t believe that Jesus will return, what profit is it to be a Christian? If you don’t believe that Jesus will return, who will reward you for your efforts? If you don’t believe that Jesus is – then what is the point? Then the point out how believer’s were let down when Jesus’ Kingdom didn’t materialize. The believers were expecting Jesus to set up a kingdom, build up an army, take out the powers that be, and lift up his people to their rightful place. What happened is that their beloved Jewish Rabbi was crucified on a tree. So, what happened? The believers had their hearts set on His Kingdom, but the didn’t recognize it as it was put into place all around them. Jesus might have been crucified as a Rabbi, but the sign above his head read “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”, he died as a king. Just what does his kingdom look like? It’s not what you expect. He is a King, he has an army of angels, but he has another army as well. They’re called Christians, and they’re aren’t supposed to guess, just follow Him to the best of their ability and understanding. Here too, you went wrong, following not His word, but His mistaken servant. Finally, they say that believers are left with nothing to show for their efforts. Is that really true? I can’t say. I don’t know the people who were having a bad day until somebody told them that God loved them. I don’t know if anybody was just about to end it until somebody told them that Jesus had died so that they could live. I don’t know the hearts of either groups involved. So I can’t say for sure that nothing is the result of this effort.

The thing of it is that all Christians have at one point discredited Christianity to some degree or other. It’s okay. Now here you have to do the hardest thing that there is: humbly apologize. Some of you have given up everything, now it’s time to serve Him with all that free time. Some of you have give up all your savings and possessions, now it’s time to read the Bible and do what it says. You know what you did the day before yesterday … keep on doing it, just don’t set a date. Keep believing in Him, keep serving Him, keep loving Him, Keep your focus on Him, that is what will help you through this. (and, for that matter, forgive His servant, he is your brother and perhaps he needs it most of all.)