by David Brenneman
Reading headlines can often bring a somber moment, a moment of laughter, or other emotions. Those into sports newscasting like to use the "David beat Goliath" analogies. When you look at court room recordings, you often can't help but cheer when justice comes to those we believe deserve it.
It's just that we don't like it when those things apply to us in most cases. We don't like being on the receiving end of 'justice' as the world sees it. We have a moment while driving and are snapped out of it with the nice Officer getting our attention both with his or her words and a slip of paper to go pay a fine.
We don't like it when defeat is inevitable. We go to most movies or stay home and watch such movies as those where out of nowhere a victory happens.
Most watch sports because they want to see and try to join in on the 'thrill of victory'.
There's always photos to see of the end of the major wars like WWII for example. Thousands captured for all time in an image of joy at it being over and their return to their homes.
There's so much rejoicing in Heaven at hearing of another person who came to Christ. We read about that in the Bible. Out of all the things in this universe that happen every single day...Heaven stops to rejoice over a single person who said yes to salvation in Christ Jesus.
Likewise there's much sadness evident in Hell when someone wakes up there. That defeat is permanent. That defeat lasts for eternity.
Reading in the last parts of my Bible reading in a year inevitably brings me to Revelation in December. To read of the battle of Armageddon. King Jesus speaks a word and the battle is over. The worst defeat ever in the history of mankind ends without a single volley, without a single thing from an opponent. King Jesus is there, He speaks a word and that's it. Game over before the coin toss.
The Beast and the False Prophet whom thought they were 'powerful' are tossed into the Lake of Fire as if their power was absolutely nothing, which is true...it was absolutely nothing in regards to the power of the Creater of all things.
The worst defeat. Who's side are you on? Those who were also on horses with Jesus at that battle were on His side. There...but not to do battle. There...to witness the finality the complete end of sinful rebellion against God.
In our daily lives we choose to either be witnesses of Christ or witnesses of ourselves to the world. We either are showing the world Jesus or showing the world us. When the world sees only us and not Jesus, that's not a good thing. When words are typed by us that drag people down, when words are spoken that tear people down...is that showing them Jesus? Do we excuse our behavior, our words because of our closeness to the things of this world? Do we condemn people and excuse it because we call it 'entertainment'? Do we?
It's not a good thing when we're so close to the world that the world cannot tell the difference between us and them. There's always supposed to be a difference. That difference is the light of Christ.
Consider this: when there's no difference visible or evident between us and the world it means we're hiding the light of Christ so that the world is only aware of our own darkness. When the world has no concerns about being around us because they don't see the light of Christ in us...be very very concerned about where you are in your walk with Jesus.
Paul said he became what he needed to be to all in order, if possible, to save some. He would not allow the light of Christ to be dim in his life for any reason. When Peter was being selective about showing the light of Christ, Paul called him out on it. Peter learned not to pick and choose when lives were on the line.
That's the thing about battles, about wars, lives are on the line. The New Testament teaches us that we battle not against flesh and blood. This truth means that every day we're at war with our flesh...first. Then with those around us who are still in darkness. We read in the opening chapters of the Gospel of John about the world loving the darkness rather than the light.
We are indeed at war...and the truth of the Gospels is this: When Jesus said it was finished...the defeat of Satan was sealed. The reality is between then and the final battle in the book of Revelation...is that the battles continued until then for the souls of men and women. People yet to be born whom God intended to be born needed to have their chance to say yes or no to Jesus. That's a huge thought. That's really huge. To consider that idea that all births of all human beings are planned and known by our Creator. Before we were born He knew us in our mother's womb. Science can try to water things down by all their talk about sperm and eggs...but God knows of every single person who ever would be born and wanted to give every single one the chance to know Jesus Christ.
The worst defeat in all history will be at that ending of the book of Revelation. Weapons of mankind, all the weapons of the evil forces of Satan, cannot and I repeat, cannot stop the will of God in Christ Jesus. Hollywood loves to show how the ingenuity of man can overcome every single type of alien created by them to face mankind. Everything from weird gross aliens to supposed 'gods' to sorcerer's to wizards. The truth is quite different. The truth is Jesus Christ IS God and His will WILL be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Defeat before Jesus in that moment is absolute. Just as the death nil of all who die physically is a sealed deal. To die without Christ as your savior is the first part of a permanent defeat. Later, the Bible shows us that even those who die without Christ get a glorified body, only to know that is what they will have as they are tossed into the Lake of Fire at the Final Judgement. It's not known just how much of this life we will remember going into eternity after that Final Judgment.
Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, will give everyone every opportunity to come to Christ for salvation. We will choose either to accept it or reject it. Those who choose to kill the unborn have not robbed anyone but themselves. Satan did not win even in that. Those babies rejected by mankind are all loved by their Creator and are already with Him. It is mankind that suffers the loss, accepted as that or not, of not getting to know that life that was snuffed out.
Satan's tried for all human history to defeat Jesus, to defeat the Father, to defeat the Spirit. Every single time he's failed. Why is he allowed to persist? I think it's to do with a verse from the Bible....which again...cannot be broken. Every one will be without excuse when they stand before Jesus. In my way of thinking as a troubleshooter...that means every possible combination of excuse will have had to happen in order to remove every possible excuse. There will never be anyone saying "but what about..." to Jesus. We see that Jesus silences all with a word. Every excuse will have an answer by the work of the Spirit of God.
You don't have to be on the 'losing side' of any battle with God. You may not fully understand it but you need to know that you're either among the saved in Christ or you're not. You are on a 'side'. There is no middle ground. When we see Jesus separating those who believe from those who don't, there is NO 3rd catagory for those who were on the fence. Notice it well that in no way does Jesus ASK anyone which side they are on in regards to salvation. He already knows and it is HE who will separate the believing from the unbelieving. Read it for yourself in the book of Revelation. Even those whom He does separate...will try to argue with Him, saying He got it wrong! Saying that they did all kinds of things in His name! He must be mistaken!
The most important part of your life is to know in this here, this now, where you stand in regards to salvation in Jesus Christ. Not to guess, not to wonder if you are or are not. Not to rely on 'being a good person'. Truth is there's trillions of 'good people' in Hell. When we come to Christ for salvation we are sealed, marked as it were, by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit, upon our death, testifies on our behalf to say we belong to Jesus, therefore we go to Heaven to be with Jesus.
It's amazing to me, when I observe the Godly men that I have known in my life...is that I see them living their lives in Christ as if that meant more to them than anything else in this world. As we read of how a Christian is to be in the New Testament...those men believed it...lived it. The ways of the world were not even an oder on their bodies. They promoted nothing of this world in any aspect of their lives. They pointed people to Jesus and let Jesus do what Jesus does in the lives of people when they see His light. When they see, hear, and come to know the love of Christ and are saved themselves...that's the true victory to be celebrated...and is rightly so in Heaven. I've worked at a few places that use the public address system to announce new clients, to announce hitting a goal, with a few words and someone ringing a bell. Heaven celebrates when a single person comes to Jesus.
We choose sides in every moment of our day. We choose to either show us or show Jesus, if we're saved in Christ Jesus. We either let the light of Christ illuminate our lives or we try to cover it up with excuses and 'reasons'.
For those who read this that have not come to Christ yet...what's holding you back? Reasons and excuses won't be enough when you stand before Jesus. Fear won't be a reason or an excuse. Anger and rage at God won't be a reason or an excuse. Let go of those things. The Bible says we cannot know what God has in store for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. He promises a life more abundant. We can know the love of God only found in Christ Jesus when we come to Him instead of dodging Him.
You don't have to be on that losing side. Nobody likes being on the losing side, but THAT losing side is the absolute wrong side with eternal consequences.
It's written in the Bible that people will mock God about His return. Interestingly enough people are the reason why He's not returned yet. He will come again when that singular second in human history that the Father says is it happpens. He isn't being slow about His promised return He's trying to give people the chance to know Him.
The thing about dying without Jesus is that it's a permanent defeat.
The thing about dying with Jesus is that it's a permanent victory.
Post a Comment