Saturday, July 25, 2020

Apostasy In Jerusalem

Bobservations Column
By Pastor Bob Lawrenz

 In 1948, C.S. Lewis wrote his lesser known book, “ON LIVING IN AN ATOMIC AGE” just three years after the end of WW II, and the Age of Weapons of Mass Destruction had been ushered in. Though 220,000 died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, millions of other lives were saved. 
Enter 2020: If Lewis were alive today, he might do a book update entitled, “ON LIVING IN THE COVID-19 AGE.” Were Lewis to update his book, only the title would change. Inconsistent information, and contradictory paths for treatment abound. Today, much of the world is paralyzed by fear once again, as it was after atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. If masks work, why are we social distancing? If social distancing works, why are we wearing masks? Hydro-Chloroquine, or some vaccine that doesn’t even exist yet? Whose reports are we to believe?

Lewis reminded us that living in this fleshly world was 100% fatal. No one would request a painful death. But as scientific research gave us the A-bomb, it has also given us anesthesia, pain killers, medical treatments and even cures for much of what ails us!

Lewis also reminded us as Christians, we were not to go hide with long faces. We ware instead to occupy our time with normal human activities: prayer, raising our children, working, teaching, and sharing time with others. We are to pull ourselves together and experience the fullness of peace and joy that Jesus has provided for those that are truly His, and share it with others!

And, with all of science’s advancements, there is still only one cure for death: 

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: …” - John 3:36
The story has been told and re-told of thousands of starfish that lay dying on a beach, baking in the sun after a storm washed them ashore. A child was tossing them back into the sea one by one, when an adult laughed and said to the child that all his work would not matter. Tossing another back into the water, the child responded, “It matters to that one!”
“He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.”Ezekiel 35:5

 Today's Audio Message: "Apostasy In Jerusalem"
"When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8.  

When Jesus asked this question, He was talking to the disciples about the importance of prayer and not losing heart.  This is something those living in the last days before Jesus’ return need to grab hold of.  We are living in a time of extreme stress, and chaos.  Christians will be tempted to lose heart and give up in the face of a world that for the most part rejects the message of the Gospel and opposes those who believe it.

That is what is going on in Jeremiah 38.  Jeremiah is delivering God’s warning to the people, and when the princes of Jerusalem heard the words he had spoken to the people, they were angered. There confidence was in human strength and might, not in God. They refuse Jeremiah's warning because they have no faith in God.  This is very like what we see happening in our world today.  Mankind has replaced their faith in God, with faith in themselves. Their anger, and unjust treatment of God's messenger portray hearts that have sunk deep into the mire of their own sin.  Strange that this is exactly what they did to Jeremiah.  Jeremiah is taken and lowered down into a miry dungeon, SUNK IN. 

What a perfect description of apostasy - a deep, sludgy, intractable prison. Regardless of the  difficult situations we will face on earth, God will avenge his own…those who cry out to Him day and night. The question that faces us is will we remain faithful to Him, or will we compromise and walk away?  God’s word cannot be silenced, He is faithful to His Word and it will come to pass. 

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