Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). No one can possibly fail to see the lawlessness that pervades our society today. On Tuesday, the nation watched as FBI Director James Comey laid out the case against Hillary Clinton for her total disregard for Federal Law and common sense over her handling of classified information. I don’t know about you but I sat in stunned disbelief as he announced there would be no recommendation for an indictment. As one who holds a TOP SECRET National Security Clearance, I am sure I would already be in jail had I been found to have mishandled only a fraction of the classified information Mrs. Clinton and her staff mishandled. One thing is for sure, there is no longer such a thing as the rule of law. Lawlessness is now firmly entrenched in our society and world.
Jesus foretold this lawlessness in Matthew as one of the signs leading up to His return to this world. I do not believe He is referring to lawlessness in a purely civil sense. I am sure He has in mind lawlessness as it relates to God’s law, as well. Consider how far we have come as a society in just a few short years. That which the Bible clearly calls evil society now calls good. Religious freedom, something not necessarily promised to us in Scripture, is now a thing of the past. Anyone who disagrees or takes a stand on purely religious conviction is shunned, ostracized, and destroyed. To me, it is like a giant whirlpool sucking everything and everyone towards the center of the vortex. I witnessed one such whirlpool as I sailed from Alaska to Washington a few years ago. As the outgoing tide increased in velocity it caused the waters of the intercostal waterway to begin to rotate until it looked something like the picture above. I am thankful the ferryboat captain chose to steer clear of this whirling vortex rather than sail through it. Such a picture is an excellent illustration of how lawlessness works. Society moves further and further away from God and morality at a faster and ever tightening pace.
Lawlessness, according to Scripture, will abound in the last days. Lawlessness, properly understood, is a life of disobedience to the law of God—a deliberate trampling upon His law. It is mankind’s contempt for God and his decision to do as he pleases. The Psalmist writes, “The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying ‘Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!’” (Psalm 2:2-3). Such is the irony of man’s rebellion—devising, conspiring, and scheming against God and His ways. The Bible, however, reveals God’s response to such foolishness. “He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King upon Zion, My holy mountain” (Psalm 2:4-6).
I can almost hear the Lord saying, “Scorn My law all you want to but there is a payday coming and it is coming very soon for My Son will soon return and establish His Kingdom which He will rule with a rod of iron and destroy all those who do evil.” Perhaps this is why the Psalmist writes a few verses later, “Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!” (Psalm 2:12) I do not know about you but as the tide of lawlessness rolls over the world and the rotating vortex of destruction sucks in anything and everything it can, I am taking refuge in Jesus. I would encourage you to do the same. The world is on a collision course to meet the God of the universe face-to-face. It will not be pretty. John writes, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds… And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:11-15). How will you fare when you meet God face-to-face? Will you perish in the way, as the Psalmist writes, or will you join Christ upon Zion—His holy mountain?
“But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling. My steps had almost slipped. For I was envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight. Until I came into the sanctuary of God; then I perceived their end” (Psalm 73:2-3, 16-17).
Why does God allow evil and suffering in the world? This is a question we are confronted with everyday. We turn on the news and see images of passenger jets slamming into buildings. We listen to the radio only to learn a sniper has taken yet another innocent life in and around our nation’s capital. We pick up the newspaper and learn of abuse allegations within the Church. We answer the telephone and receive news a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. We read and hear about the fact that in many parts of the world there are wars, famines, natural catastrophes, and epidemic diseases. It seems that everywhere we look, people are suffering. Furthermore, evil abounds and the evildoers seem to be getting away with the evil they perpetrate. It is no surprise that such evil and suffering and the supposed prosperity of the evildoer causes many to question how a good God can allow such evil and suffering. Such was the case with Asaph, the author of Psalm 73. He begins by saying, “But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling.” Why? Because he was “envious of the arrogant as I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” Like many believers today, Asaph almost lost his confidence in the Lord because he was envious of the prosperity of the wicked. Like most believers, Asaph struggled with why? Why does God seemingly allow the evildoer to prosper while the believer, who seeks to live righteously, suffers? To understand the answer to this question, we must look to eternity.
Our problem is that too often we view the purpose and promises of God in terms of our present personal happiness. However, we fail to realize that the purpose and promises of God are more about the coming of Christ’s kingdom than our individual enjoyment here and now. God’s focus is eternal. Therefore, as believers, we must focus on eternity. For us, life is more about eternity than it is about the here and now. For Asaph, the turning point for him came when he “came into the sanctuary of God.” It was there that his focus began to shift from now to eternity. He came to recognize that God would reward the righteous in eternity and destroy evil and the evildoer. Clearly, eternity makes all the difference. Paul says, “For momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4:17-18). This is the Word of the Lord!
I do not know what you are struggling with today. I do not know what losses you have experienced in life. I have no idea what evil you might have experienced. I can only testify to my own experiences. But this I do know, our citizenship is in heaven (1 Peter 1:1), and as believers, our questions will one day be answered. When? When we all get to heaven. Paul put it this way: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known” (1 Cor. 13:12). I do not understand fully now. However, in eternity I will know fully.
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