Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2). It was C.S. Lewis who said, “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it?” The Bible teaches God’s approval comes by way of faith (Hebrews 11:1-2). In fact, the Bible makes it crystal clear that our faith, when perfected, is more valuable than anything we could ever imagine (1 Peter 1:7). Perhaps this is why the writer of Hebrews goes to great lengths to underscore the importance of living by faith. He teaches us about the nature of faith, the honor associated with it, and its way of seeing things. The entire eleventh chapter reveals the honor associated with faith through the lives of Old Testament saints. In the next chapter the writer describes living by faith in athletic terms—running a race. In so doing, he encourages those of us who name the name of Christ to run the race of life by faith, just like the Old Testament saints described in the preceding chapter.
The faith examples of Old Testament saints are amazing and certainly worth emulating. But there are also modern examples for us to follow. One such example is Jack Kinsella. Jack loved Jesus and took Him at His word. His knack for current events and Bible prophecy was second to none. I first heard about Jack through the radio ministry of Jan Markell. Following her recommendation I visited his website, The Omega Letter, and subscribed to his daily intelligence briefing. I ordered his book, The Last Generation, and was amazed at his biblical insight. Later I learned Jack wrote often for The Hal Lindsey Report. In December 2011, I had the opportunity to meet him, two of his daughters, and one of his grandsons, and other Omega Letter friends as we shared a meal together near Dallas, Texas. I found him to be so personable that it felt like I had known him all my life. Jack was the real deal. In other words, what you saw is what you got. He was completely down to earth, and when questioned about a particular subject or event, responded by taking you straight to Jesus. I remember one of his comments at dinner that night, “If things can go in one of two directions they will always go in the direction the Bible says.” Jack believed God and took His word seriously. Every single one of his daily briefings reflected this. They were all written around the theme of here’s what’s going on in the world, here’s what God says, so here’s what we can expect. They were spot on every single time! Jack was one of a kind and I think that’s why all of us in the Omega Letter family were shocked a few weeks ago when we learned of his illness and saddened on Friday to learn he had departed this world. But even though we grieve, we do not “grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again and know that God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). Jack has not missed The Rapture!
His obituary related how Jack, “lived life to the absolute fullest and made every moment count. Being ready at all times to give an answer for the hope that was in him.” Indeed, his life was a life of uncompromising faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, one dedicated, “to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ preaching, teaching and mentoring until the Lord took him from this world to grant him his heavenly rewards.” If ever there was a man about whom we could say run like he ran, it is Jack. In 1962, at the tender age of ten, Jack won the Carnegie Award for Heroism for helping to save a young girl who was drowning. Clearly Jack was a hero from the very early days of his life. But perhaps the greatest thing that could be said of Jack is he is now a hero of the faith. Jack now joins that “great cloud of witnesses surrounding us,” and his faith and life well lived now motivates us who remain to give it all we have and run the race set before us. How do we do this? The same way Jack did, by “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Yes, let us run like Jack ran… until we see Jesus! After all, "He who believes in Him will not be disappointed" (1 Peter 2:6b).
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
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