Skip to comments.As It Gets Worse, It Cannot Get Desperate
Posted on 01/18/2013 8:58:04 PM PST by ReformationFan
For John had been saying to Herod, It is not lawful for you to have your brothers wife. And Herodias had a grudge against him and wanted to put him to death. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he kept him safe. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly. Mark 6:18-20
We have been tracking the shift for some time. To simply say what the Bible says as one who believes what it says, of course, not as some gawker agog at its impoliteness is defamatory, thought crime, hate speech, what have you.
Lets first be cautious. No ones being burnt at the stake for their faith. No ones even being thrown in prison. No one in these parts, anyway.
Now lets be honest. The trend is downward. These things are actual crimes in quote-unquote civilized nations, and we would be arrogant to act like laws like that could never be enacted here. Every unfree nation got unfree while making great assurances to its people.
But lets be realistic. The kingdom of God is so much bigger than empires of the world. Lets be cautious and lets be honest lets not get into histrionics but lets not put our head in the sand but lets remember exactly whos in charge here. The Western world may be moving from Herod (a disbelieving openness to our voice) to Herodias (a hostile calling for our head), but the situation is never so grim as all that. We may get what we dont deserve but we will be getting exactly what weve been promised. In this world you will have trouble (John 16:33). Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you (1 John 3:13).
Our Sovereign Lord isnt making this all up as he goes along. The Trinity holds no emergency sessions.
Take heart; I have overcome the world, John 16:33 continues.
Christ the Lord sustains the universe by his powerful word, he declares the end from the beginning, he laughs kings to scorn, he walks on the storms, he stirs the mighty seas, he makes the mountains his footstool, he brims with sovereign glory from everlasting to everlasting. He is God.
And so: Will we bear the derision and disgrace? Yes, and count it wealth (Hebrews 11:26). Will we suffer the plundering of our property? Yes, and count it joy (Hebrews 10:34). Will we suffer division in our families and communities? Yes, and count it worthiness of Christ (Matthew 10:37).
To take up ones cross meant one thing in Jesus day. They did not have the luxury of metaphorizing it as we have for so long.
But cheer up.The worst thing they can do is kill us (Matthew 10:28). And we all know what Jesus does with dead stuff.
Let us be resolute together to agree that whatever makes us more like Jesus, be it comfort or cross, is authorized by God, and believe he will not take anything needful away from us that he wont return to us a million-fold. In fact, even if they kill us, it isnt the end of the world. Paul writes:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (2 Corinthiains 4:7-9)
What this all means is that, while it might get worse for us, it cannot get desperate. Oh, you want to kill me? I must object for both of our sakes, but in any event, I gave myself up for dead long ago anyway (Galatians 6:14). The Christian is united with Christ (Romans 8:1), seated with him (Ephesians 2:6), hidden with him in God (Colossians 3:3), indivisible from him by life or death (John 10:29), Romans 8:38-39). Therefore, the Christian is as secure as Christ himself.
World, death, devil, hell, away and leave me in peace! You have no hold on me. If you will not let me live, then I will die. But you wont succeed in that. Chop my head off, and it wont harm me. I have a God who will give me a new one.
As it is written, For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:36-37
Better be sure of your salvation while we are descending into chaos...
Divinely truthful, profoundly expressed. Hope springs eternal. Desperation is the enemy of hope.
That was beautiful, thank you.
Thank you for posting this. May God bless all who read it.
There is no safety or security here anymore. We are all prey.
But God is our Lion.
The lesson of the Holy Gospel builds us up unto the duty of praying and believing, and of not putting our trust in ourselves, but in the Lord. What greater encouragement to prayer than the parable which is proposed to us of the unjust judge? For an unjust judge, who feared not God, nor regarded man, yet gave ear to a widow who besought him, overcome by her importunity, not inclined thereto by kindness. If he then heard her prayer, who hated to be asked, how must He hear who exhorts us to ask? When therefore by this comparison from a contrary case the Lord had taught that men ought always to pray and not to faint, He added and said, Nevertheless, when the Son of Man shall come, do you think that He shall find faith on the earth? If faith fail, prayer perishes. For who prays for that which he does not believe? Whence also the blessed Apostle, when he exhorted to prayer, said, Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord, shall be saved. And in order to show that faith is the fountain of prayer, he went on and said, How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? So then that we may pray, let us believe; and that this same faith whereby we pray fail not, let us pray. Faith pours out prayer, and the pouring out of prayer obtains the strengthening of faith. Faith, I say, pours out prayer, the pouring out of prayer obtains strengthening even for faith itself. For that faith might not fail in temptations, therefore did the Lord say, Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. Watch, He says, and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. What is to enter into temptation, but to depart from faith? For so far temptation advances as faith gives way: and so far temptation gives way, as faith advances. For that you may know, Beloved, more plainly, that the Lord said, Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation, as touching faith lest it should fail and perish; He said in the same place of the Gospel, This night has Satan desired to sift you as wheat, and I have prayed for you, Peter, that your faith fail not. He that defends prays, and shall not he pray who is in peril? For in the words of the Lord, when the Son of Man shall come, do you think that He shall find faith on the earth? He spoke of that faith, which is perfect. For it is scarce found on the earth. Lo! This Church of God is full: and who would come hither, if there were no faith? But who would not remove mountains, if there were full faith? Look at the very Apostles: they would not have left all they had, have trodden under foot this world’s hope, and followed the Lord, if they had not had great faith; and yet if they had full faith, they would not have said to the Lord, Increase our faith. See again, that man confessing both of himself (behold faith, yet not full faith), who when he had presented to the Lord his son to be cured of an evil spirit, and was asked whether he believed, answered and said, Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Lord, says he, I believe, I believe; therefore there was faith. But help my unbelief, therefore there was not full faith.
2. But inasmuch as faith belongs not to the proud, but to the humble, He spoke this parable unto certain who seemed to themselves to be righteous, and despised others. Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee said, God, I thank You that I am not as the rest of men. He might at least have said, as many men. What does, as the rest of men, mean, but all except himself? I, he says, am just, the rest are sinners. I am not as the rest of men, unjust, extortioners, adulterers. And, lo, from your neighbour, the publican, you take occasion of greater pride. As, he says, this publican. I, he says, am alone, he is of the rest. I am not, says he, such as he is, through my righteous deeds, whereby I have no unrighteousness. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. In all his words seek out for any one thing that he asked of God, and you will find nothing. He went up to pray: he had no mind to pray to God, but to laud himself. Nay, it is but a small part of it, that he prayed not to God, but lauded himself. More than this he even mocked him that did pray. But the Publican stood afar off; and yet he was in deed near to God. The consciousness of his heart kept him off, piety brought him close. But the Publican stood afar off: yet the Lord regarded him near. For the Lord is high, yet has He respect unto the lowly. But those that are high as was this Pharisee, He knows afar off. The high indeed God knows afar off, but He does not pardon them. Hear still more the humility of the Publican. It is but a small matter that he stood afar off; he did not even lift up his eyes unto heaven. He looked not, that he might be looked upon. He did not dare to look upwards, his conscience pressed him down: but hope lifted him up. Hear again, he smote his breast. He punished himself: wherefore the Lord spared him for his confession. He smote his breast, saying, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. See who he is that prays. Why do you marvel that God should pardon, when he acknowledges his own sin? Thus you have heard the case of the Pharisee and Publican; now hear the sentence; you have heard the proud accuser, you have heard the humble criminal; hear now the Judge. Verily I say unto you. The Truth says, God says, the Judge says it. Verily I say unto you, That Publican went down from the temple justified rather than that Pharisee. Tell us, Lord, the cause. Lo! I see that the publican goes down from the temple justified rather than the Pharisee. I ask why? Do you ask why? Hear why. Because every one that exalts himself shall be abased, and he that humbles himself shall be exalted. You have heard the sentence, beware of its evil cause. In other words, you have heard the sentence, beware of pride.
if only he hadn’t ended with a quote from Luther............still I have a very hard time with this suffering that has been for more than 5 years now.....yes, I am afflicted but not crushed. I really couldn’t care less if I am crushed now, things have gotten so miserable it might be a relief.
“if only he hadnt ended with a quote from Luther”
Well, this article comes from a Protestant website after all.
“............still I have a very hard time with this suffering that has been for more than 5 years now.....yes, I am afflicted but not crushed. I really couldnt care less if I am crushed now, things have gotten so miserable it might be a relief.”
I’m sorry to read this. I pray that your suffering is alleviated. I like your “My heroes have always been cowboys” signature.