If there is one item that seems to dominate the news today it is the rampage of the Islamic group called ISIS. The world has been shocked by the scale of their brutality, which seems to be unprecedented in recent memory. It seems that every night we see and hear stories of the rape, murder, and pillaging of thousands of people who do not hold to their Islamic view of life. As this brutality and chaos spreads in the Middle East, there are literally thousands of people from all around the world, including the USA, who want to join ISIS. The goal of this group, by their own admission, is the re- establishment of an Islamic Caliphate that will bring about the restoration of true Islam.
The first time there was an attempt to redistribute wealth from rich to poor took place days before our Lord’s passion. As our Lord was getting ready to die for the sins of the world, Mary poured an expensive perfume on His feet to prepare our Lord’s body for burial. Judas Iscariot got angry and indignant about this waste and wanted to give the money to the poor. However, the Bible tells us that Judas did not really care about the poor because he was a thief (John 12:2-8). This story from the Bible provides an important insight into the whole history of wealth redistribution. At its root is a demonic spirit that cares little for the poor. Its ultimate goal is gaining power over others and attacking the Lord. History establishes this truth over and over again.
The one thing I never heard people say in the paper was, "THE REAL JESUS IS HERE!” The reason we don’t hear that is because everybody assumes the real Jesus is at their church. After all, it is a church, isn’t it? But what if a church doesn’t preach/teach about the real Jesus and the real Gospel?The Apostle Paul told the Galatians that there were many false “gospels” in the church world (Galatians 1:6-7). After all, aren’t there as many views and ideas about Jesus today as there were in our Lord’s Day? What if a church isn’t clear about our Lord as fully God and fully Man, the only Savior of the world? What if a church doesn’t believe in a Jesus that teaches marriage is only between a man and a woman as a wonderful and exclusive picture of Jesus’ love for the Church?
One of the most under-reported stories in America today is the spiritual battles we face. No one can look at the chaos unfolding in the world today and eliminate the spiritual realm as an influence. Even the Gallup poll says that 70% of Americans believe in the devil. That means that the vast majority of people realize that our battle is not just with what we see. The Bible, of course, has said this from the beginning. The devil came to people as a serpent using lies and deception to destroy our lives. This unseen spiritual battle is the focus of why the Lord Jesus came and died on the Cross. Our Lord came to destroy the works of the devil according to I John 3:8.
Of course long before Santayana was born, the Bible said the same thing in Ecclesiastes 1:9 where it states, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” The Bible is quite clear that history repeats itself because humanity has never changed.
The Bible is quite clear that just before the Lord Jesus’ return the professing Church will have a “form of godliness without any power” (II Timothy 3:5). It will be a time of apostasy or a turning away from the historic faith into a counterfeit one that people will accept as the real one. In other words, the Church will be a place where people have a religious belief, form, and practice, but it will be empty from the Lord’s perspective.
Whatever your view of some of these environmental issues, the real story is not being reported at all. The real story about Earth Day is what it represents on a spiritual level. Earth Day is really a worldview, a belief system... a religion, if you will. People may not think of this environmental movement to “save the planet” from human sin as a religion, but it drives many these days much more than going to church on Sunday and thinking about saving souls. Whereas the Bible is clearly more concerned about saving people, these folks just want to save the planet.
If you go back into the history of the struggles of the gay community in this country, a lot of things started to change on the morning of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, located in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. This date marked the beginning of the Gay Rights Movement in the world, after the New York Police unfairly treated the patrons of this now famous nightclub and bar.
In recent years, we have been watching the foundations of our Constitution begin to crack. For some people today, the law doesn’t really matter that much anymore. The law just gets in the way of what they want to do, so they are more than glad to vote for politicians who will change and/or eliminate some laws in clever ways that only a lawyer really understands. This pattern of increasing lawlessness is growing rapidly right now across the world, not just in the United States. People seem to be falling in love with charismatic leaders who promise them a life of freedom to do whatever they want to do, no matter what the laws of God or Man have to say.
For many people the Resurrection rests on nothing more than the Gospel narratives that the Tomb was empty and the faith of the apostles. This seeming lack of objective, empirical evidence has led to a huge amount of doubt, skepticism and outright unbelief. For many people the Resurrection doesn’t make sense and violates the laws of nature and science itself. I have read numerous articles, books and heard from many people who simply didn’t really believe in the Resurrection for a variety of logical reasons born from our modern, scientific age.
What is the Gospel? Who is Jesus? What is the Christian Faith all about? What is God trying to say to us? What should we be doing in the Church? These are but a few of the questions that every Christian should be asking themselves from time to time. If we cannot answer these basic questions, we are not going anywhere in the Christian life and we may lead others astray.
Over the years, I have come to see that there are many answers being given to the above questions. I never cease to be amazed by some of the answers people give when asked to define the Christian Faith. Some people believe Christianity is largely about living some sort of better moral life where we try to become better human beings. For others, the Christian Faith is a cause that helps us transform the injustices of life. A growing number of people see Christianity as a great tool to make them more prosperous, blessed and successful in life. If you really stop and think about it, there are almost as many ideas about the Christian Faith as there are people. Every person tends to shape the Faith and our Lord into their own image on some level.
If there is one thing we all should know about the Lord, it is that the Lord really loves this world and its people. When you study the history of missions you see that truth in all its glory. The history of the world is really the history of missions. The Lord has planned out a wonderful plan to share His love with this world that will continue right to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is drawing near.
The Lord Jesus in His "Olivet Discourse" in Matthew 24:14 tells the disciples that He would not return until the whole world had heard the gospel message. Isn't that an amazing truth? In other words, the Lord is carefully waiting to close this present age out until the gospel has been shared with everyone. That is the single reason why our Lord has not come back yet. People need to be saved, redeemed, and restored.
E=mc²"Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened."
The Bible is very clear that Jesus rose from the dead. This is the foundation of the Gospel and our faith according to I Corinthians 15. Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!!! I wanted to take the time to discuss a few thoughts about the Resurrection that may stir your heart toward seeing the greatness of our Lord in this central event of our faith. I hope this brief discussion is a blessing to you and that it will stretch your mind a bit about the greatness of our Lord.