My friends and I were wondering recently why Evangelicals seem to be the only ones who actively evangelize anymore. It’s baffling, but I think I’ve stumbled upon the reason:
It is because they believe in God.
Let me explain. Most Evangelicals grow up reading, learning and memorizing the Bible - i.e. the Word of God. Because of that, I think they know Him a little better. They know his history, his actions, his feelings, his likes and his dislikes. After all, we only know someone exists - when we know him. Evangelicals, having come to know The Word, know Him who calls Himself: “The Word”.
At least enough to believe in Him.
Oh, we other Christians believe in God. That is, we say we do; and then…
We are in the midst of a global pandemic right now. Marxist mobs are roaming about the US; burning and killing. Every day, I receive yet another devastating news clip from someone; bemoaning the state of the world and wondering how we will ever survive. Somehow, I think we forget that God is not in a closet - quivering and shaking with fear.
I think… He’s got this. Yet do we know it?
…Speaking of masks, and hand sanitizers…
The interesting thing about this Pandemic, is discovering that so few people actually believe in God anymore. People are terrified, I mean TERRIFIED, of dying - and I’m talking about the Christians!
Do you know why the ancient Romans converted to Christianity in such huge numbers - when to do so meant death? It was because Christians, unlike every other person on the face of the earth at that time, were not afraid of dying! For some strange reason, Christians seemed to think that dying was not so bad. After all, wasn’t Jesus walking around chatting with his buddies after His death? Wasn’t Paul writing the Corinthians and mocking death with his little ditty: "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 1 Cor. 15:55
At a time when the authorities could make anyone do anything they wanted for fear of death - they were baffled by Christians who said, in so many words: “Oh yeah? Bring it on, man!”
And what really clinched it is that during the plagues that swept through Rome in the early years of the church; all the Romans fled the city and left the sick - their own family members - behind. Except the Christians. They stayed and physically cared for everyone - Christian or not…
The Pagans took notice.
1,000 years later, Christians were still at it. Even Martin Luther wrote his famous mandate after so many fled yet another plague. In it he laid down the law for Christians in times of plague: “We die at our posts.”
People all throughout history have never seen such fearlessness of death before - and so they want whatever it is that gives Christians that power and confidence - and they flock to Jesus Christ.
Fast forward to today…
Do I really need to say more? I have even seen clergy afraid of dying; yet Jesus himself told us: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matt. 10:28
We and our ministers have abandoned ourselves into the hands of secular leaders, claiming they ‘know best’ for us. Meanwhile, these are the same secular leaders who are slaughtering our unborn children in leaps and bounds.
Really? REALLY? They know BEST for us?!!
I would think that the definition of one who slaughters innocent life, and openly celebrates it, would fall under the category of “One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” But hey, what do I know? Maybe they’re really ‘nice’ people at heart, who actually do ‘care best’ for our 'lives'.
We Christians have in front of us a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to convert the billions of people who do not believe in God - and…
We. Are. Missing. It.
Instead, we stand 6 feet away from people who are hurting and terrified, while busily wringing our well-sanitized hands and tightening our masks. At best, we will yell at them for not taking this ‘seriously’.
And we call ourselves “Followers of Christ”. Now that will make you laugh.
I know, I know. It’s not that we are terrified of dying; it’s just that we don’t want to leave behind all those others who depend on us!
But isn’t it great to know that we are so much smarter, and wiser, than God? I mean, if He were to bring us back home to heaven today - how in the world would He be able to figure out how to care for all those in our charge? I bet He’s so grateful He has us to handle that one for him. Otherwise, He’d be back in that closet - quivering and shaking in fear.
Or how about this one: “I’m not ready to go yet.”
Why, is our place better than His?
“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” Sound familiar? It should; Jesus told us that.
Was He lying? Is His place really worse than ours? Do we live in ‘many mansions’ here? Is our city made of pure gold?
“Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven… and the city was made of pure gold, clear as crystal.” Rev. 21: 2, 18.
Again, do we KNOW God? Maybe, but do we BELIEVE?
I heard a Seminarian state it beautifully recently when someone asked him, with trembling voice, “Why, oh WHY, is God allowing all this to happen?!!”
Without missing a beat, the seminarian said, “Because He wouldn’t have it any other way.” Now that brought things to a dead stop.
But then he explained that God gives us free will, and in doing that - He shows how much He loves us. And as my Evangelical friends would say, ‘don’t worry’ - because God tells us in His Word that no matter what we do with that ‘free will’; He then “works all things out for those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Not some things; but ALL things. I don’t know; but I guess that’s cause He’s GOD - ya think?
So, (follow my logic here), if God works ALL things out for good according to His Purpose - then what might that ‘purpose’ be?
Well, whatya know - He’s already told us.
“For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; who desires all people to be saved and to come to full knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim. 2:3-4)
So, if God can use a Marxist Mob to save people & bring them to the full knowledge of the truth - should I be biting my nails in dread - OR shaking my head in joyful wonder at His Power and ability to turn even THAT on its head? Shouldn’t we be waiting with amused excitement to see how He works this one out? Shouldn’t we be telling our friends that we knew He was good - but wow - this one takes the cake! It’s like waiting for the fireworks show: it’s going to be glorious, and it’s going to take our breath away; but it sure as shootin’ isn’t going to worry us to death.
You know, we forget. Remember a guy named Moses? Well, sure, the wonders done in Egypt were pretty impressive; but that’s not what struck fear into the heart of every other nation on earth at the time. What terrified them is that when the Israelites were flat up against the Red Sea, with the Egyptians breathing down on them like a Marxist Mob - God split the freaking Sea in HALF - and had them march right through it!
Oh; and then He wiped out all the arrogant Egyptians while He was at it.
You know how they say, “Don’t Mess with Texas”? Well, not even a Texan could pull that one off.
Now here’s a News Flash - That God is the same one who has our back today. “Jesus Christ never changes! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Heb. 13:8; and, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by ... change.” James 1:16-17.
God has not changed - heck, He hasn’t even gotten a day older; and that ‘Red Sea Incident’ happened over 3,000 years ago! We, on the other hand, can’t even seem to cover our grey after 60 years; and we’re supposed to trust in ourselves?
And so, there is a true danger in absorbing and staying on top of every single negative thing happening today. It’s that we are focusing on the wrong thing. We are focusing on what the humans are doing - and not looking for what God is doing.
Because, as once again the Evangelicals will tell us: He is doing something!
“Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working."” John 5:17
So, do those constant negative updates make us say this?
“Oh, my goodness, what is the name of the leaders of BLM? Let me fall to my knees right now and storm heaven for them!”
Or does it make us say this:
“What a bunch of horrible, awful, idiots!”
If the answer is the latter - then we should probably stop getting and sending constant updates. For the devil obviously has more than enough people already doing his work, and spreading his outlook, in the world today…
There are a couple scenes in that Godly epic: The Lord of the Rings (written by a Catholic, and based on the Gospel message), that I will close with. The first involves Boromir, the Prince of Gondor. The forces of the enemy have been rising for quite some time, and he has been worrying about them. And so, he tells Aragorn (who we later discover represents Jesus) about a conversation with the Queen of the Elves:
“She said to me, “even now there is hope left”; but I cannot see it. It is long since we had any hope… and our people lose faith”
With that outlook, and sense of despair, it is easy to see why Boromir falls into evil later; and allows the dark powers of the ring to overtake him. But as is usual with ‘dark powers’ - they end up killing him. As he lay dying, he turns once again to Aragorn and says:
“It is over, the world of men will fall, and all will come to darkness, and my city to ruin.”
But Aragorn responds from the position of trust and faith he maintains to the end: “I do not know what strength is in my blood, but I swear to you - I will not let the White City fall, nor our people fail.”
And it was then that Boromir, formerly frightened, says, “I would have followed you! My brother, my Captain, my King!”
That’s what frightened people do to one who has faith in something, or rather, Someone - bigger than themselves. They follow him; because we all seek courage. There was a time in history; when Christians used to have, and to give, that courage… a time in history, when they used to KNOW, and to BELIEVE in, God.
Aragorn went on to fight in many more battles in his (ultimately successful) effort to save Middle Earth. In one of the most hopeless, a young boy, ‘Haleth, son of Hama’, is expected to fight as there are so few men who could. Noticing his fear, Aragorn called to him. In despair, young Haleth responded: “The men say, “we will not live out the night. It is hopeless.””
Yet once again Aragorn, knowing the real power of the Light, said in reply: “This is a good sword, Haleth, son of Hama.” In other words, he noted that - just like we have the Holy Spirit - the boy already had the weapon with which to fight. Then, laying his hand on the boy’s shoulder and bending over to look him in the eye, Aragorn said: “There is always Hope.”
This is the Message that Christians need to give. Yet it is a message that one can only give - when one knows WHO we worship, and that the One we worship has never lost a battle.
If Christians have not read the bible, and therefore lack that sure knowledge - there is still hope because we have among us those who have read The Word. Indeed, we have among us those who have made it their life’s profession to do so.
Therefore, most importantly of all; this is the message that our Shepherd’s need to give. For if they have also given in to fear - then only God can save us.
That is, of course, if we even still believe in God.
I pray you do. After all - He believes in you.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Jesus - John 16:33
Ashley and Susan
Two women asking the world to not just hope, but to Hope in Love.