And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Matthew Henry wrote:
“Jesus Christ came to save us by healing us, as the children of Israel, stung with fiery serpents, were cured and lived by looking up to the brazen serpent, Num_21:6-9. In this observe the deadly and destructive nature of sin. Ask awakened consciences, ask damned sinners, they will tell you, that how charming soever the allurements of sin may be, at the last it bites like a serpent. See the powerful remedy against this fatal malady. Christ is plainly set forth to us in the gospel. He whom we offended is our Peace, and the way of applying for a cure is by believing. If any so far slight either their disease by sin, or the method of cure by Christ, as not to receive Christ upon his own terms, their ruin is upon their own heads. He has said, Look and be saved, look and live; lift up the eyes of your faith to Christ crucified. And until we have grace to do this, we shall not be cured, but still are wounded with the stings of Satan, and in a dying state. Jesus Christ came to save us by pardoning us, that we might not die by the sentence of the law. Here is gospel, good news indeed. Here is God’s love in giving his Son for the world. God so loved the world; so really, so richly. Behold and wonder, that the great God should love such a worthless world! Here, also, is the great gospel duty, to believe in Jesus Christ. God having given him to be our Prophet, Priest, and King, we must give up ourselves to be ruled, and taught, and saved by him. And here is the great gospel benefit, that whoever believes in Christ, shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life. God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, and so saving it. It could not be saved, but through him; there is no salvation in any other. From all this is shown the happiness of true believers; he that believeth in Christ is not condemned. Though he has been a great sinner, yet he is not dealt with according to what his sins deserve.” (emphasis added)
It’s through Y’shuaJesus that death has no sting. Dead. Alive in Messiah. Eternally. In the meantime? We wait. We watch. While I’d like to say: “Mr. Henry, you said the world is worthless, but I disagree, G-d created a beautiful world and said it is good,” I can’t say that. The world even in its beauty is corrupt. The world wasn’t always that way. G-d spoke and the world came into being. Perfect. Then we rebelled. Now we live in a corrupt world. We did it. We are responsible. Sadly, as much as some Christians want to reclaim the world for Messiah, making it perfect and inviting Him to return, it’s just not happening. The world as we know it is ending; it’s becoming more corrupt, quickly.
It’s interesting that while the Word of G-d is the Word of Salvation to us, it is also the Word that condemns us in this sorry world. “Whoever believes in Christ in not condemned,” is what Mr. Henry wrote. We are not condemned in the Eyes of G-d, but now we are condemned in the eyes of a corrupt world that won’t allow there to be only one way to eternal life. The world is inclusive, but we are exclusive. The world says there is no sin. All people are good, and worthy of a wonderful life hereafter. The Bible says we who believe in Y’shuaJesus are the only ones to be received into the eternal life with G-d. We are so intolerant. Hum. . .
For the moment, living in the United States of America is pretty easy for a Believer in Y’shuaJesus. There is some persecution for beliefs. There are some minor penalties for being a voice for conservative values, morals. But here we are not thrown in the squalor of a prison for sedition, for endangering the national security, such as are Christians in Iran, and many, many other countries. The Gospel isn’t illegal. . . yet! One day, perhaps sooner that later. . .
What will it be like when Christianity as we know it today is forbidden? Will a “free” country with a Constitution that protects all religions actual forbid one particular religion? How can that be? There are various ways some think as persecution of Christianity taking place today in the United States. For instance, there are some home churches that have been harassed by local governments. Usually there is some statute called upon limiting the number of people allowed to park in a particular neighborhood, or on a small-sized piece of land. But those statutes apply equally to all, not just the home church. It has the appearance of persecution, but isn’t. . . yet.
At some point we’ll know real persecution. At some point we’ll not be able to buy, sell, or trade. Perhaps we’ll have to make a choice then. Will we choose life in Messiah or a false life in a post-Christian world? Big choice: Does that worry us? Are we afraid that at some time in the future we will have to choose a physical existence at the expense of our eternal, spiritual existence? Are we scared we will let the Lord down by denying Him. Peter denied the Lord. Shall we say we are better than he, and we could never do such a thing?
Well, here’s the Gospel. We’ve already chosen. We’ve been chosen. Our names are already written in the Book of Life, so when asked to relinquish our claim as Believers in the True Gospel of the Lord and Savior Y’shuaJesus, asked to accept the views of those in political authority, we won’t have to worry about a choice for we won’t be able to condemn our selves. We will have to stand up for Y’shuaJesus in us. The powers of darkness have already condemned us, which is a good thing. We are on G-d’s side; G-d is on our side. We are the Gospel in this world. A living Gospel; Y’shuaJesus lives in us. We are the light. We are saved. The world is ending, passing away into oblivion, into hell. We are enroute to a glorious Heaven, where we shall see, face to face, the Living Lord Y’shuaJesus, and dine with Him at the Feast. Thank You, Lord! Hallelujah! Bless the Name of the Lord.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .