[ I began this note New Year’s Day. I added pieces to it on and off for a week or so before dropping it. Now I’ve come back to it. I share it now with you. Perhaps it’s a good time to do so. ] The New Year is barely underway, yet things are as CRAZY as ever. Happy New Year! [ belated, now. ]
Since I began this post on New Year’s Day, things haven’t changed much globally, though. There’s still the talk of a small financial hiccup that could lead to a major melt down of economies all over the world—or not. Your guess is as good as anyone’s guess. And people actually get paid to guess about these things. They don’t have to be right in their predictions. They just spout them off and move on to the next impending crisis meant to worry us.
I’d earlier written that the outlook for the new year is much the same as the events reported throughout the world as we closed out last year. Namely, refugees flooding into “safe-haven” countries, the ever-expanding Islamic State, terrorism, freak storms and other threats to our safety, and violence against and by law enforcement personnel. Oh, and of course we’ll see even more coverage on the American political scene. [ Here it is April, and that’s still accurate. ]
The common denominator in all events reported is that we need solutions to all that is going on in the world. The conclusions we are to reach is that the state of the world isn’t good, but there are people offering solutions that are good. It’s all about saving the world. It’s about salvation. Seriously!
What does salvation mean to us? What is the opposite of salvation? I’ve thought about these questions in the past. They return to me as I reread what we call the “transfiguration” of Y’shuaJesus, Matthew 17:1-13.
Salvation, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, means: “. . .the deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians (Ex. 14:13), and of deliverance generally from evil or danger. In the New Testament it is specially used with reference to the great deliverance from the guilt and the pollution of sin wrought out by Jesus Christ, “the great salvation,” (Heb. 2:3).
Simply put, salvation is an action that directly benefits us. It is an action of G-d through Y’shuaJesus toward us. The Name Jesus comes to us from the Hebrew name Y’shua. It literally means L-rd Saves. As John Parson puts it, it is “understood in light of G-d’s redemptive power and saving acts.”
But to a very secular world, salvation means something different. Science offers salvation when it gives us solutions to “help” us make our lives “better.” We have financial experts who offer the salvation of wealth, and the management of wealth. We have the medical establishment that includes the pharmaceutics industry that offers the salvation of health and healthy living. We have an automobile industry that offers the salvation of better and safer cars. We have military and law enforcement that offer us the salvation of protection, safety. And we have politicians that offer their own brand of salvation in creating laws to govern our lives, to make our lives “better.”
it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. 1 John 2:18
The Biblical opposite of Salvation is the antichrist. Antichrist, according to Easton’s Bible Dictionary, refers to “against Christ, or an opposition Christ, a rival Christ. The word is used only by the Apostle John. Referring to false teachers, he says (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 1:7), “Even now are there many antichrists.”
(1) This name has been applied to the “little horn” of the “king of fierce countenance” (Dan. 7:24, 25; 8:23- 25).
(2) It has been applied also to the “false Christs” spoken of by our Lord (Matt. 24:5, 23, 24).
(3) To the “man of sin” described by Paul (2 Thess. 2:3, 4, 8- 10).
(4) And to the “beast from the sea” (Rev. 13:1; 17:1- 18)”
So. . .
So, here we are and in the Northern Hemisphere we’re looking at summer coming. Well, here in the American State of Georgia that is very true. But just a couple weeks ago, snow and storms made their way through some northern states. It’s been five months since New Year’s Day. The Dow is climbing again after dropping severely. Nobody even notices anymore. The price of silver dropped, and now rises. Gold is following that pattern, too. Even the price of oil, which dropped so low folks were thinking it would cause a crash, has begun to rise just enough that it’s not a big topic. Yet still voices of doom cry that the economy is going to fail, that riots overwhelm the resources in cities, and martial law will be declared. And on and on and on. . .
Salvation. Buy this. Do this. Prepare for this. Worry about this. . . and that. . . and a whole lot of other things. It’s enough to make a person. . . CRAZY.
But not that’s not all. Rumors abound about political candidates for the highest office in America, the presidency. Controversy surrounds the death of a conservative Supreme Court Justice, Justice Antonin Scalia, who’d served since his appointment by President Reagan in 1986. We’ve got people attacking the right of Christians to conduct their business affairs according to Christian values. For two-hundred years America has stood for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to bear arms, freedom from unlawful search and seizure. Today these freedoms are being attacked. Not from foreign enemies, but from within our own borders, by people who are native-born citizens. We’re either being led to believe that the world is ending, or the world is ending.
It’s enough to drive a person. . . CRAZY!
What’s a person to do?
O keep my soul, and deliver me:
let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
Let integrity and uprightness preserve me;
for I wait on thee. Psalm 25:20,21
It seems to me that the secular world wants it to be complicated to match the CRAZINESS of the world. The secular world is still filled with chaos. We still need to persevere in our preparations for any event, any disaster, that might come our way. We must be wise. We must be gentle. We need to be reminded occasionally that we need not worry. He who called us to Him, He who offers true salvation, will come. It will be in His time. It will be in His way. Like Gandolf in the Lord of the Rings, our Lord Y’shuaJesus will not be late; He will not be early; He will always be right on time. His time. His way. His truth.
I am rereading Romans. I came to chapter five and really didn’t like what I read. But there it is. We will experience tribulation. We will. Not only that but we will glory in tribulations. Wow. Okay. We’ll glory in tribulation. Ouch. But it has its reward.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:1-5
Our L-rd Y’shuaJesus is our salvation. And that’s the only thing that’s not CRAZY!