God has the answer to everything for the individual and the world altogether, this we know and it is no small thing! This is a «sure saying», great and paramount to know and to rely on.
1 Peter 4:7: «The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.»
1 Peter 4:12-17: «Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?»
This said, given how far this world has come, that means so much beyond, not just basic sound biblical grounds and truths, but also beyond basic human common sense, that we find ourselves living on borrowed space, time and especially grace. Granted God Almighty in his love and mercy has always been willing and able to extend it (especially grace and mercy) to the human race, if only we beseech him, but until when will that hold ?
God has set limits to everything in his creation, let’s not forget it; we do not like it but it is so. Physical limits, life and death, seasons, time limits, geographical limits, resource limits, influencial (spheres) limits and so on.
This world and mankind as a whole, has become so proud, arrogant and self-relying; we sometimes feel that we are so special and wonderful that the world is owed to us; not so.
Listen to John the Baptist about whom Jesus himself said: «Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist» (Matthew 11:11).
John 3:27 «To this John replied, «A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.»
God himself, and him alone, is of course limitless, eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent; all others are limited. Here are a few texts to remind ourselves of all the ways in which God has placed limits, boundaries, restraints, frontiers for man to live within and not without.
Exodus 19:12 «Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death.»
Exodus 23:31 «I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you.»
Deuteronomy 32:8 «When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.»
1 Chronicles 4:10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, «Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.» And God granted his request.
Job 14:5 «A person's days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.»
Job 12:23-24 «He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them. He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason, he makes them wander in a trackless waste.»
Psalm 74:17 «It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.»
Proverbs 8:29 «I was there when he set the limits of the seas, so they would not spread beyond their boundaries. And when he marked off the earth's foundations,»
2 Corinthiens 10:13 «We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.»
History and life teaches us that there are key times and moments to seize in order to enter into God-given graces and opportunities. To miss those can be the most regretful thing to ever do, sometime with very serious consequences.
As times flies, so do opportunities to repent, re-think, re-shape, revise our ways and to get back to the basics of our Judeo-Christian belief system and core-values. Hosea the prophet had it right when he challenged his generation with passion, saying:
Hosea 10:12 «Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.»
This is what we have to do (break up your fallow ground, plow it again, prepare it for cultivating) if we do not want to be destroyed by our own folly or worst deceive ourselves even more than we have so far into thinking that all is well and keep playing musical chairs in a world of Titanic (see the example of Sodom and Gomorrah).
To be complacent in times of need and worst in time of crisis, is not just a bad choice, it’s self-destructive. Even in the world of finance, people, investors, economists tend to be complacent when they should be on the alert (1929, 2007); bad move; that’s why the majority is always taken by surprise and worst, unprepared, when a crisis hits.
2 Peter 2:6 «and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter.»
The Titanic was a reflection of the then self-relying, proud, complacent English (Western) society. Imagine…God could not even sink that ship was it believed ! It now sadly is history; but now what concerns us is the end of this present age in God’s time and it is going to be something else altogether.
Amos 4:12 «Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.»
So much for man’s ingenuity !
Think about it ! Already then, in Jeremiah’s days the people of God had gone astray so much and so far away from God’s revealed plan, that the prophet had to prophesy this over them.
Jeremiah 7:31 «They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind.»
Let us not fool ourselves, in the middle of all the good that God prepared for humanity, there were and are things that man has done that never came to His mind!
Remember the Nazi horror Reich meant to last 1000 years; thank God it did not ! Visiting the concentration camps, you get the picture clearer than ever. Man’s best industrial abilities, scientific knowledge, ingenuity, even creativity, political and economic power have been given to, subjected to, consecrated to the purpose of dehumanizing and destroying millions of people made in God’s image; a real sacrifice to the evil spirits of this world; in doing so, this carnage and genocide, linked to too many others in history, also seen today through abortions, proves again that man is capable of doing things that do not even come to the mind of our merciful, righteous God.
Indeed, there are things that man thinks and does in the scale of sin and evil, that God did not think were possible, although he is the omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal and omniscient, blessed God for ever! How can you still be a humanist after all that ?
This MUST speak volume about the state of our deprived minds and hearts and how much we have gone away from his divinely ordered plan. So much for man’s ingenuity !
Jeremiah 1:9-10 «The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.»
Amos 4:12 «Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”
And this should not call for a re-ordering of things in today’s world as well as a transformation and a new apostolic reformation in today’s Church?»
This is the scope of ministry allotted to the Church of Christ and its ministry gifts, all of them together; not just making sure to have good, pleasant and blessed meetings, important as that is.
But the Church’s scope of ministry has to go beyond its own walls into the mission field that Christ called us into to speak apostolically and prophetically to every generation, calling it to repentance, to re-birth, to a re-filling of Holy Spirit life and power, to re-establish and demonstrate in personal lives and in society wherever possible, the principles and life of the kingdom of God; for as Jesus said in his time: Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand !
Mark 1:15 «The time has come,» he said. «The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!»