Another beautiful hymn put out by Sovereign Grace Music and Bob Kauflin. In a day when the world is falling down around us, look up dear brothers and sisters to He who will one day appear and establish righteousness, justice, and His eternal kingdom.
“It has been well-said that before God uses a man greatly He must first break him breakly. God works best through broken vessels who have been crushed by the hammer blows of the devil. The more we desire to be used by God the greater must be our willingness to suffer for Him. There are no easy paths in ministry. Every assignment is a killing place.
This quote and brief sermon jam comes from Dr. Steve Lawson’s ministry during the 2010 Shepherds’ Conference in California at Dr. John MacArthur’s church.
During this time of trial and troubles, I would be remiss if I did not admit that I struggle with fears of my own. I fear for family, for friends, and for churches. Yet, down through the ages of church history, persecution has always given the church wings to grow and be refined as the Bride of Christ.
If you also have fears, look to Jesus and be a broken vessel fit for the Master’s use.
The news today will not exalt Christ. It will not promote the kingdom of heaven. The news is only intent on reporting on the vile depravity that oozes out of the hearts of men and women around this world.
Today, I encourage you to turn off the news and focus on Jesus Christ. Do not keep your eyes on that which will not edify your soul and make you more like the Savior.
And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. — Matthew 17:1-8
We live in troubled times – very troubled times. As Christians, we should heed the words of the Messiah to His disciples in John 14:1. He told them, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”
As the disciples walked the dusty roads of Judea and Galilee, I wonder how much time they wasted pondering the times of trouble. They lived in a difficult time and were even under the heavy-handed rule of Rome. The disciples lived under a time of occupation by enemy forces.
Yet, at no time, did Jesus act the part of a revolutionary as some fraudulently claim. Not only did He submit to the will of His Father, but He also obeyed the laws that were in force both from the perspective of Jewish and Roman law.
In many ways, the Jewish people served as slaves to Rome, yet not one single verse ever encouraged true believers to revolt, start a revolution, or to try and overthrow the government. Instead, the Scriptures commanded slaves to be obedient to their masters as unto the Lord, and masters were to be honorable in their dealings with those who served them again as unto the Lord.
While walking those roads, I am sure there must have been many times that hushed voices from men like Simon the Zealot pondered aloud what needed to be done to get rid of Rome. But, not once did Christ encourage this. On the contrary, He reminded them and others who listened that this world is not where His kingdom was to be found. It was not a physical kingdom and He never had any plans to become a new and improved rebel leader who would do finally accomplish what the Maccabees could not.
Despite all the talks and parables used, the disciples held a skewed perspective about how they saw Jesus. Even in the event known as “The Transfiguration”, we can see that the wrong focus brought the inner-most circle of disciples to a point where they spoke from their emotions instead of being led by the renewing of their mind.
The reality is that they were not focused on Jesus only.
It is an intimate setting as Jesus and only three disciples go for a walk. Away from the other disciples and the crowds that always clamored for the Messiah’s attention, He leads them up to the top of a mountain. It has been just six days since the conversation where Peter gives his startling admission that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of the living God.
The Lord Jesus Christ shares that He would build His Church and that He would soon have to suffer. Peter then rebukes the Rabbi, but in turn is called to account as Jesus tells the impetuous disciple that he is only savoring the things of man, and not the things of God.
Jesus then gives a short discourse on the importance of dying to self, and that to fulfill the will of God that each person who is a true believer must take up their own cross and deny themselves.
Now, six days later, they have climbed a mountain and Jesus is transfigured before their very eyes. The word used is where we get our word metamorphosis. He changes and they see His divine glory. His face becomes like the sun and His garments are white as the light.
As they watch, Moses and Elijah appear. Moses represents the law and the commandments, while Elijah represents the prophets. Peter, always the spokesman, announces that it is good to be in the presence of the law and the prophets and the Messiah. He then states that maybe they should honor these three men by building a tent or a tabernacle. This would have been a skin-covered dwelling place such as the Ark of God rested during the years when there was no Temple in Jerusalem.
A cloud comes down upon them and they hear a voice from heaven. The voice does not address the presence of the law and the prophets. Moses and Elijah were only forerunners to point to the One Who stood glowing in their midst. They were present for a time, but now a New Covenant was about to be brought into place.
This is my beloved Son, HEAR HIM!
The voice spoke out of the bright, glowing cloud and forced them to do what any person would do when they come into contact with the divine glory of Christ and are in the presence of a Holy God.
They fall to the ground with their faces in the lowest place they can find. They know they are in the very presence of God. The disciples know the accounts of what took place when God showed up and they are afraid. This is not a mere phobia. The two words indicate they were violently or vehemently afraid. These grown men are scared to death and shaking.
The Master comes up to them, touches them, soothes their troubled thoughts, tells them not to fear, and raises them to their feet.
Their quaking subsides and as they stand to their feet again, their eyes see Jesus only. The law and the prophets held people captive until the Son of God came and took on human flesh. As they see Jesus, it will be a few days yet before He is delivered to death. But, after His death and resurrection, they will understand the words that He said to them. The disciples will know the significance of what occurred on top of that high mountain.
All the rules, words of the prophets, laws, statutes, and commandments could never restore full fellowship with God. These things were meant to show how wide the gap was between a holy, righteous God and depraved humanity.
The hearts of the disciples were troubled and instead of focusing just on the Lord Jesus Christ, they were concerned about building a tent or tabernacle in order to give continued honor to the law and the prophets. But Jesus Christ shares His glory with no other.
The Transfiguration would forever be engrained in the hearts and minds of these disciples. They had been given a privilege that the other disciples were not provided. Yet, years later, the same disciple who tried to rebuke Jesus and then denied Him three times would write the following:
2 Peter 1:16-18 — For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
When Jesus took the three men up to the top of the high mountain, He removed them from all of the distractions of the world. Once He was transfigured, He also removed from their hearts and minds the distraction of what He came to fulfill in its entirety. Christ did not discount the law or the prophets, but He wanted them to understand that ALL the glory belongs to Him. He was sent by the Father to do the will of the Father so that we might have eternal life.
Despite his miserable failings and his sins, Peter and his two fellow disciples never forgot that they had seen the majesty of Jesus Christ.
Friends, in today’s world, we live in a time of trouble and it will only get worse. Whatever your position may be in the area of eschatology (study of end times), there is no true believer who can look at the current state of the world and believe that it is getting better and better.
For all who are true believers by placing their faith in Christ alone for their salvation, it would be a blessing if we could catch such a glimpse of the majesty of God. However, after His resurrection, Christ told Thomas that those who believe and have not seen are blessed.
One day, these Shadowlands will disappear. We shall behold Him in all of His splendor, in all of His glory, in all of His power, and in all of His majesty.
Today, I beg you to put aside earthly affections and once again set your affections on things above. Focus on the Author and Finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before Him ENDURED the cross.
Are we better than our own Master? God forbid!
No matter what we may face, our God is greater. No matter the trials or tribulations, in the light of eternity, they will be but light afflictions.
I have no intention of using this post to argue politically for what is going on right now across America.
But, here are some things that the world sees taking place and for Christians, it is time that we give due consideration to what is really happening. We also need to ask ourselves what we should be doing and how we can best respond to a terrible situation.
True Bible-believing Christians need to stop listening to the spin of the liberal media and the various movements that are only striving desperately to be involved in race-baiting.
Read these carefully:
1) The real issue is NOT about white privilege or black privilege.
2) The real issue is NOT about slavery.
3) The real issue is NOT about a black man who died at the hands of what appears to be corrupt policemen.
4) The real issue is NOT about corrupt policeman always picking on people who have a different color skin than themselves.
5) The real issue is NOT about the need for reparations for atrocities that took place 50-200 years ago.
6) The real issue is NOT about Republicans or Democrats.
7) The real issue is NOT about US citizens or illegal immigrants.
8) The real issue is NOT about the color of one’s skin.
9) The real issue is NOT about the freedom to protest.
10) The real issue is NOT about demanding white people get down on their knees and beg for forgiveness for things they never did.
Right now, riots and looting and mayhem and absolute carnage have caused millions and millions of dollars of damage across the US and even in England. Businesses will never rebuild because everything has been burned to the ground. While firefighters are tending fires, EMTs are tending to the injured police and protestors, and the police are trying to stand and protect, the general public are living scared. The general public is afraid that the riots may come to their town.
Some cities are now considering completely defunding police forces thus caving in to the demands of liberals. In those cities, the general public will live in fear from day to day when there is no longer a police presence to keep criminals at bay.
You may be asking, if these things are NOT the real issue, then what is the problem?
Are you ready for the truth?
The REAL ISSUE is sin. S-I-N!
The REAL ISSUE is pride, which is rooted in sin.
The REAL ISSUE is the total depravity of the heart of man. The Bible is clear that the heart of every single individual is corrupt and desperately wicked.
The REAL ISSUE is that some who call themselves Christian ministers are instructing their congregations with teaching that is contrary to the Scriptures.
The REAL ISSUE is that people hate God and they hate others. Blatant disregard for the two commands given by Christ is the reason why things like racism, prejudism, hatred, bitterness, animosity, riots, looting, murder, mayhem, etc. take place all across this world.
The REAL ISSUE is that men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil.
The REAL ISSUE is that many churches no longer preach the truth. They want to preach a social gospel which only damns the souls of men and women.
The REAL ISSUE is that churches and pastors have failed to remember their calling is not about trying to make the world a better place, but their calling is to remember that this world is NOT our home and we are just passing through.
The REAL ISSUE is that we have failed to remember the Great Commission to go into ALL the world, preach the gospel to ALL people, and then to disciple ALL believers to become more like Jesus Christ.
The REAL ISSUE is that we have failed to remember that out of faith, hope, and love that the greatest of all of these is LOVE.
The REAL ISSUE is that the church has forgotten that people are lost and dying and on their way into eternity without Christ unless we tell them.
Now that you understand the REAL ISSUES, let’s talk about the matter of asking forgiveness. The Bible is clear in its teaching about seeking and extending forgiveness.
Christians, you will not find one Scripture that instructs us to get on our knees and ask the forgiveness of others for the things that our ancestors may or may not have done. The Bible tells us that we are responsible for our own sin. Every individual is responsible BEFORE God for our own sins, and not the sins of others.
Christians, you will not find one Bible verse that demands that white people get down on their knees and seek forgiveness for being white. God, the Creator of the Universe, made one human race. God alone is the creator of life and He alone creates us with different skin colors.
To demand something God does not require is to seek to make ourselves greater than God. To question who and how God made a person to be His image-bearer on earth is to say that we know better than God. Ultimately, to question God in the place we were born is to demand accountability from God toward His creation.
But God is sovereign. Ecclesiastes says that He has set eternity in the heart of man and Romans reminds us that even creation points to the majesty of God.
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. If you are tired of what you find in your heart and you realize that the only way to change is by grace through faith alone in Christ alone, then the Bible is clear.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Yes, my friend, there is hope but it is not found in politics or religion or culture or any aspect of society. The hope that racism, prejudism, and all the other ills of the world will end is only found in the knowledge that God made a way for a man or woman to be forgiven of his or her sin.
Christ became the sin-bearer of mankind so that fellowship could be restored between God and man. It cannot happen by good works or by trying to be a good, moral person for there is no such person.
In conclusion, your real issue and my real issue is not about somebody else. Our real issue is personal. Your real issue is about you. My real issue is about me. Our real issue is about our relationship with a holy and righteous God who cannot stand to look upon sin.
Plead to God for mercy if you have not done so already and before it is too late. Look to Him and seek forgiveness for the sin which separates you from His holiness. Stop blame-shifting and passing the buck for your own wickedness.
Come to Jesus and He will save you. The Bible says that all who come to Christ that He will not cast them away.
The love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell. It goes beyond the highest star and reaches to the lowest hell.
Forgiveness is only true found in Christ alone. He is our hope in life and death.
Steve Gallagher is the founder of Pure Life Ministries which helps individuals deal with sexual addiction.
In this short video, he addresses the question of whether there is a hell or not. Too many in the emergent church (like heretic Rob Bell) are decrying the reality of the very place Jesus Christ warned against for those who have not placed their faith in Him alone.
One of our contributors, Sony Elise, recommends Steve’s Bible studies and carries four of them in her online bookstore. You can find these studies at Sony Elise Christian Books.
There are many who have been taught that when Jesus comes back on the clouds of glory that He will establish a new Jerusalem; a literal, physical city, at a location somewhere on this earth. Some people believe that it will be at the location of the old Jerusalem, while others, particularly those in the LDS (Mormon) church, believe that it will be located in the United States, and, more specifically, in Independence, Missouri. Let’s see what the Bible has to say regarding this issue.
With regard to the possibility that this earth will even exist beyond Jesus’s second coming (Judgment Day), In 2 Peter 3:7, we read, “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” Further on in verse 10, we read, “But the day of the LORD will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” God reiterates this point in verse 12 and finally in verse 13 we read, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
In Revelation 21:1, it reads, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”
Regarding the new Jerusalem, however, in the very next verse we read, “and I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Later, at the end of verse 9, one of the seven angels told John, ” Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And in verse 10, “and he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain and shewed me that great city, holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God.” We can readily see that the city, the new Jerusalem is not some literal, physical, city, but rather the kingdom of God encompassing the body of all true believing Christians, the true eternal Church, which God looks upon as the bride of Christ!
To see that the new Jerusalem is a spiritual representation of the kingdom of God that is made up of the body of believers, we just have to turn to Revelation 3:12, where we read, “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall no more go out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which isnew Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches.” This truth is also evident in Galatians 4, verses 25 and 26 which contrasts the earthly Jerusalem and her children (the Jews of national Israel), described as being in bondage (to the works of the law), with the heavenly spiritual “Jerusalem which is above is free (through the grace of God), which is the mother of us all (all true believing Christians).”
Additional support is found in Hebrews 12:22-23 , where we read, “But ye are come unto Mount Sion and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,”.
As to the timing of the fulfillment of the coming of the new Jerusalem we are told in Matthew 24:29-31, “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
The Holy Temple of God, Where is it Now?
This brings us to another problem. There are those in various religions today who claim to have access to a literal, physical, earthly holy temple of God. As was indicated above, the holy temple of God is a spiritual structure made up of true believing Christians (described as pillars in the temple) coincident with the new Jerusalem in heaven. This is entirely consistent with what we read in 1 Peter 2:5-8, where God equates the true believers to “lively stones” that are part of the spiritual temple of God of which Jesus Christ is the “Chief Cornerstone.” “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in scripture, (Found in Isaiah 28:16 and Psalm 118:22) behold I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he (The Lord Jesus Christ) is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” (See also Isaiah 8:14, Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, and Romans 9:53)
So that there can be absolutely no doubt that the holy temple of God could never, ever, again be defined by physical stones and mortar (whether in Jerusalem; Salt Lake City, Utah; Independence, Missouri; or anywhere else for that matter), we read in Ephesians 2:19-22, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God: And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
Finally, in 2 Corinthians 6:16, we read, “…Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said (see Ezekiel 37:26&27), I will dwell in them, and walk in them;and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
To more clearly understand why there could never again be any need for an earthly, physical temple of God following the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, we have only to search the scriptures to review what happened at the precise moment of His death. We read in Matthew 27:51, Mark 15:38, and Luke 23:45 that, at that very moment, the veil of the temple was rent in twain (torn in two) from top to bottom.
The result was that the “Holiest of all,” (see Hebrews 9:3) the tabernacle altar of God (where only the high priest, alone, could venture once a year to make an atoning sacrifice of blood on the Day of Atonement) which had heretofore always been hidden from outside view by the veil, had now been fully exposed by God to show that the sign or figure that the “Holiest of all” of the temple represented had been perfectly fulfilled in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ; as He was both the sacrificial Lamb of God and the High Priest that offered the perfect atoning blood sacrifice. God was showing that the function of the earthly temple had come to an end! (Read all of Hebrews chapter 9 to see that this is so). Although the Jewish high priest (Caiaphas) no doubt rushed in to repair the torn veil, so that he, and the other Jewish high priests that followed him, could continue the yearly atonement sacrificial rite until the physical temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D., the priestly action would have been pure vanity and rebellion against God. Those efforts could not have had any effect or substance so far as God’s plan of salvation was concerned. In fact, (according to Isaiah 66:1-4) they would have only been an abomination in God’s sight (because by carrying out those rites, the Jews were continuing to deny that Jesus Christ had come to fulfill the law of sacrifice, which had all along been the sole focal point of the blood sacrifices that were carried out in the temple before Christ died).
This is the most likely reason why God finally allowed the physical temple in Jerusalem to be destroyed for the third (and last) time (as prophesied by Jesus in Matthew 24:1-2), and why he scattered National Israel, the Jews (until our day). Additionally, because God also subsequently allowed the Islamic Dome of the Rock to be built on the temple site in Jerusalem, the Jews have been prevented from rebuilding the temple ever again (despite the fact that the Jews in National Israel have had political sovereignty over Jerusalem since 1967).
The last two weeks have been extremely trying. The normal lives we thought we had, along with the comfort and ease, was cruelly crushed beyond recognition. This is particularly true to those in the Western world.
Yet, it may be at this time that the eyes of all true believers needs to be turned away from the cares of the world and refocused on Jesus Christ, who alone is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He is our glory and we, the Bride, are His.
Sovereign Grace Music has another hymn entitled “Christ Our Glory” that I have never heard until the last month or so. These words resonate in light of what we are currently experiencing.
“Our rest is in heaven, our rest is not here
Then why should we tremble when trials draw near?
Be still and remember the worst that can come
But shortens our journey and hastens us home!”
“No hours should be wasted on seeking our joy
And placing our hope in what will be destroyed
We look for a city that hands have not raised
We long for a country that sin has not stained!”
Before you read any further, stop and take note of the time.
Write it down if you have to in order to remember. It is important because the next week is going to change the lives of millions.
This is the approximate number of people who will die from something worse than Covid-19. The coronavirus has nothing on this disease. There is no human cure or government intervention that can change what is going to happen. Not one single medical mega-corporation will ever find a cure to this deadly disease.
In fact, the number above is a close representation of the number of people who died since this exact time last week and the week before.
The Spanish Flu took the lives of approximately 50 million people in the three years between January 1918 and December 1920.
If you had paid close attention to the news, you would still have missed the reality that in the last eight weeks, almost 10 MILLION people have died around the world. This is more than the population of New York City, New York. It is more than the population of Mexico City, Mexico. Actually, the approximate number of people who have died from this disease is the same as the population of Seoul, South Korea.
From March 17, 2020 until March 17, 2021, approximately 63 MILLION people will die from this ancient disease.
That is the combined population of: Tokyo, Japan; Jakarta, Indonesia; Beijing, China; New York City, New York; and Sao Paulo, Brazil!
Here is the worst news anybody in the world could ever read. Forget all of the statistics. This disease has a 100% mortality rate to anybody who contracts it. The news channels, magazines, government organizations, and not even the United Nations wants to talk about this because it is so scary.
Tragically, the news DOES get worse.
Everybody in the world has the disease and there is NOTHING that can be done about it from a human perspective. My friend, you have the disease in your body and you may not even know it. However, it is not a respecter of persons. I have it on perfect authority that you and I WILL die from this disease, although we do not know when death will visit us.
The symptoms are horrible and at the heart of each symptom is the brutal reality that the underlying issues are too blatant, gross, and vulgar to even print. The symptoms of this disease grow worse with each passing day, but are so subtle at times that the overwhelming majority of the world will never stop to think about what is happening in their body.
The disease I am speaking of is SIN.
Sin is a curse that has come upon all of mankind through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Regardless of what modern psychology, humanistic philosophies, or even government mandates may try to dictate, they cannot stop the 100% mortality rate from taking place.
The effects of sin are evident all around for those with eyes to see. What seems like tragedies, illnesses, terrorist activities, natural disasters, and rampant disease are all the result of sin entering the world.
Further, because the disease of sin has entered the world, there is an even greater problem. Man has been separated from a holy God. God cannot bear to look upon sin and yet, man thinks he can become like God. This is the lie that has been the longest in existence and it comes from Satan.
Satan blinds the eyes of men, women, and children around the world. He does not want them to see the wonder of who God is. He does not want them to hear the good news that there is but one escape from this dreadful disease that has killed more people than all the wars and plagues to ever befall mankind.
Satan wants people to think that they can believe what they want, do what they want, live how they want, and then eventually die with no fear of eternity.
The Bible is clear though that there is a time that is appointed for ALL to die, and after death will come the judgment.
YOU CANNOT ESCAPE! The ravages of this death stare at you every day in your bathroom mirror, but you are ignoring them. Yet, they will not go away. Your flesh will decay until your body becomes dust in the grave.
But, there is a beacon of hope. It does not require hoarding toilet paper or food supplies. It does not require that you self-quarantine yourself in your home and hope for a better day.
The ONLY beacon of hope that you can escape is found in Jesus Christ ALONE. The Bible says ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Further, it proclaims that the wages of your sin is death.
Tired of the bad news, then hearken to the words of the apostle Paul in Romans 5:8, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Do you realize what this means?
For those who place their faith in Christ alone and plead to God for mercy, He will not reject them. He will grant forgiveness to those who ask for their sins to be forgiven. His love will and does extend to all who realize that Christ is the only escape.
John 3:16, 17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
The ravages and effects of your sin will still end your life one day. It may not be this month, this year, or even this decade. But death is still coming and it comes to all.
However, for those who become true believers in Jesus Christ have the promise that there is NOTHING to fear when death comes. We will pass from this life into eternity where we will forever be with the Lord.
If your name has been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, then rejoice in this truth.
Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Today is the day of salvation though. Tomorrow may be too late. Over the next week, another 1,209,600 people will pass from this life into eternity and you may be one of that number. The results for those without Christ will be far worse than Covid-19, the black plague, or anything found in a chemical warfare lab.
Come to Christ while there is still time. Do not worry about the effects of Covid-19 if you have a right relationship with God.
If you are a true believer in Jesus Christ, then rejoice and lift up your eyes for our redemption draws near. Our Lord is, has been, and always will be sovereign and in control of this world. If we get sick, or grow old, or die in an accident, death has been swallowed up in victory because Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again so that we too can have the eternal hope that we will be raised to newness of life when this life is over.
The theme at Truth In Grace this last couple of weeks has been to focus our eyes away from the world and our sin. We need to set our affections on things above which ultimately is the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is our glory and our prize.
True believers should long for the day when we will see Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith, but we will do so without tears, sin, or death to stain our eyes, hearts, or souls.
In a previous post entitled, “Spiritual Vertigo”, I addressed three reasons why true believers, particularly in western evangelicalism, have entered a state where they have become disorientated. They struggle from week to week and from one Sunday morning worship to the next. The church has lost its balance and people are sick.
But, why or how does this happen?
Here are the reasons that I gave.
First, we fail to keep sight of the holiness, majesty, and glory of the almighty God. (Part 1)
Second, our vision of eternity is dulled because we become too focused on the world and what it has to offer.
Third, we become disorientated when we work harder to make the church appealing to unbelievers than we do in making the church a place for the sheep to come and find quiet waters and pastures where they can feed without the fear of wolves. (Part 3 – tbd)
Today, nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population has myopia, or nearsightedness, and it’s only expected to grow. By 2050, 50 percent of the world’s population, a total of nearly 5 billion, will be myopic, according to a new review study published in the journal Opthalmology.
I fall into this category of humanity. Thankfully, there are remedies to assist those with myopia. Some choose the more radical approach like Lasik surgery, while others simply go to a local eye doctor and obtain a prescription for glasses. Personally, I have worn glasses since I was about three or four. Today, if I take my glasses off, I cannot even read the computer screen on my laptop from more than about 8-9” away.
Our family has been blessed to see and enjoy some of the beautiful places in America. Some we have lived in and others were simply enjoyed on a trip for vacation or for ministry purposes. We are blessed in that we have literally been from sea to shining sea. We have touched the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, and have traveled from the Gulf of Mexico up north to the Dakotas near Canada and walked on frozen lakes.
It would be sad to have visited all those places though and not been able to see them clearly. Now that we live in Wyoming, we are close to some of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen. Alpine lakes dot the Rockies, and there is a feeling of sereneness that comes from standing at 10-12,000 feet (3050-3700 meters) above sea level. It feels like you can see into tomorrow.
But ONLY with my glasses.
Over the years, my eyesight has grown worse though and every so often I have to get a stronger prescription. If I did not, my ability to see long-distances would grow exceptionally dim. Yet, the warning signs do show up to remind me that it is time for another check-up. These can include: blinking to try and clear the vision, headaches, and tiredness.
I will be one of the first to admit that I hate wearing glasses. For a time, I tried contact lenses but the high winds in Wyoming make them quickly uncomfortable. So, until it is time for me to go to my eternal home, I have to keep wearing a weight on my nose and ears.
The only other alternative would be to stop wear glasses. Would such an action stop me from living? No, it would not. Many around the world live without glasses, especially in poor Third World countries. However, it would keep me from doing a lot of things. I could not drive. Visiting the beautiful mountains and lakes would mean nothing for I would not be able to see them.
Years ago while living in England, I remember seeing a poster advertising for help to get glasses to Nepal and Bhutan. This charitable organization was requesting old or second-hand glasses that they could take to help out those less fortunate. The top picture showed a blurry picture of the Himalayas with a question like: “What if this was how you saw the Himalayas?” It was followed by a second picture from the same perspective but was crystal clear with the words “Instead of like this!”
Every day that I am able to leave my home, I always look across the plains to see the mountains. However, some people are so focused on what is immediately around them that the far-off objects tend to lose their value. People know the mountains are there just like they know the sun rises and sets every day. However, many fail to see the beautiful myriad of colors that grace the skies every single day.
They live their lives in such a way that the majesty of God’s creation has become dulled. Whether it is the humdrum of everyday life, or job, or family commitments, something keeps them enjoying seeing those things that are in the distance.
And this is what brings us to the second point for true believers. Let me repeat it here.
Our vision of eternity is dulled because we become too focused on the world and what it has to offer.
Every true believer should remember that this world is NOT our home. The writer of Hebrews and the apostle Peter put it quite succinctly.
Hebrews 11:13-14 – These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.
1 Peter 2:11 – Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
Reread the words from Hebrews in this perspective. “These who are true believers died in their faith in Jesus Christ. They had not received the heavenly blessings and inheritance which was promised to them with the Holy Spirit given as a downpayment. However, they kept looking into eternity realizing it was coming. However, because of that FAR-sight, they had to recognize that they were but strangers AND exiles while living on earth. And by the way, people who know how to talk in this kind of language are really telling everyone around them that they are looking for the heaven which is to come. The reason is simply because HEAVEN IS THEIR HOMELAND!”
Peter was just as straightforward when he addressed the true believers who had been forced out of Judea during the Diaspora.
Here are Peter’s words again from an expanded perspective. “Beloved, dear ones, those whom I love with all my heart, family, I beg you to remember that you are sojourners AND exiles. This world is NOT your home, you are just passing through. That which is of heaven should be your focus instead of what is in the world. Therefore, be so heavenly minded that the passions of the flesh will lose their appeal. The passions the world has to offer only wages mortal combat against every part of your being.”
Now listen to the words of the apostle John as he wrote some of the last words in his book “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” Dear reader, this precious book is NOT about the revelation about John or to John or even from John. The aged apostle, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes it clear in the very first verse that this “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” This book is ALL about revealing more of Jesus Christ to us.
Read these beautiful words from Revelation 21:1-4.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Maybe like the Jews of the Old Testament, it would benefit us to have these words written and carried on our arms and on our foreheads. What if we printed these off and pasted them on every wall of our homes and doors and work cubicles? I believe the reminder of these verses every day would give us the prescription we need to refocus on that which cannot be seen with human eyes.
ALL that the world can offer only brings dullness to the heart, the mind, and the soul of every true believer. It may bring pleasure for a short time, but those pleasures will dry up and blow away like dry leaves on an autumn wind.
Yes, it will be wonderful to live in a new heaven and a new earth. What an incredible experience it will be to see the New Jerusalem radiating like a bride adorned for her husband. But oh, the words that really amaze me are these –
The dwelling place of God is WITH MAN! God will dwell WITH THEM! They will be HIS PEOPLE! God Himself will be WITH THEM as their God.
Dear readers, there is NO religion in the world that can offer such a promise. NO denomination with all of its traditions, creeds, and man-made teachings can offer such an inheritance. This can only come from the One who loved us and gave Himself as the ultimate sacrifice so that we can know we have eternal life.
And the next words are no less a blessing and an encouragement.
NO more tears. NO more death. NO more mourning. NO more crying. NO more pain. The poignancy of these words though to me is not because there will be no more tears. This God of all creation will personally WIPE the tears from our eyes. We will know Him in all His glory and we will sing His praises from fully glorified bodies.
What an amazing day that will never end!
If the wonder of eternity remains dulled to us because we prefer to believe that the world holds more allure to us, then we will become a miserable failure because of a dimmed vision.
May our hearts be encouraged with a fresh look at the Savior today. May we be blessed with the recollection of all the heavenly benefits that belong to us.
Yesterday, I was able to enjoy probably the last of the nice weather we will have in Wyoming until Spring 2019. Today, the temperature is 39F and the weather forecast is snow sometime over the weekend. That is part of the territory though when you live at an altitude of over 6,000 feet.
I spent about an hour riding through town on my bicycle getting some exercise. On my trip, I took a different route than normal. Stopping for a quick break, I waited for one of my sons to join me from a different area of town.
Without taking time to think about it, I had stopped directly outside a funeral home. While sitting on my bike, I contemplated my time as a funeral director and all that work entailed. I enjoyed my time serving families, but there were also difficult times.
A common thread for each family was the comment, “They died way too early.” Sadly, this did come from families mourning the loss of a baby or a child, but was heard equally from families who were burying a relative who had lived to see 80, 90, or even 100 years of age.
Leaving the funeral home, I swung through a neighborhood and rode right past the city cemetery. I was riding slow enough that I was able to read several of the tombstones. Each was inscribed with words of love and sorrow, and every single grave told its own story.
Both the funeral home and the massive cemetery were a stark reminder that death is coming. The Bible reminds us in Hebrews 9:27, “And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Whether we choose to face the reality of death or we try to avoid every aspect of death, we can no more avoid death than you can avoid the coming of winter.
For the believer though, there should be no fear. Some fear death like they fear the coming of winter. They may fear the dreaded cold, or having to deal with snow, or a host of other concerns.
When our soul leaves our body, we will immediately be with the Lord. To be absent from the body is not a drudge, but is a promotion to heaven. Leaving these worn-out shells behind will be just one aspect of the glory that awaits, but more importantly, we will also leave behind pain, sin, tears, and the sting of death.
Jesus Christ reminds us in John 14:1, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” Then the apostle Paul concludes in Phil 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, but to die is gain.”
Look up, dear friends, for our redemption draws nigh. We need not fear the winter of death for death and the grave has been swallowed up because of the victory found in Jesus Christ alone.
Things are not always as they appear. Sometimes, appearances can be very deceiving. That was true the day the knock came on the mirror and the horror that came with realizing that somebody would have to answer.
The preceding days held nothing ominous. If there had been an inkling of an idea that something was amiss, then I would have done everything in my power to prevent things from happening. But then again, in hindsight, I am not sure that I would. Changing the inevitable does not always bring a modicum of joy or happiness. Getting our way would actually be a miserable existence.
The actual morning dawned. As usual, it was beautiful. The sun rose around the world, but by nightfall things would be very different. The problem was that I knew about the mirror but I was too young and naïve to think that it could ever affect me.
Preparing for work, I began to feel some odd twinges, but nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Opening the door, I said goodbye to the family but was stopped when the phone rang. It was not unexpected and I was in no hurry, so I answered. In my mind, I think I knew before I responded, but the mirror glared back at me. I dropped my gaze first as I listened to the voice on the other end.
“Hello, I need you to meet me at the hospital. There is nothing to worry about, but I would be quick just in case.”
To this day, I cannot remember whether I responded in a courteous fashion or not. The caller informed me though that they would be there waiting for me. What I can recall is exceeding the speed limit on several major roads. A trip that should have taken about 15 minutes, I made in less than 10 with change to spare.
Only one ambulance was in the bay as I ran through the doors marked EMERGENCY. All decorum was absent as I blindly stumbled to the nurse’s station. As I approached the desk, one of my senses did not fail me. My hearing has always been excellent and today was no exception.
I introduced myself to the nurses and I noticed them looking oddly at each other when I gave my name. One of them stood to her feet and asked me to come and wait for the doctor to finish. As soon as he was free, he would come and let me know what was happening. Sitting down in the waiting room, nothing seemed out of the ordinary except for the mirrored glass that covered almost one entire wall.
After what seemed like an eternity, I grew impatient. Standing to my feet, I opened the door of the waiting room and went back to the nurses’ station.
“Hi, I am sure the doctor is busy, but I would really like some information. May I just go back to the examination room?”
“Sir, we just got word from the doctor and he said he should be up to speak with you in just a matter of minutes. Please wait for him in the room.”
Walking slowly back to the room, I opened the door and stepped in. Closing it back behind me, something back to nag at me as I stared at my dim reflection in the mirrored glass.
When time stands still, it is impossible to give an accurate description of a timeline. In my case, the next few minutes took another eternity while I pondered my location. As soon as my mind went through a myriad of possible computations, I came to a stark conclusion.
First, there was nobody in the room with me. There were always people in the Emergency Room. Not but a couple of weeks before, I had brought one of my children to the same hospital because they had fallen out of bed and split their head open requiring stitches.
Second, this waiting room had a door on it and while I had seen several people walk by who were not staff members, nobody had entered my waiting room.
Third, just as my brain realized that I was clearly in the wrong room, the doctor entered with another individual by his side. It was an older woman and she did not have a lab coat on. In fact, the only thing that I could focus on was the lapels of her jacket. Both lapels held a small, almost inconspicuous piece of jewelry that had been fashioned in the shape of a cross.
The doctor sat down at my left hand and the woman with the emblem on her lapels sat immediately to my right. Neither of them sat back in leisure, but were on the edge of their seats looking at me.
The room began to spin and I realized that my heart was not prepared for what the doctor began to say.
“Sir, I am sorry, but there was nothing we could do! We tried everything, but your brother is gone!”
That beautiful morning turned black. I knew that a knock from the other side of eternity had taken my brother from what C.S. Lewis called the Shadowlands of earth into the brightness of heaven where there is no night, no tears, and no death.
Each taking a hand, they walked me back to the exam room. My heart still aches as I remember looking down on the still face of my 22 year old brother, John. The pictures will always be in my mind of that day along with the torture of the funeral preparations. He was my best friend. No friends, no co-workers, and no family had yet joined me, and I felt more alone than I have done at just about any other point in my life.
Unbeknownst to us, he had developed a virus in his heart. Less than a year after getting out of the military with a clean bill of health, his heart had simply exploded. We later learned the EMTs were already in the building just about six or seven steps away. Ironically, they had taken over helping a lady who was having an angina attack.
The only first aid certified individual in her office had been my brother. Giving the care over to the EMT staff, he had turned and walked over to his desk, sat down, and fallen over dead.
Somehow, I managed to go back to my home. It was my responsibility to bear the brunt of the emotions as I called my parents who lived overseas. I called my brothers and sisters and informed them in different parts of the country, but nothing would change the fact that eternity had come calling for my brother, and he had answered.
I would have to say that I would not want him to have to come back to this world of misery and woe. The land where he lives is a land beyond compare and he did not have to grow old while dealing with sickness and pain. As I look from this side of the mirror, I realize that there are shadows on the other side. At my age, they are growing closer now than they were 23 years ago when my brother was called.
Sadly, we can only see glimpses every now and then of the joys that lie beyond this mortal pale. One day, we too will hear a clear, distinct knock. However, when the knock comes for us, it will actually open and the door will be a welcome intrusion. For those we leave behind, they will mourn, but one day, they will be able to join us on the other side. We will see clearly and realize that our journey was designed to take us from the shadows into the most incredible clarity that we cannot currently imagine.
The thought of seeing what is on the other side is not as scary as it was 10, 20, or 30 years ago. There are times the unknown reflects back to us in ways we cannot comprehend. We know there is something there, but all we see is our own reflection. For now I must go, but I am trying to prepare harder for the knock on the mirror. Whether I like it or not, it is coming. I will be ready.
1 Corinthians 13:12, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face…”(ESV)
Almost 63 years ago, life ended for the lack of just 25 feet.
On August 26, 2018, as I have done many times in the past, I stood on a summit called Libby Flats. This windswept plateau is located about a twenty-minute drive from the town of Centennial, Wyoming. The beautiful town is nestled at the base of the Snowy Range and boasts a population of just 270. Libby Flats is at an elevation of 10,869 feet.
As the cold winds gusted up to 40+mph, I stared in awe at the beauty of the creation surrounding our family. From a vantage point that is higher than every state east of the Rockies, it seemed as though you could see into tomorrow.
An elderly man was visiting the summit as well. Together we looked up at Medicine Bow Peak and began to ponder the brevity of life. Medicine Bow is a rocky outcrop that sits at 12,014 feet above sea level. From our vantage point just 1,145 feet below, you cannot miss the only peak that juts up from the landscape.
Yet, on October 6, 1955 and in daylight, a United Airlines flight took a shortcut to save a little bit of time. Just 25 feet from clearing the only obstacle in its flight path, the life of Flight 409 came to an abrupt and fiery end. But it was not just the ripping and shrieking of metal that hit the rocks. On board the flight from Denver to Salt Lake City were 66 souls.
Ponder that for a moment, 66 souls crossed the line from the land of the living into the vastness and never-ending continuum known as eternity. Life ended all because flight plans were not followed, life ended because a pilot thought he could get away with taking a shortcut.
In the subsequent investigation, it was learned that Flight 409 was not unique. Many pilots did the same thing. Each pilot plotted his course, but then deviated substantially from that path. The last time it happened resulted in a devastating loss of military members, normal families, and two infants.
Together, the old man and I talked about what that last moment would have entailed. In a just a couple of seconds, the pilot and co-pilot would have realized their mistake and maybe together tried hauling back on the yoke. Desperately fighting for their survival, they knew immediately that just 25 feet of unyielding rock came between them and life.
It is said that the one thing we learn from history is that we never learn from history. Life is no different today than it was 66 years ago, or even 2,066 years ago.
People are still dying from trying to take shortcuts in life. They have a purpose in life, but people think they can save time by cutting through the mountains. Instead of just flying around them and enjoying the beauty, they miss their purpose and their perspective.
I looked one last time at Medicine Bow Peak and wondered if there were areas in my life where I was on course to crash just 25 feet short. If we are not careful, we can bring ruin to our lives and even destruction by thinking we can take unscheduled shortcuts.
My dad always told me growing up that if something was worth doing, it was worth doing right. In turn, I have taught my five children the same thing. Life is short enough without getting caught up in the shortcuts that life sometimes has to offer.
Drugs, sex, alcohol, workaholic tendencies, destructive habits — all of these can seem like what you think you need to make life work. For a while, life will fly smoothly along under your wings until the moment that it all comes apart.
Plan your life accordingly. Don’t allow deliberate shortcuts to creep in and take over your flight plans. Life can be difficult, but the peaks of difficulties can be overcome.
However, you cannot fly blindly. Enjoy the reason why you are here. When your life and mine comes to an end, our epitaph should not read as an accident.
Enjoy life. Live with purpose. For the true believer, the only real purpose will be living for Christ each and every day. There is a saying I have heard since I was a child, “Only one life, it will soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
As I pondered the brevity of life on the mountain, I also could not help but wonder where each of those 66 souls ended up in eternity. Despite what the world wants us to believe, there are only two destinations. For those without faith in Christ alone, there is only hell. For those with faith in Christ alone, a joy-filled eternity awaits those who cross from these Shadowlands into the presence of the Savior.
Who do I have in heaven but You?
I look on earth and none are true
Your Word says all men are liars
Regardless of whatever transpires
I know You will see me through
Give strength in this situation, too.
There is none on earth but You I desire
To Your Word I can go and enquire
What is right, what is wrong and do
Right with joy and delight for You
Naught of this world’s goods to acquire
Because You are my only true Supplier
My flesh and heart continually fails You
It seems no matter what I try to do
What I want as my wish and desire
You have to take me through that fire
To teach my heart to be ever true
Because only You can guide me through
You are my strength and the entire
Portion of my heart You will acquire
Forever and ever You will imbue
Me with Your Word and life that’s new
So the praise with what will transpire
Me doing Your will is Yours only and entire.
Today was a special service at our little mission. There was rejoicing, a time of prayer, and worship of the Most High. While we spent time in prayer specifically for the persecuted church, every part of our service, including the time of fellowship afterwards, was intended to bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Each person that came today woke up to a dreary, grey, overcast sky and drove in a vehicle in a country that freely allows us to travel. But still we came.
Each person that came today had the privilege of coming to a building where we have freedom to worship as we see fit and not having to hide in a cave, or in the forest, or out on a dreary plain just to worship without fear of being reported to the authorities. But still we entered.
Each person that came today had no thoughts of any news that might or might not be taking place around the world. But still we worshipped.
Each person that came today had the opportunity to have a better understanding of what the persecuted church experiences every day. But still we prayed.
Each person that came today was reminded that there is an eternity to look forward where there will be no sin, no tears, no dying, no fears, and only joy in the presence of the Savior. But still we sang.
Each person that came today heard the truth of Scripture being boldly proclaimed that Jesus Christ alone saves sinners. But still we listened.
Each person that came today left after service to gusts of wind blowing across the parking lot, and a sky that was clearing with beautiful sunshine. But still we left.
Each person that came today read the news this afternoon that while we were worshipping, there were others who were doing the same but who did not go home for the wickedness of the heart of man was made evident as several in a Baptist church in south Texas went out into eternity. But still we grieve.
Tonight and in the coming weeks, there will be much soul-searching by many who go to services. Many parents will have concern for their safety and that of their children. Many will wonder if it is safe to go and worship with other believers, or will more lives come to an end. Many church leaders will face the daunting task of determining what kind of security they believe is necessary to help provide protection for those who come.
Yet, through the difficulty of following the news, these things remain true. The dangers are real. The reasons why this young man chose to kill will remain unanswered because he went out to eternity where he faced God as Judge.
Every day across this world, there are millions of Christ followers who live in danger of being harmed or being killed.Millions understand the risks of coming together knowing that it could be their last week. From places like North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, and many other countries, especially in the 10/40 window, there is the cry of the persecuted church. They are being harmed or killed simply because they have called on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
BUT still they went, still they entered, still they worshipped, still they prayed, still they sang, still they listened, still they left, and still they grieved.
The world is going to get worse. The Bible promises that this will be the case. Others will die for their faith. Others will have to determine whether dying for Christ is better than living for self. Others will have to decide if they will be bold for Christ and accept the martyr’s crown, or if they will deny the Christ who died for them and so forget that the servant is not above the Master.
What if tomorrow doesn’t take place like you think it will? What if tomorrow you are called to stand before God?
There is no subject greater than the subject of God. He has such attributes and characteristics that we can contemplate on them and still never be able to understand Him. So many things in the Bible talk about how great God is and yet He was able to do the opposite. When He was on earth He was fully God and fully man. He died on the cross for our sins yet raised Himself up from death. He is everywhere all the time yet time is no problem with Him. A thousand years are as one day to the Lord and one day is as a thousand years to Him. 2 Peter 3:8. He has always been alive and always will be alive.
One of my favorite meditations on the Lord is that He has always been and always will be. Psalm 90:1-2 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
I like to start off with a smaller number of a thousand and think back past that. A thousand years ago the Lord was alive. I haven’t even been alive 100 years. Beyond that is the time the earth was created. What an amazing time that would have been to see the universe created out of nothing. A million years ago, which was before the earth was created, God was alive then and no one around. After that is a trillion years and I can’t even comprehend how He could have been alive and nothing was needed on His part to sustain Him.
He is also to everlasting. He has always been and will always be. Yes, we will live for eternity after we die but how are we able to think of time in such tremendous numbers? Forever is a very long time and it goes in such a way that there is never any end. Yet the Lord was forever and will be forever. Can you bring your mind around such awesomeness? No one can because God is way beyond our understanding.
As I continue back and forward in the contemplation of time I can’t help but wonder at the complexities of our Savior. There is nothing that can compare to Him and all that He is. We hear the word ‘awesome’ bandied about as if the things of this earth are awesome but the things this generation says awesome about are not. They may be really good or something we like a lot yet that term can only be applied to the Lord in its truest sense. He alone is awesome! He alone is worthy of all praise!