Where Is The Promise Of His Coming – Part 3

“They will say, ‘Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’”  2 Peter 3:4

As I noted in Part 1 of this series (initially titled, “The Lie, The Truth, The End and Your Choice”) we humans are a short-sighted race.  Peter realized this when he penned the words in his letter about the question that would arise in a few years.  Even in that first century that was as yet to be marked by the life and death of Jesus dividing between B.C. and A.D., philosophies of life already abounded that said nothing ever changes.

2021-10-09 The Real ArkFrom the various human origin stories of ancient times, the central idea of all false religions is that we somehow have to please a god in order to arrive at a state of perfection.  Most people live their lives with no hope of eternal life, but simply anticipate that when you die, you no longer exist or get recycled for another try.  The Great Deluge (whether in the Hebrew tradition or religious myths about a local flood) is now considered an old wives’ tale, so most think the world will simply continue as it has since they were born. 

In the case of the Hebrew story of Noah (see Genesis 711), only eight people survived to repopulate the earth.  By the time Abram arrived on the scene, many had already forgotten the Creation and the Flood story.  Myths about the beginning of human history began to evolve and people began to worship “gods” that had nothing to do with the creation of the world.  Noah and Shem had recently died and language had been confused at Babel, so their story was not getting much traction in the widening world.  Only in Abram’s ancestry was the story of Creation and the Great Flood still told accurately.  Noah’s grandson and Shem’s son, Arphaxad, born two years after the Flood, was the most reliable source for history, although all the generations between Noah and Abram had known Noah before he died, including Terah, Abram’s dad.

Now, removed from the Flood by more than 3000 years, we have come up with new stories to explain human origins apart from any divine power or design.  Who would have thought that a first century prophet like Peter could have foretold of Darwinian evolution and its deceit of the entire world?  Even among many Christ-followers, excuses are made for accepting a directed, but billions-of-years process of selection of microcosmic changes, that have resulted in humans, butterflies, whales and cattle.

Scientific establishments are often the last to continue fighting scientific discoveries.  Copernicus and Galileo were denounced by both the Church and scientists of their day for proposing that the sun was the center of the universe and not the earth.  Louis Pasteur was ridiculed by “modern medicine” for claiming that disease could be spread by bacteria too small for the eye to see.  And in our generation Stephen Hawking and populists like Richard Dawkins refute the evidence for Intelligent Design (ID) that would destroy their ideas that the universe is a self-directed (i.e. NON-directed) cosmos with no Designer.  (Not to mention, more general acceptance of ID would put a damper on their book sales.) 

This is in spite of Darwin thinking that cells were self-contained and very simple machines that could replicate themselves.  Now we understand that the complexity of the machinery, even in parts of a cell, are so extreme as to be unimaginable that all the pieces needed could somehow come together at once, by chance, to make a living thing.  Leave any one item out (of the thousands to millions in each part of the cell), and all you get is a non-living blob that cannot reproduce.  But, of course, the scientific community continues to deny the obvious that the earth revolves around the sun . . . I mean, that life is too complex to have evolved, even over the billions of years that they fabricate to claim that this is exactly what happened.

Most important is the focus of Peter’s argument.  The idea that everything continues as it has invokes the concept that it will keep on continuing, at least for the next few billion years.  Therefore, they reason, there is no need to fear an end of all things the way burlap robed hippies and crackpots warn, carrying signs, “The End Is Near.”

2021-10-09 The End Is Near AdvertiserSo at the risk of sounding like a burlap robed hippie, I will assert again that the end IS near.  Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep.  For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” Romans 13:11  If this was true in 55 A.D., how much nearer is it today?!

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord WILL come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” 2 Peter 3:10

2021-10-09 Poor Easter DramasJesus is coming soon, and in order to be saved all one needs to do is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, repent of sin and be baptized for the removal of your sins.  Then you can begin living a life filled with God’s provision for every need, protection from every danger, and recovery from every disease, even death!  You can live forever, and that will be with Jesus, who loves you so much He would have gone through all those miseries of His crucifixion and lousy Easter dramatizations (😉), even if you were the only one who needed Him.

It is my sincere hope that someone will read this and follow the links and consider that the truth of the Bible will lead to the only life worth living, actually the only life that will live, and that will be forever. 

If one refuses, against all evidence, to believe in the Name of the Son of God, they will not stop existing.  For that person, God who IS love, has reserved a Final Mercy, the topic of next week’s blog and the last in this series, .

Maranatha.  Even so, come Lord Jesus, come.

 

Love Me. That’s an Order!

Love Me Thats An OrderLove me. That’s an Order!  Imagine the reaction most dates would have to this!  “YOU are ORDERing me to LOVE you!?”  Probably may want to wait a few days to ask for a second date? emo laugh

Yet that is exactly what our God says to us in Deuteronomy 6:4-5:Yahweh our God, Yahweh is one. Love Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  Pretty sure of Himself, don’t you think?  Well, actually yes.  And it is that surety on which all our faith relies.

The only way a man (or woman) could tell another person, “You have to love me with all your heart,” is if he knew he was the very best that she could find.  But no man knows this for certain.  There could be someone out there living in Timbuktu who would be a better match, a better spouse, a better lover, friend, confidante, and soul mate than him.  Thus, it would be very foolhardy for any guy to give this kind of command to a woman (and vice versa).

So human love is usually based on mutual conditions.  An attraction is felt, usually to physical appearance, financial security, emotional support or some other benefit that the lover can receive, and the decision is made to love the one who is attractive in one way or another.  The whole concept of love to most Americans is a shallow attraction to benefits the lover can receive by loving his/her partner.

God’s love is far better than this.  He did not demand that we clean up our acts, get our lives in order, straighten out our finances, or even make our beds, before loving us unconditionally.  He loves when there is nothing we can do, add to or give in return.  We are totally and completely the beneficiaries of a love that is “greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell.”  He loves us so much that if there was anyone or anything better for us than Himself, He would not hesitate to send us to that one for love.  He would command, “Yahweh is one; love that other One with all your heart and with all your soul . . .”

There’s the catch.  There is simply no one better for us than The God Who Is There and He knows this.  In fact there is nothing He does not know. (See June 17, 2018.)  So when He commands us to love Him, it is not a selfish demand such as a man saying this to a woman would be making.  Even His command to love Him is based on His desire for what is good for us, and He knows He is simply the best there is.

Love Me Thats An Order 2We do not need to be afraid of His love.  This may seem redundant, but really it is not.  Though perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), too many have heard promises of love only to be disappointed when the lover failed or cheated or deceived.  When someone hears that God loves her, her heart may go back to previous promises of love, and say, “Not again.  He said he loved me and look what happened.”  Broken promises cover our lives like peanut shells on the floor of a Logan’s Steakhouse.

When we hear that God loves us, our natural suspicion is that there must be a catch.  Yeah, He “loves us” but only if we do nice things; only if we don’t cuss or lust or get mad.  “You don’t know me like I do, and if you did, YOU would not love me, so why would a God who you say DOES know everything about me?  EVERYTHING?  He even knows what I THINK!?  How could He love ME!?”

God Loves You This MuchVery simply because that is what He does.  He loves.  So much so that John said, “God IS love!” (1 John 4:8)  It is part of His very character and nature to look for who and what He can shower with love, and when He runs out of angels to love, He creates humans so that His love can have another outlet.  That is why you were born, so that He could love you.  That is why you are reading this blog, so that you can discover more of His love.  If you will risk letting Him love you and love Him in return, you will find that everything that has happened in your life will bear the marks of His love.  Even the terrible things that made you wonder at the time if there even was a God.  He will redeem, that is “repurchase,” those events and show that He was loving you even then.

But if you will not risk letting Him love you like that, you take the greater risk of not being loved at all, and of not loving at all.  C.S.Lewis, in The Four Loves, summed it up like this:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

Allow the Holy Spirit to open your heart to a love that is almost unbelievable.  In fact, it would be unbelievable if not for the evidence of Jesus.  He loves as no other and look what happened to Him!  But loving us was worth it, because YOU are worth it.  So love Him in return.  That’s an order.