Week Fifty, 2019
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. (Matthew 25:42-44).
The final eruption of Mount St. Helens in May of 1980 was not a sudden event. For two months prior to the massive blast—the most deadly and destructive in American history—earthquakes and volcanic activity signaled a major event was underway. Authorities had plenty of time to sound the alarm and warn those living nearby of the looming danger. Yet despite the seriousness of the threat, some people chose to disregard the warnings.
Probably the best known of those who refused to evacuate was Harry Randall Truman. The eighty-three-year-old man was the owner and caretaker at the Mount St. Helens Lodge at Spirit Lake. He had survived the sinking of his troop ship by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland during World War I, and he was not about to leave just because scientists thought there was danger.
“I don’t have any idea whether it will blow,” Truman told reporters. “But I don’t believe it to the point that I’m going to pack up.” On May 18, 1980, Truman and his lodge were buried beneath 150 feet of mud and debris from the volcanic eruption. His body was never found.
We shake our heads and wonder why someone would be so foolish as to disregard a life-threatening warning. Yet, we see young people jumping off bridges just for fun, with warning signs, “No diving.” A hurricane approaches the coast, and warnings are issued to evacuate. But there are always people who refuse and say “I’m going to ride it out.” Some survive. But sadly, others lose their lives.
Not only does the Bible warn us about being ready for the second coming of Christ, it is a handbook on how to resist temptation and beware of false teachers and be on guard against the schemes of Satan. The apostle Peter put it this way: “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking whom he may devour.”
We must be awake to the devious devices of the Devil to trip and trap us. Unwholesome entertainment, lurid literature, Internet pornography, trashy TV shows and movies, raunchy music and anything else that appeals to lustful thoughts, lewd feelings, and lascivious actions.
The admonition of Jesus has never been more appropriate than it is today. Christ is coming again. Stay focused. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Be filled with God’s Word. Pray fervently. Fellowship with people of faith. You never know when Satan will strike.
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
Attorney General William Barr is making headlines for a speech he delivered at Notre Dame University’s law school recently. Barr, a devout Catholic, told faculty and students that “the problem is not that religion is being forced on others, the problem is that irreligion is being forced—secular values are being forced on people of faith.”
Barr adds: “Among the militant secularists are many so-called progressives. But where is the progress? We are told we are living in a post-Christian era, but what has replaced the Judeo-Christian moral system? What is it that can fill the spiritual void in the heart of the individual person? And what is the system of values that can sustain human social life?”
The attorney general said of the moral problems we are facing, “This is not decay. This is organized destruction. Secular forces and their allies have marshaled all the forces of mass communication, popular culture, the entertainment industry, and academia, in an unremitting assault on religion and traditional values.”
I believe Attorney General Barr is absolutely right.
Here’s why we are here: Many in our culture believe the lie that all truth claims are subjective impositions of personal power on others. Tolerance of all viewpoints must; therefore, be mandated, except, of course, for viewpoints deemed intolerant.
According to this agenda, the freedom to express religious beliefs ends where such freedom is deemed harmful to or by another person. Any person. Of course, the harm done to the person expressing his or her religious beliefs is ignored.
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Scripture calls us to “be holy in all your conduct” (1 Peter 1:15). In that light, we should heed the warning of the eighteenth-century scientist G. C. Lichtenberg: “Never undertake anything for which you wouldn’t have the courage to ask the blessing of heaven.”
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“Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it political?’ Vanity asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular; but one must take it because it is right.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
Jesus‘ need for me is as constant as the outflow of my love to Him.
Evangelism – A group of “ordinary” Christians living intentionally in a city to bring joy to it through the gospel of Jesus Christ through Word and deed.
Not everyone who believes and is baptized is a real disciple. Ken Whitten
Death is just a comma to Christ, not a period.
The problem with heroes is that eventually they end up showing their humanity and shatter our glittering image of who they really are. Dwight Short
We need to teach others what we believe, but equally we must teach why we believe what we believe. Josh McDowell
The higher the summit, the harder the climb. Jim Denison
Oswald Chambers: “The true mark of the saint is that he can waive his own rights and obey the Lord Jesus.”
Max Lucado noted: “God never said that the journey would be easy, but he did say that the arrival would be worthwhile.”
Encouragement provides us with motivation to persevere. It invites us to dream dreams of significance for our lives. And it begs us to work diligently with optimism and promise.