I’ve felt led by the Holy Spirit to read aspects of Jeremiah again. That book contains severe and significant judgment against society. I think those judgments are applicable to our lives and to this world today. I an no false prophet saying that this world is clean and deserves only goodness from God. No, I am not saying that there is no danger of judgment.
I am not saying that. Therefore I will devote a chapter to this unpleasant topic, which we must understand. I feel I have already written and clarified this truth, but perhaps I should devote some more time to it now again.
The message I have seems relentlessly positive, but it is only positive if you understand the negative situation this world finds itself in. The whole world appears to be running after gods that are not God. I read statistics today that say in 2008 Pew Research found 67% of Americans call themselves Christians. And about the same % say that there is more than one way to God. 37% of America evangelicals also believe that Jesus Christ is simply one of the ways to our Father God.
This is simply not so. There is no other way to be reconciled to our Father God, no other way to be acceptable to Him and no other way to have our sins removed or to defeat death in this world.
Yes I have a relentlessly positive message of redemption and I say boldly that Christians are the salt and light of the world, because of Jesus Christ on the cross. We Christians are called to have a transformative role in this world. I’m energetic and excited about our future.
One of the risks is that we continue to miss the fact that He came, He really came!
Luk 19:41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
Another risk is that we continue to be distracted by all the other bits of good news in our gospel…
… while all along we miss the simplicity of His grace, His provision, His mercy and His full reconciliation. For as long as we miss it, the world will continue to suffer under the law.
For sure the whole world is struggling under the weight of sin, which is resulting in a heavy weight of death bearing down on us. But Jesus Christ is the good news…
By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? – Isa 53:8
Consider this… Jesus Christ was stricken for the transgressions of Isaiah’s people, then there certainly is hope for this world, because God told Isaiah extremely unflattering things about his generation! In fact they were so sinful and rebellious that they were about to be taken away to Babylon!
Another reason I have to be positive is that I believe that God’s words through Isaiah point to our time…
And on this Moun [Zion] shall the Lord of hosts make for all peoples a feast of rich things [symbolic of His coronation festival inaugurating the reign of the Lord on the earth, in the wake of a background of gloom, judgment and terror], a feast of wines on the lees – of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined – Is 25:6 AMP
Those words “gloom, judgment and terror” are in the Amplified bible and were written before the first publication in 1954. In that environment of gloom, God promises to make riches for all people (not a select few). It’s impressively prophetic that the Amplified editors used those words long before terrorism was in the public consciousness… but how much more impressive is it that God spoke this through Isaiah over 2500 years ago?
So yes I see the “gloom, judgment and terror” negatives mounting up and up, but I remain relentlessly positive that we are coming into a time of a feast of rich things.
Another reason for my positive outlook is that I know that we have a Helper who is building up the church. Some people think God will pull a fast one and short circuit the whole thing and Sovereignly do a “work”, but this denies the words of the bible, which says that the work of Jesus Christ and the wisdom of God is to be shown through the church, which is His body.
God and Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to us to continue the work of explaining to the world about 3 things according to Joh 16:8-11 and He will explain to us about (1) sin, about (2) the righteousness of Jesus Christ and that (3) the devil has been dethroned on the cross.
So in my own relentlessly positive way, I will keep talking about the good news that Jesus Christ has brought and that we Christians are so free to receive, which then transforms the world.
I am a pessimist when it comes to humanity saving itself. Clearly we are not able to. But I am an optimist when it comes to Christians decluttering their faith and focussing on Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross. He has healed this world on the cross, because He is Jehovah Nissi, our Healer.
I also see another good reason to be positive. The situation is not futile, because God understands what we are facing. Consider His words to us in Isaiah 1:5 …
Why should you be stricken and punished any more [since it brings no correction]? You will revolt more and more. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint (feeble, sick, and nauseated). – Is 1:5
From these words right at the start of the book of Isaiah, I gain great encouragement. God knows that beating a horse and demanding that it performs better, will only lead to more difficulty for the horse and even less than optimum performance.
I’m not a prophetic voice saying that our sins are not being counted and that it’s all ok. Instead I’m saying our sins do matter and everything is not ok in this world. BUT.
Because of Jesus Christ and because of God’s desire to love us through His cross and because we have the Helper, the Holy Spirit… because of the words spoken through Isaiah… because of these things, I’m eagerly awaiting our future with anticipation.
That’s why I felt to title this book “If My people”. I’ve quoted the full text before, but this time I will clip some words out of the full verses, to reveal what I can see in it, the potential, and the importance for us believers to take action…
2Ch 7:14 if my people who are called by my name … then I will hear from heaven … and heal their land.
IF His People who are called by His Name… and in some countries that may only be 1% of the population… but if just those few people will respond, then He will heal the whole land. Wow! There is so much promise and hope in those verses.
Book: If My people (v35!) (1+MB) – A free daily devotional which is under development. 167 pages.