You’re probably asking, “whose side of what issue?”
And “who are the “we” in this anyway?”
Good questions for an increasingly confusing, confrontational, and dangerous set of situations in the world that desperately cry out for order, peace, and a conclusion to affairs that have been spinning out of mankind’s control since the fall of man.
Looking at events in isolation, one frame at a time leads one to believe that there is no conclusion that can be arrived at but only a series of events that repeat themselves ad infinitum and which defy worldly explanation.
In the past, geopolitical issues focused on territories, economies, natural resources and , usually to a lesser extent, religions and ideologies. World views were ideas reserved for the elite clubs from which Foreign Ministers, Secretaries of State, Presidents, and Prime Ministers held court in private from the rest of the world until their time in the public eye came. Many young people, born after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, have never heard that before the fall of that union that it was the most populous of Muslim lands with over 45 million living within its borders and millions more under its sphere of influence.
The heavy hand of socialist dictatorship kept the radical arms of Islam well under control for decades and, as with many things, the west-particularly the United States-paid no attention to the threat under its nose. This all changed in the early 1990’s when terrorist attacks at the hands of radical Muslims started taking place on U.S. soil. These attacks had already begun in the 1980’s in Europe, as the Soviet Union grew weaker and began to collapse.
But wait! Before you start thinking this is going to be some sort of Islamophobic rant, let me dissuade you.
As Christians, Jesus commanded us to “love one another, as I have loved you”. This is as straight forward as it gets, dear reader. He was our template for how to think, how to behave, and how to show an increasingly violent and unforgiving world how our God expects us to follow His great commission and make disciples of all people. Nothing complex or unclear about this. It is in the Bible and, like all of God’s instructions, are easy to read and easy to understand. Easy to understand until, that is, we start to make things complex, unclear, or deceptive.
Sometimes we manipulate information to suit our perception of influence and power over our own lives or events. Governments often do this. When we do, we often find ourselves on the reverse side of Love God, Love Others as we are commanded in Deuteronomy 6:4-6 and Leviticus 19:18. This was the model Jesus provided us by His perfect life (wholly God and wholly man) and established God’s New Covenant with us through His blood, sacrificed once for all on the cross nearly 2,000 years ago.
Back to the world.
Recent events in North Africa and the Middle East have a lot of people concerned, even worried, about what the future holds, even for God’s children who should know better than anyone what the future holds for them!
One by one the dominoes are falling across North Africa and through Egypt, into the Sinai and now into the hotbed of the Middle East, as though the Lord Himself has been orchestrating these revolts and upheavals all along. The fuse is getting shorter and leads straight to Jerusalem.
I am reminded of a number of scriptures involving the possibilities for the world but the one that comes to mind most often is from Psalm 2: “But the One who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger He rebukes them, terrifying them with His fierce fury.”
So while the kings of the earth plot together and manipulate things in their way, God has His divine and perfect plan for His children to enjoy and have peace in. As Psalm 91:8-10 proclaims: “Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished. If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.”
Well, some would say time is short for this world. Christians everywhere are more openly persecuted now than at any time since the Roman Empire. According to The Voice of the Martyrs, over 250,000 Christian men, women, and children were murdered between 2008 and 2009 simply for their faith in Jesus! Further, the lie the world has convinced itself of for nearly 40 years is that aborting the unborn is fine for the sake of the mother, whatever her reasons. Many men have contributed to this and it was men who passed the laws making it possible. We have ended more than 50 million lives in America alone in this way, easily outstripping all the deaths the Nazis perpetrated by war and holocaust. All it took was one bad idea turned into a bad law.
Persecutions of all kinds are on the rise throughout the world. Pick a cause! Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists going after Christians. Some who call themselves Christians behaving in decidedly un-Christian ways with Koran burnings and faux patriotism disguising itself as Christianity! I read recently that there are now over 38,000 different sects of Christianity with beliefs ranging from the traditional to the bizarre, like the kinds that believe in the deaths of those they cannot convert themselves. Bible believing, evangelical Christianity such as my family now practices is a principle target all over the world.
Without Jesus as Lord of our lives, much condemnation would certainly, justifiably come our way but we needn’t fear the world that we have made from God’s perfect creation. This brings us back to the “Whose this we?” The “we” are God’s faithful children; those who have called on the Lord Jesus to be saved and who look to Him for the power of the Holy Spirit to guide their lives until His return, soon or not. This is the best of all possibilities regardless of the time we live in and our only hope.
The issues are too numerous to count but the solution is simple and God Himself has provided it. We can no longer manage the mess on our own on any large scale and God is calling us, as He has been doing constantly for 2,000 years through His son, Jesus Christ. The cacophony is reaching a fever pitch at last and the time is running out, I think.
As we manage our lives and have still not sought the guidance of our Lord Jesus, now is the time. Showing love for one another needs to include leading others to the truth of salvation and eternal life that the grace of God has brought us to.
Now the true issue is revealed: Talk to your friends about God, and His Son Jesus. He wants you to know that this world is only a parking place for the great eternal ride. Jesus is driving and we can have the peace, security, and prosperity that He promised us not just in heaven but in the here and now. We are coming into the time of year when we celebrate the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He rendered all other forms of sacrifice obsolete through His life and works. It is the most valuable and true belief there is. God searches our hearts to see where we are in relation to this truth. No one is perfect and none of us can measure up on our own, but we have the hope of His everlasting kingdom.
So pray, ask forgiveness, and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Believe it in your heart-this is God’s territory-and get it out of your brain. The heart contains what we say and do.
What else is there?
Bless you all.