“In this world you will have troubles.”
When Jesus made that statement, He knew precisely how true it was… just as you do now when you reflect on the challenges of your own life. No one is exempt from problems in this world. But Jesus didn’t stop there. He continued with words of comfort saying, “…be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” He did not merely sympathize with the trials of our lives, He empathized with our plight and conquered our sin problem once, forever, for everyone.
Jesus dealt with the greatest blight of our lives when He died on a Roman cross at mount Calvary. He was God’s perfect, innocent and only acceptable sacrifice for sin. With His shed blood He purchased forgiveness for everyone. All anyone need do is to accept His sacrifice. Because He victoriously passed through death and was resurrected to life again, the worst that this life can assaults us with has been defeated. We are victorious in Him. By accepting God’s Son, we are recipients of God’s precious gift of everlasting life.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
II Timothy 3:1-5
Gun violence… Wars and rumors of wars… Bigotry and hatred… Economic instability… Political unrest… and more. There are reasons for these perils that are addressed in the remaining verses of the chapter. Many of these reasons seem to have existed since the beginning of sin on this earth, with one exception. One thing we know based on the Holy Scriptures is that the wicked behavior of men will grow worse as it has in our generation. Our world is globally in view, and the evil imaginations of many are being acted out on a world stage with the prime objective… to be seen. Many things are worse than they’ve ever been. Many things are getting even more atrocious as it becomes more and more difficult to create shock value. These are all among the signs that the return of our Lord, Jesus Christ is very near.
Jesus said, “…because I live, you will live too.”
Just recently here in the New York Tri-State area, a little six year old “angel” died of the flu in just three days. As newscasters gave the grim report, everyone who heard of this tragedy had the same wave of sadness and the feeling that her death was somehow unfair. This sweet little girl would never have her chance at living. I can imagine that her grief-stricken parents would rather it had been them, than their child. Our inescapable reality is that it is appointed unto [people] once to die (Hebrews 9:27 ) and none of us can control when that happens or can die for someone else. Death is personal and the result of original sin. We are all tangled in sin’s web. We cannot save ourselves or anyone else. But God can, and He did when he sent his Son, Jesus to go through life, go through death and to conqueror sin, death and the grave. When Jesus rose alive from the grave, we won! We now have a hope beyond the grave… Believe your victory.
“I go to prepare a place for you. “
Oh how we love those home renovation shows because they give old and desolate houses, new life. Fix up an old house and make it exciting, new and livable again and you’ve captured our imaginations because that’s what we want for our own lives… to be salvaged and renewed. That is exactly what God does for his children here and now in the land of the living. We are made new again as we are conformed to the image of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In addition to the spiritual transformation we experience here and now, Jesus has promised that he is preparing a place for us where he is. We know that place will blow our minds because eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into our minds what God has prepared for us. (1 Cor 2:9) We have a home with Jesus.
“… the Lord your God…will not leave you or forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 (Hebrews 13:5)
We are not alone.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”
We belong to God.