All that really matters
By Dr. Robert Owens
Back when I was an atheist and I believed this is all there is I was passionately interested in politics, economics, and current events. I was committed to working for my side and to defeating the other guy. Now that I'm a born-again child of God, a citizen of Heaven, and merely a pilgrim here I follow the ever-changing kaleidoscope of civic events more like a soap opera.
Yes, I understand that within this bubble we know as the space-time continuum the ins and outs of who's up and who's down actually make a difference. For example, it will have a profound impact on the United States whether we hand the government over to socialist revolutionaries or if we deliver it to capitalists. However, in the grand scheme of things this makes about as much difference as which queen bee is laying eggs in which hive.
I came to this level of a wokeness after years of Bible study, prayer, and fellowship with God. Just as a caterpillar goes through a metamorphosis and becomes a butterfly, I believe humans go through much the same process. Only instead of a two-stage process like a butterfly we go through three stages.
First, we're a fetus (in Latin fetus means little one) for approximately nine months. Second, we're born into this world and live here for as long as we do. And finally, we pass from this world into eternity. Let's see: nine months, maybe 120 years, eternity. Which stage do you think is the real deal? The nine months prepare us for the 120 years and the 120 years prepare us for eternity. Two of these stages are merely steppingstones for the main event. Therefore, I contend that humans are in fact eternal beings who pass through two stages of development to become what we were created to be.
All that really matters in this stage of our development is the direction we're facing when we leave it. Are we looking to God and putting our faith in Him? Or are we looking to the world still grasping for all it has to offer? Think of it this way: if when we're a fetus inside our mother the umbilical cord is wrapped wrong or if there is a chromosomal problem, we could enter life with some sort of handicap that we will spend the next 120 years dealing with. In the same way if we enter eternity facing in the wrong direction, we will spend eternity dealing with the ramifications of that choice.
From my personal Christian perspective here's the 411 on how we turn from the world and face in the right direction.
Everyone can see that this world is broken. Evil runs rampant. The bad are rewarded. The good are crushed. Sickness, poverty, and oppression are on display in every direction. If God is good, why would He create such a horror show?
The easy answer is He didn't. When He was done with creation He paused and looked around. Surveying all that He had done and it was "Good."
Then man turned away from God, embraced Satan, and God cursed the world while at the same time promising that a Savior would come who would step on Satan's head and deliver humanity from the grip of the evil we chose.
The price was a sinless sacrifice, the good for the bad. No human could do it because none of us has ever or could ever live a sinless life. Therefore, God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be incarnated as a human, live a sinless life, and then offer himself up as a sacrifice for us all. After His sacrifice Jesus descended into hell and as an eternal being suffered the punishment for every sin that had ever or would ever be committed. Then He was born-again in the very heart of darkness, triumphed over Satan, and God raised Him from the dead. Jesus led all those who had died waiting for this deliverance out of Satan's grasp and emerged on the third day with the keys to death and hell.
After spending forty days instructing His disciples on how to carry the message of the best news ever to the world He ascended into heaven. Ten days later the Holy Spirit arrived and filled the new believers so that from then on they were no longer earth bound humans. They were instead wall-to-wall God birthed children of the Most High on a pilgrimage here with a mission to share their experience to be witnesses.
There it is in a nutshell. The word Gospel means "Good News" in old English. So, when you get filled to overflowing with all the bad news the world vomits up every day why not turn to the good news.
Don't worry about what you can't do anything about. Do you think if you missed one news broadcast or if you stopped watching them forever it would make any difference to what is happening on the stage of the world or would the actors just keep reading their lines and playing their parts? Bad news impacts us more than we can ever impact it.
It's like a joke making the rounds:
An English asks an Amish fellow, "Why didn't the COVID pandemic rampage through your communities?" The Amish fellow says without hesitation, "Because we don't have any TVs."
The TVs, radios, magazines, and papers may carry the news, but only the Bible has the Good News. It all comes down to choices: "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." In other words, no matter what, we're all going to serve somebody. It will either be any one of the countless gods of this world or the one true God.
How do you make that choice? Is it by joining the right church? Is it by attending the correct services, worshipping in a certain way, or following any of the endless rules the world invents to complicate and build a barrier between us and the God who wants us to join His family? No! Not only has He made it simple He has made it easy. All we need to do is confess Jesus as the Lord of our life and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead and we will be saved. That's it. Do that and we have joined God's family. Then we can pour ourselves into His Word so that it's life-giving Spirit will fill us and recreate us.
Forget about the bad news and study the Good News instead. Let's "Eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive, latch on to the affirmative, and don't with mess mister in between."
Or to put it another way, "Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."