It is disheartening to read stories about mass suicides, or about families that took their own life and that of their children for fear of some impending doom. The unbelieving public comes out quickly, enraged, to judge and condemn religious fanatics for their beliefs, for brainwashing children into believing their lies, truly believing that their belief in God is what led them to their demise. They (the public) tend to feel badly for the children who were cut down so young. It’s OK for an adult to take his, or her own life, but neither has the right to take the life of another, especially a child. Gosh, who hasn’t been shocked by the numerous stories of mass suicides led by a cult leader? And regardless if we understand such actions were those of “fanatics” God, the living God (a.k.a. religion as some do not distinguish) often takes the brunt of the blame.
I love to read the comments on various articles, especially on articles where families are involved. They always provide insight into people’s world view. A couple of days ago, I was reading an article about the family in Utah that committed suicide. It was troubling to say the least. Even more troubling was the comments from people who obviously had no need for the saving grace of the living God. Nevertheless, I too wanted to share my thoughts on the matter, but for whatever reason I held back. I just couldn’t find the right words to explain that this tragedy was not provoked in any way by the living God. Later that evening, still pondering this article, I recalled what Jesus said about Jonah. Specifically “But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas…”
Then I thought about Jonah and his mission from God. Jonah ran, because he knew God. He knew God was a gracious and forgiving God. Then I thought about Abraham and God, right before God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. God told Abraham what He was about to do and Abraham could not believe it, so he pleads with God for the righteous. After much pleading, God finally tells Abraham, that for 10 righteous people He would spare Sodom. I thought, God is always willing to save, to relent, to forgive, to show grace, to have no one be destroyed, that’s what Jonah knew about God and what Abraham learned. Both thought God was unfair. One thought it unfair for God to save a rebellious people, the other thought it was unfair for God to destroy the righteous with the unrighteous. If anyone is more misunderstood, it’s God…and He knows it.
Then I thought, true believers are not waiting in fear. Jesus told us all the signs we should look out for, the false prophet, the abomination, and even warned us that we would be persecuted for His sake. And he told of other signs to look for in Mathew 24.
We wait anxiously for His return, in reverent fear, because He promised to return to gather His church, His bride and He who promised is faithful.
Finally, a friend called me up with a word for me. Hebrew 13: 1-7 he said, read it. It will change your outlook. So, I read it, and I read it, again, and again. Then it hit me.
“Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.
Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:
“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”
Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct…
As believers, that’s what we are doing. We are living and learning… through trial and tribulation to become more like Christ. He suffered for sinful man.
John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.”
We do not live in fear of an apocalypse, or tribulation, or any other impending doom. We wait patiently for His return, because He who promised is faithful.
Ps. 27:1 “The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
The true believer waits…Isaiah 41:28-31
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
But the veil…keeps people blind and bound and forever blaming God.
Just a few random thoughts. Be blessed.