My last post was about honoring God by taking enjoyment in simple pleasures. One of my critics called that post a piece of “fluff-cake.” I will answer by getting a little “down and dirty.”
The twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew came to mind. Jesus is instructing about the “end times.”
I am sure that there were untold calamities during the time Jesus made that discourse. I was not there, but I can relate to the uncertainty and pain associated with the birth pangs of becoming a Christian, eventually in fellowship with God.
There was a huge forest fire in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, the exact day of the Great Chicago Fire. Surely, the people who survived those fires thought the end was near.
What about the small pox and polio epidemics? What about the race riots of the late 1960’s? What about World War II? What about Hiroshima? Certainly there was uncertainty for the survivors, watching all that destruction. Yet, the world, perhaps changed, continues to exist.
What I am asserting here, is that the destruction goes deeper. How many of us, once we decided to believe, did not experience a rush of serenity? To many of us it was a “holy crap.” experience instead. Following Christ can sometimes be compared to birth pangs. Yet, following Christ is an individual experience.
However, I would also assert that there is destruction within all of us as we follow Jesus, carrying our cross. The old “temple” must be torn down, sometimes piece by piece, to build an individual temple worthy of God’s presence. We must destroy the old, cleanse, and rebuild until we have a new temple and we become new creatures. If we are not up to the challenge, then we might wallow in the pestilence of unabashed sin.
Matthew 24 does not frighten me, for I have plunged into the fire and have come out burnished. It has not been easy. I would also assert that not everyone is called to endure the same way. Our relationship with God is, thankfully, individual.
In closing I will call my readers’ attention to Luke 17:21. Jesus is talking about when the kingdom of God will appear on the Earth. Jesus says,” Nor will people say, “look! Here [it is] or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you]. (Amplified Bible.)
Have faith, and don’t eat too much chocolate!