Where’s the Fire?

You’re late.

You have a sense of urgency that is compounded by the multiple loud distractions in the back seat, unexpected road construction, and certain aged people that simply shouldn’t be on the road.  It is only by the grace of God that you have kept some sense of sanity and refrained from letting loose a barrage of profanity that would be instantly implanted in the vocabulary of the young minds sitting the car seats behind you.

Deep breath.

But now on the open road – an opportunity to make up some lost time.  Faster than the limit on the signs that whiz by, but within the “grace period” of miles per hour over the speed limit.  At least, that is what you tell yourself.

But of course, the state trooper hidden over the next hill has a different opinion.

“Where’s the fire?!?”

“Well, Officer……”

You feel an impending sense of guilt.  You are overwhelmed by the reality of God’s grace and forgiveness in this life and the promise of Heaven in the next.  Yet, you know inherently that you have failed in the primary task of the great commission to take the gospel to your neighbors, and beyond.  

Deep breath.

This remorse propels you to act.  You desire to make up for lost time.  You must be bold, unashamed.  An overwhelming sense of love for others, compassion for their souls and their eternal destination without Christ causes you to be persistent, even reckless with sharing your faith.  Praise of Jesus is always on your lips.  You know we are living in a “grace period” before the Lord returns and it will be too late.

The world frowns at this overt Christian “proselytizing” and incessant references to Jesus, the Bible, and especially sin and Hell.

“Woah!  Slow down; put on the brakes with this Christian stuff.  After all what’s the rush?  Where’s the fire?”

The fire is closer than you realize.  It is already whipping at your heels.  In the twinkling of an eye, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.  By then it will be too late.  Today is the day of salvation.  Jesus is watching and waiting…

Poem:


I Should Burn


I can already feel

the embers growing

the oxygen blowing

the flames destroying


I can already taste

the choking smoke

the ashen dust

the pillowing soot


I can already see

the fiery pit

forever lit

human torches

in writhing fits


Now I am running

like an antelope from the flames

to the only

firebreak that remains


And I bow before the

Cross of my beloved Lamb

who smothers the flames to death

and applies the healing balm

to restore life again

Scare the Hell Out

Forgive the bluntness of the title, but we live in a time where we cannot mince words…

Matthew 12

43“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”


I’ve been thinking about these verses lately.  Thinking about the prospect of demonic house guests.  Thinking about the fact that Jesus spoke these words to the “Pharisees and teachers of the law.”  In other words to the very religious and pious of the day, the elite members of the church so to speak.  We might today claim to follow the law “religiously” but of course that is not humanly possible.  We might take pride in our religious fervor where none is founded.  We might, like the Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign, dictating terms to Him as if we were in any position to do so.

And then Jesus gives this very vivid example of spiritual warfare.  Although we may be lax in our discipline, demonic spirits will never be.  Although cast out of a particular soul, the spirit keeps looking for a new victim, even returning to its old host to see if the way is guarded.  And imagine his glee when he sees the door left completely open, wide enough for him and seven other hobo spirits he picked up along the way.

Only Christ will be sufficient.  Only the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and filling.  Only this will scare the Hell out.  And his seven demonic brothers with him.


Amen.

Zombie Euphoria

No denying it.  I had heard the frequent buzz about the hit show, The Walking Dead [AMC], but always from the periphery.  Not much into television drama, my viewing runs from sports to World War II documentaries.  That about covers it.  Finally I decided to check out a recent episode, but I didn’t watch long.  Too violent for my taste.  Perhaps it was this particular episode; I will leave that to the show’s devotees to confirm or deny.

Still, I was interested in the name of the show.  It reminded me of an idea that I had been cultivating for several years.  It began with the concept of convicted prisoners on death row.  Such are often labeled as “dead men walking.”  Although still breathing on earth, these prisoners are yet condemned to die.

I believe that a parallel exists in describing the state of unbelievers.  There are many all around us who have not accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior, Redeemer.  One might accurately state that these individuals are dead men and dead women walking.  Breathing daily the earthly atmosphere.  To all outward worldly appearances, many of them are models of prosperity.  Secure, successful, and strong.  Others have made trainwrecks of their lives through a string of poor choices, with disastrous consequences.

Yet all have this in common.  If any of them died with their next breath, they would face an eternity in Hell.  The Bible is unambiguous about this.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  [Heb 10:26-27 NIV]

One might say today that the “foolishness “ of Christianity is trumpeted more loudly than ever, although it’s probably been prevalent throughout the history of two millennia.  God is mocked, Christians are mocked [or much worse depending on the spot on the globe], and hedonism and evil have their way.  For a while at least.

For argument’s sake, suppose the atheist or unbeliever is correct.  There is no god, no heaven, no hell.  This life is all there is, and when we die the body, mind, and spirit are simply annihilated and disappear.  Believers in Christ such as myself are fools.

If the above is true, then my life (although considered foolish) would have been on balance a fairly decent one where I attempted to serve my fellow man, love my family, and leave a legacy of selflessness for my grandchildren.  The downside if the above were true – believing in an eternity that doesn’t exist [i.e. a victim of a sham].  But I would rest uneventfully in non-eternity just as everyone else.

Yet if I am right [and I firmly believe that I am], the downside for the unbeliever is not only probable lack of peace in this life but eternal and everlasting torment in Hell.  It is a bad place to be.

I pray for any and all who do not know Jesus as their personal and eternal Savior.  Those who are the “walking dead” and seem not to know it.  Lord, convict them of their immediate need.

Never forget:  there is forgiveness, peace, love, mercy, and joy in Jesus the Messiah.  Freedom from guilt, anger, and the many side effects of sin.  Just believe in Him!

Zombie Euphoria

Not a clue, or at least not a care

of the coming judgment and

    Holy wrath

None spared, save those saved

    by Christ and His death

The remnant gone in a flash

the wider highway awash in walking dead

Blissfully unaware of what lies ahead

05/30/13