Our world is in trouble. Chaos reigns from the shores of Tripoli to the halls of state legislatures. Gasoline prices are at the highest point in almost two years, are rising quickly and show no sign of slowing. Prices at the pump are directly affecting prices at the grocery checkout. Crime is rising; no one feels safe anymore. Worst of all it seems there is no hope for tomorrow. The politicians with whom we have entrusted our life, liberty and our pursuit of happiness are not talking to one another and seem to accomplish little. We’re in an airplane that’s out of fuel and will carry us just to the crash site. We are in trouble.
Not so fast.
We’ve been here before.
Gas prices were higher all the way back in 1981. In fact, gas at the pump would have to be $8.05 per gallon today to match the 1981 levels when adjusted for inflation. At the end of World War II the death toll reached over 60,000,000 with close to a half million deaths among United States soldiers alone. Over 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust; 20,000,000 died in the Soviet purges under Stalin and perhaps more died in China under Mao. Evil was, and is, real. It has often reared its head through anger, terror, war and repression. But in every case it has ultimately been defeated. Let me say that again:
Evil Always Looses.
That good wins over evil is not just a historic fact. It is a Biblical principle too. The greatest catastrophe to befall mankind came in Eden when the first couple chose to sin. They were irrevocably cut off from God and his goodness. There was no greater disaster. All earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanoes, tsunamis, wars and crimes together could not match the horrific events of Eden. Yet immediately God intervened to offer hope. Goodness took from Satan his prize (Genesis 3:15 ff).
In the first century the world was wholly corrupt. Pagan empires ruled. God’s people were under repression. The priesthood went to the highest bidder. But into the world came Jesus Christ, the very Son of God. The brightness of his light shines from Eden’s tree to Heaven’s gates. In Matthew 16:18 he declared the coming of his church. Of that church Jesus said; “the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.” His faithful apostle Paul tells us that the last enemy, death, will be destroyed and that the righteous can laugh at the grave (1 Corinthians 15:26; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57).
The final book of the Bible has a single unified theme. Despite difficulties with figurative dragons, beasts and horrid creatures the book is clear: Jesus Wins!
Let us not be people of fear. God’s people have led the way after every trouble. Opportunities abound. People are frightened and need the hope offered by Jesus Christ. You and I are the heralds of that hope. Sound the message loudly and bring the weak, the fearful and the troubled to Christ for redemption and for hope.