Friday, February 17, 2023

The Everlasting Gospel

This is the last of my Gospel posts. The original post from a few years ago entitled The Everlasting Gospel reviewed all the previous Gospel posts and told of current events as they related to prophecy, politics, and persecution. I won’t review the other Gospel posts here, since I’ve just shared them over the last few months. And I won’t refer to those now past events which may or may not have lost their relevance. This is an update. Anyone who thinks the world has let up on the three p’s—prophecy, politics, and persecution—in the last few years…well…maybe you haven’t been paying attention. 

I’m not saying you haven’t been watching the news. The nightly broadcasts do share some valuable information, although the newsworthy is accompanied by the agenda. But that’s a topic for another day. I’m not suggesting you haven’t listened to the chatter around you. If you have, you’re probably feeling a bit confused. Or overwhelmed. Or experiencing a perplexing guilt over something you never knew you did or said or thought.

But it’s really not about that. This is about the Gospel, and how it has been, and is, and will be everlasting. It is not shaken as the earth is shaken. Are there more earthquakes at present than in the past? Maybe science is simply better at counting them. There have been over 1,000 so far this year. Maybe science is better at counting them so we can know that there are more earthquakes. Prophecy declares there will be more earthquakes. So why wouldn’t God provide us with the technology to count them? 

Did a strange cloud appear over Turkey eighteen days before the quake that buried thousands of families alive? I don’t know for sure, but the internet does reveal a picture of a red cloud that eerily resembles the map of the epicenter and surrounding areas. Does the Bible speak of signs in the Heavens? Yes, it does. Was this one of those signs? Perhaps, it was.

As far as prophecy is concerned, this present age has been marching toward its finale since Jesus ascended into Heaven, declaring that He would return. That’s when we entered “the last day”. The signs have been there all along. They have come and gone and come again. But never have all of the signs converged as they have now. This has brought a sureness in the minds and spirits of those paying attention that we must be in the last of the last days. Do your own research. Reach your own conclusion, if you’re paying attention. Whether you are or not, if you belong to Jesus, He will rescue you. But God did give us signs. He did tell us to look up, for our redemption draws near. It gives me great peace in this increasingly evil world to look up.

The Gospel is not shaken, nor is it rewritten or repurposed like the laws and ideals of this world. The agenda I spoke of is not only that of the media. In fact, you can’t blame the minions who only report what’s placed in front of them to a viewership comprised of the anxious, the arrogant, and the apathetic. You can’t blame the disciples of so many new world philosophies that shine forth hope for a better tomorrow. But God will hold them accountable, if they don’t turn from their narcissistic attempts to overthrow their Creator. Who is behind this constant beckoning to change the world? Leaders, politicians, global entities which are not elected, or official, or even approved of by the majority of people? Yes. Satan, himself? Definitely. 

The Gospel is not shaken, or rewritten, or crushed by the powers unleashed all around us in this dark hour of human history. Persecution is ramping up. In many places across Europe, a believer can be arrested for daring to display an subtle hint of their Christian faith. A woman was arrested in the UK for praying outside an abortion clinic. Not protesting, not blocking the entrance. Just praying in silence.

In the last year, Nicaragua, for the first time, made the list of the top fifty most dangerous places for Christians. Church buildings were damaged, schools, radio and TV stations were shut down, and Christian leaders were expelled. In other more dangerous countries like North Korea and Nigeria, thousands of Christians were arrested, beaten, or killed. North Korea’s new anti-reactionary thought law applies to any type of material deemed objectionable by the government, and it most certainly applies to the Bible, Christian books, films, and recordings. A source on the new law reported, “People who distribute imported South Korean media content to other people also face execution. Or, they face imprisonment with their families at a political prison camp run by the Ministry of Social Security.”

The thought police are employed by other governments as well. They are not strictly anti-Christian, but Christians are less free to speak, to gather, to worship, to share their faith, and to keep true to their values. In many parts of the world, such behavior invites execution. But not in the U.S.A. Yet, here we face a growing street team of self-appointed thought police, and they are easily agitated by the presence of Christians. Maybe not all Christians, just those who can find no other hope but in the Gospel of Christ. But isn’t that all of us? Sadly, many have adopted a lesser gospel bent on resetting society, not redeeming the sinner.

Here is the last paragraph of my final Gospel post as it appeared when I first wrote it:

I am unthreatened at present, and as such perhaps not holding the Gospel as dear as those slain around the world must have held it. For them, the fight is done, and the everlasting has come. For others, persecution is at the door. How unyielding their grasp must be to endure the weight of that burden. Yet, I do hold the Gospel most dear, for it will outlast politics and nations and wars and death. The Gospel will be the only good news left at the end of this age, whenever this age is destined to end. And it alone will be enough.

Now, the headlines have changed. The night has darkened. The rulers of this lost world seem unstoppable. I can no longer state with all certainty that I am unthreatened. But the threat only makes the Gospel more real. It will not shrink. It can’t be silenced. It is, by life or by death, everlasting.

 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.  Romans 3:22-25 (NLT)