The Time Draws Near

Sovereign power is absolute power. God is that sovereign power revealed to us in the Word of God.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Exodus 20:3

During the first period of the reign of Amaziah, God judged his victory over the Edomites as favorable in His sight. But he did not win that victory with a true heart. In the second period of his reign, instead of doing what was right in the eyes of God, he brought gods of the people of Seir and set them up as gods to be worshipped.  2 Chronicles 25:14. God was responsible for Amaziah’s victory and also his defeat.

Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow.”
2 Chronicles 25:8.

Thus, according to the Bible, God has the power to build up and to overthrow.  But why does God wait so long before He brings the wicked to justice?  It was in 1933 that Hitler formed a cabal (a secret political clique or faction) in order to overthrew Germany, and it wasn’t until 1945 that He and his regime were destroyed. It would be much later that the public learned of the millions of lives, property, and goods that he had taken from his own citizens. The survivors of the concentration camps in Germany are to be commended for constructing Holocaust museums in Israel and Europe, in North America and elsewhere commemorating the lives of his own citizens.

It was long years after these atrocities occurred that the world began to hear the truth about what he had done to his own people. It makes one uneasy to think that new cabals are working their schemes to abuse the lives of their fellow citizens. For example, technology has made it possible so that everyone of us can put a face on Facebook and pretty much publish what we want.  At the same time, these same technologies have the ability to censor all or some of the information at their discretion.  Likewise, faceless corporations make millions and use the wealth to control.  It is these ceaseless injustices on the part of those who become gods unto themselves that is cause for concern.  

There is only one source we can turn to which will give us hope and strength. In the book of Genesis we learn that Adam chose to call his wife Eve, which means life. Adam knew she was from God; this is the same God Adam knew as the source of his life and the life that was all around him.  But when Adam and Eve disobeyed, they lost God as their source of life, and were driven from their home. They were driven away from a life in which they did not have to worry about their own lives into a life where their relationships to each other and to the earth were driven by self-preservation. That is the way in which their lives had been completely changed, making them unfit for heaven.

And the Lord God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.”So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken.
Genesis 3:22-23

This statement by God “The man has now become like one of us,” is very puzzling. Do we not read in the Bible that we were created in the image of God, implying some kind of likeness?  But it is also a statement of deep compassion, for God was looking at what they had done to themselves. Living now, not only in the likeness of Satan, but also because Satan now ruled in their hearts, heaven meant nothing to them. That is why we read these words from the mouth of Jesus.

‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
Matthew 25:41

They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 13:42

There was no place in heaven that could house those whose hearts had been turned away from God. Out of God’s compassion He would give them new hearts, a fete that only a loving God would do.

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.
John 3:3

This thought that heaven and earth as we know it must pass away and that the streams by which we walk, the paths in the forests, the grain fields on the  prairies, and the majesty of the mountains will disappear  leaves us with a certain sadness. But we are cheered by that which lasts forever. 

my words will never pass away. 
Matthew 24:35b

There is a sense in which John Milton speaks of this new birth that comes to us in the promise of God. In Paradise Lost Milton calls this a new reality. In the final section of Paradise Lost, the archangel Michael is telling Adam how an eternal history will replace the old history.  A redeemer will come and through Him, mankind can see this new reality through Him. Milton uses the example of Abraham to show how this happened to him.  “He was not someone who was wondering poor, but trusting all his wealth with God.” By that faith, Abraham would be led into a land unknown.  Milton writes of a new covenant God has made with His lost people. “God will transform them from shadowie types to truth, from flesh to spirit, from imposition of strict laws to the acceptance of large grace.”  Book 12 The Argument.  Milton had a poetic way of writing about this loving God who did not want what He had created in His own image to remain damned to hell. The archangel Michael speaks of the grace that comes through the redeeming and restoring work of Jesus Christ. Restoration will not come about through any power in mankind. It will be given by grace to anyone who accepts by faith that Jesus is indeed the new Adam. Death came to all through the first Adam’s fall, likewise to the entire human race.  The new life comes to God’s people through the death and obedience of Jesus, the second Adam.

 “How long do we have to wait until the injustices of this world are defeated?” The answer is, “Not until Christ returns for the final judgement,.

His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
 Matthew 3:12

In this Advent season, as Christians, we must come to realize that we must suffer for our sins. But when this suffering comes it is a time to look to Jesus for our time of redemption draws near.

When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Luke  21:28

“The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.”  From Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Christmas Sermons.”

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:10-11
  

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