Monday, May 28, 2012



Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness … (2 Peter 3:11)

When God completed His work of creation, He declared it all “very good” (Genesis 1:31).  This very good creation was perfect in every way – no struggle to survive, no striving to get ahead, no tears, no sweat, no death.  In fact, this perfect creation fit the description of heaven found in Revelation 21 and 22 including the tree of life (Revelation 22:2; Genesis 2:9).  Then sin entered, and the curse of death was brought upon all of creation (Genesis 3:17-19). 

God’s perfect creation has been severely marred; and His perfection cannot abide imperfection indefinitely.  He must restore His creation.  The day is coming when “the Lord will come as a thief in the night; … the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).  All the material stuff that we experience will be gone in a flash.  All will go up in smoke!

Yet the world tenaciously clings to materialism in every form that it manifests itself.  This is why Jesus cautioned:  “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth … But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven … for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).  All that the world has to offer is an illusion; “And the world passeth away and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:17). 

So as we are “Looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent heat” (v. 12), “what manner of persons ought ye to be in all [set-apart living] and godliness?” (v. 11).  Our aim should focus on that “city which had foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Holding All Things Together


And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.  (Colossians1:17)

One of the irrefutable laws of physics is the First Law of Thermodynamics or the Law of Conservation, which states that matter/energy can neither be created nor destroyed – at least as it is observed today.  However, the Bible is clear that matter/energy did indeed have a starting point.  “In the beginning [time] God created the Heaven [space] and the earth [matter/energy]” (Genesis1:1).  Scripture is also clear that the Creator was Jesus. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same [Word] was in the beginning with God.  All things [matter/energy] were made by him [the Word], and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1-3). 

Our verse further emphasizes this truth: “He is before all things.”  Before there was matter/energy, before there was time, before there was space, there was Christ.  Actually, the Greek word translated “all things” is pántoon, which simply means “all.”  This phrase could more accurately and simply be translated “He is before all” – not just things, but everything: time, space and matter.

Not only did He exist before all, but He also created all.  “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (v.16). 

The second part of the Law of Conservation is confirmed by the second part of our verse: “by him all things consist.”  The verb “consists” is the Greek verb sunésteeken, which means to “set together” or “to constitute.”  He holds all things together.  “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made” (Genesis 2:1-2).  So, matter/energy are no longer being created.  He made it all, and he maintains it all; so we sing “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11). 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Painful Light


The light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.  (John 1:5)

All of us have experienced being in a totally dark room.  After some time, usually after 20 minutes or so, our eyes become accustomed to the darkness enough so that we can distinguish shades of grey, and we can identify the shapes of bulky objects.  But no matter how long we remain in the darkness, we can never gain the confidence to walk without scooting our feet and extending our arms in all directions to feel our way around.  Suddenly, someone enters the dark room and flips on the light switch.  The light offends and repels us.  We hide our faces from the effulgent intruder, but as we submit to its luminous warmth, our confidence is restored, and we no longer have to grope the air to find our way.  We see all things clearly and in brilliant color.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12), “And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5).  The world is in darkness, and it hates the light.  “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John3:20).  The light causes intense pain.  It exposes sin for what it is, and the world does not want to see sin for what it is.

It should not catch us by surprise when the world hates the light and then projects its hatred of the light onto us.  “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world … therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18-19).  “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John3:21).  For those who are acquainted with the light, Jesus said, “he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Slip Sliding Away


Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.  (Hebrews 2:1)

Paul Simon sang a song that expresses the sentiment of this verse.  “Slip sliding away, slip sliding away; you know the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip sliding away.”  Anyone who has ever traveled understands that a journey of any distance is made up of more than just the point of origination and the final destination.  There are usually several stops along the way, some planned and some unplanned.  Sometimes those stops, especially the unplanned ones, can delay or even divert our arrival.  They may even prove to be detrimental to our final goal.

For Christians, our final destination is eternity in the presence of our Lord, but before we reach our eternal abode, we are faced with obstacles along the way that have a way of distracting us from our ultimate goal.  When we perceive apparent barriers to our Christian walk, we should not be taken off guard or caught by surprise.  With God’s Word, we are not without counsel.  Indeed, when we encounter such roadblocks, as our verse says, “we ought to give more earnest heed to the things we have heard [from God’s Word], lest at any time we should let them slip.”  The phrase “more earnest” is one word in the Greek (perissostéroos) which means “more superabundant,” and the word translated “heed” is prosecho, which means to “hold the mind.”  When combined, these words encourage us to focus our minds intently on the Word of God so that we do not go “slip sliding away” from God’s purpose for our lives. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

So, how do we keep from “slip sliding away”?  As the children of Israel prepared to enter into the Promised Land, they were facing many obstacles ahead.  God encouraged Joshua with these words:  “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).  The way to be successful in the Christian walk is to heed and practice the Word of God.  The psalmist echoes this axiom: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).  If you do not want to go “slip sliding away,” you must anchor your life to the Word of God.