• Joe Durso

In Times Like These, Believe

IN TIMES LIKE THESE, when fear is causing people to lose their freedoms, God's people need to appreciate the freedom given to them. The Declaration of Independence states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life and Liberty..." Liberty within the framework of human history, where people and nations have often experienced the harsh hand of tyrants and dictators, it is like a warm breeze during a bitterly cold winter day. To the Bible student, freedom is for those who know the truth. Jesus said, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and, you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:31, 32) The truth will make you free, Jesus said. The colossal caveat that Jesus gives to becoming free is to be His disciple indeed, which means continuing to obey His Word. The Word of Christ transforms disobedient sinners into obedient saints. An obedient saint is a person who does what is right as a slave to Jesus Christ. By becoming a slave, the Christian is free to do what is right.


God's people need to see the end game. In Revelation 20 - 22, the destruction of the Old creation, and the beginning of the New are given. Then we read this. "There will no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His slaves will serve Him; they will see His face..." (Revelation 22:3). On that day, freedom and slavery become one in God's people. They will know and serve Him perfectly, willingly, out of appreciation and love. It is not that way right now. However, God allows sin to further His divine and glorious ends. God has allowed evil to exist so that all humankind can identify it. On the Day of Judgment, the lost identify sin to their destruction. The redeemed of the Lord identifies the destruction of evil to the glory of Jesus Christ.


God's people need to fix on Him, who is in control of all things. Satan is referred to as the god of this world. "In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4). He blinds men to the truth, uses their sinfulness to insight them against God, and through deception brings men to all manner of evil and death. The child of God must be aware of where the struggle lies. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12) In our English version, verse 12 does not carry the accurate weight of the person behind the powers, forces, and spiritual forces of wickedness. These are demonic beings endowed with authority over the human race. However, their authority is limited by God's ultimate power and influence, and only for a time. Then God will bring all things under His sovereign and complete control. At that time, neither disease nor governors, not even spiritual beings who control earthly leaders, will have any say. Christ alone is sovereign over His creation. IN TIMES LIKE THESE,

people need to separate fact from fiction and rest in the authority of God's holy Word. A Day of Judgment is coming upon the earth, and it will end death, war, disease, and tyranny. Armageddon is not a fiction; it is foretold by God who cannot lie. All the extreme drama contained in the book of Revelation will take place as surely as the Bible has been an indestructible book. World War I was not the war to end all wars. Nonetheless, there is a war coming soon that will. Why talk about discouraging circumstances when life is difficult? For the last six thousand years, life has been difficult. Life was the most difficult for Christ, who had to endure the cross to inherit the crown. It is hard for most people to view the life of Christ because it seems to offer such hope but ends in disaster. Nothing could be further from the truth. The hope that Christ offered was real at the time, and it is real now. He healed the masses of people. He made the blind to see, the lame to walk, the lepers to feel again, and He raised the dead. There was nothing unreal or unhopeful about these events. Jesus did die, but He arose from the dead. He put to death, death for all time, to those upon whom He gives grace and forgiveness. IN TIMES LIKE THESE, people that are not God's slaves, need to receive Him as Lord. (Romans 10:9) IN TIMES LIKE THESE, people that do not believe, need to trust that God raised Jesus from the dead. (Romans 10:9) IN TIMES LIKE THESE, those who have not received Jesus need to receive Him so that they can receive the right to become the children of God, even those who believe in His name - savior. (John 1:12)

"And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death." (Revelation 12:11) IN TIMES LIKE THESE, PEOPLE NEED TO HAVE THE TESTIMONY THAT THEY RECEIVED AND LOVE JESUS CHRIST

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Gospel Light I agree with the Westminister Shorter Catechism, which begins by asking the question. What is the chief end of man? And the answer given is simply this: Man's chief end is to glorify God