Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Wrath of God Absorbed

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the wrath of God that Jesus absorbed in our place. 
All the wrath of God that I deserve in every breath fell upon Jesus and He loved me to death.
Jesus bore it all.  Even if we could enter Heaven by paying for just one of our millions of sins, we would be completely unable to do it.  The wrath of God against only one sin invented Hell.  The wrath of God against only one sin is more terrifying than anything that we can imagine in our finite minds. 
Think of a hurricane blasting the coast, or a huge tornado ripping through a city and destroying everything in its path, or a huge forest fire devouring tens of thousands of trees in minutes, or a huge volcano erupting molten rock, or an earthquake so powerful that it creates a 300 foot wave and sends it rushing towards land to kill 100,000 people, or the power of lightning as it thunders to the ground with a deafening blow to the earth, or even an atomic bomb wiping out entire cities, or even a nuclear bomb that we can only guess at the power and devastation that it is capable. 
All of these have the power of dust in comparison to the wrath of the Sovereign Creator.  The wrath of God against just one sin is greater than a billion nuclear bombs going off at the same time because that one sin was committed against the highest authority.  We could never bear this wrath.  We could never stand in the path of a billion nuclear bombs detonating on our head.  But Jesus could, and He did.
On the cross, because of the billions of sins we committed against God, Jesus bore this unimaginable wrath.  The full fury of the wrath of God that was directed toward us because of our sin, fell upon Christ.  He stood condemned in our place, as a shield, and absorbed every drop of this fury that is far greater than billions of nuclear bombs going off. 
He did not pay for His sin because He was sinless.  He did not pay for one sin, but for every sin ever committed by His people.  The flood of the billions of nuclear bombs came upon Jesus, and He drank it down to the dregs.  Every last drop was absorbed and He won. He put his head down and said, "It is finished." 
He gave us the victory and eternal life.  He satisfied divine justice.  He died, was buried, and He rose from the dead three days later because death could not hold Him.  He satisfied the wrath of His Father according to the will of His Father.  He ascended into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of His Father, who gave Him all authority.  He gives life to all who trust in Him.  He forgives sins. 
All those who do not trust in this Savior and His atoning work on the cross are already condemned.  They will face this fury, this wrath, by themselves the second they die. 
Oh what a glorious Savior we have.  Oh what a free gift is given to those who repent of their sins and trust in Christ.  It is illogical not to trust in Jesus and choose to face this wrath yourself.  Then again, sin is illogical.

Friday, February 6, 2015

America: In God we DON'T Trust

As my wife Kim bounced along in the back of a taxi on a pot hole filled street in Cusco, the taxi driver struck up a conversation.  He asked her where she was from and what she is doing in Peru. Kim told him that she was a missionary, which set off an immediate conversation about the United States.
The taxi driver asked her why the US dollar has, "In God We Trust" written on it.  He went on to say that, "the whole world knows that Americans don't trust in God.  The whole world knows that most Americans are not Christians." 
Now, why would a taxi driver in a third world country say something such as this.  Well, look at what is going on in the States now and imagine what someone from the outside world sees.
Family – The family unit in the Sates is being destroyed. Fathers are not fathers, but are abusive to their children and wives. In almost every family there is adultery, alcoholism, lust, and hate. Mothers neglect their children in order to make money. Children growing up with these types of parents are disrespectful, disobedient, rebellious and they hate their parents. Families are never together but live separate lives. A husband and wife get married to fulfill their own selfish desires and when they can't fulfill their selfishness, they hate each other. Children are a burden to them instead of a blessing. In the United States more than 50% of marriages end in divorce.

Marriage between same sex couples is now the norm, and if you don't fully support this, you are demonized as being filled with hate.  Recently the Helena Independent Record published an article about lawmakers considering striking down the law that bans gay marriage.  The commentators of this article demonized Christians as bigots, haters, and superstitious.  One commentator named "Atheist Educator" said, "I have no problem understanding that some people are bigoted and driven by their fears into following ancient superstitions proffered by some who want to control their behavior (and gain access to their finances.)  It certainly IS a bronze-age superstition. C'mon, a talking snake? A guy lives inside of a fish? People rise from the dead?" 

The rapid spreading of Gay marriage has destroyed countless families and morality in society. If you raise your voice against this practice, like the Bible does, you will be persecuted and even jailed. This is sadly the attitude in America that many people on the outside see.  Sin has corrupted the thinking of unregenerate man, which leads them to call evil, good, and good, evil.

Abortion – The tragedy of abortion has killed generations of babies. Today, a baby is murdered through abortion every second in the world. 125,000 abortions a day. 40-50 million babies are killed each year throughout the world.  People justify killing babies by saying it will save the baby from a hard life, or that it is best for society because the derelict parents are unable to care for the baby.  People actually justify murder for the sake of their selfishness and inconvenience.  We read stories in the Bible of people sacrificing babies to Molech, a demonic false god, and we are shocked that people could actually do that.  However, in the States, the people have sacrificed far more of their own babies to the false gods of themselves.

Hitler had the same view as most Americans.  He desired to eliminate certain types of people that he thought were worthless, and build the perfect race of people.  In Hitler's holocaust his ideology drove him to starve, torture, and then kill 17 million people.  Like abortion proponents of the day, Hitler deemed these people as not human in order to justify his atrocity.

Hitler and the Holocaust were once deemed as evil, but now Americans are doing the same thing. 
Americans have picked up where Hitler left off, and they have advanced Hitler's dreams far beyond Hitler himself. 
Since Roe vs. Wade in 1973, Americans have slaughtered more than 57.5 million babies.

Life means nothing anymore. There is a hospital in England that actually burns aborted babies to heat the hospitals. Sin has corrupted the thinking of unregenerate man, which leads them to call evil, good, and good, evil.

These are only a few examples of why this taxi cab driver said that, "the whole world knows that Americans don't trust in God.  The whole world knows that most Americans are not Christians."

He asks a good question, why do we have "In God we Trust" on our money?  The remnant of true, born-again, Christ exalting Christians is far lower than it once was.  I would be shocked if 2% of Americans fall into this category.  Since the majority of people in the States are against Christ and His teaching, whether they prove it by their words or actions, maybe they should change the bills to says, "In ourselves we trust."  It is much more fitting.

What is the solution? It is the same solution to every evil.  The gospel.  When people are confronted with the depth of their sin, and realize by the regenerating work of the Spirit that Hell awaits and their only way of escape is the gracious person and work of Christ, then, and only then will their hearts be changed.  Sin only leads to the logical conclusion:  They call evil, good, and good, evil.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

God's Good Providence

Hartur, the guy that I have been discipling for over a year, must go back to Trujillo (a city on the coast that takes a 28 hour bus ride to get there) for his work.  He leaves tomorrow.  Hartur works on a construction crew that builds highways.  Hartur is growing tremendously spiritually and his advancement in knowledge and practice is an example to all.  We have all been so encouraged by him.  He has a zeal for evangelism and is growing more bold every day. 
The news of his leaving would have been very sad, but he just found out this week that he has an opportunity to work on a gas line project in Calca, which is just outside of Cusco.  He excitedly took the job and will return to Cusco at the end of this month!  I can't tell you how thankful I am to God for this great work of providence.  He will be in Calca an involved in the church for at least two more years, at least that is what his contract says.  Please continue to pray for Hartur and his spiritual growth. He has great potential to be trained and enter into the ministry, God willing.   He has a great desire to serve God in Peru or at the ends of the earth.