Thursday, May 19, 2016

In the light of current events

My opinion of politics has been marred ever since President Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace. I may have only been a kid at the time, but even a kid knows cover-ups and lying aren't right. Any standard of "right" has undergone a slow deterioration from bad to worse over the years, so I am not encouraged by the state of my nation.

It is also easy to become fearful and wonder what will happen to the church-at-large given the political and social climate. But the culture has never been a good metric of the progress of the Kingdom of God. History has shown time and time again that the gospel spreads and the church flourishes in the most adverse circumstances, proving once more that the foolishness of God is wiser than men. (1 Cor. 1:25)

I am not advocating being an "ostrich," but there comes a point when I need to turn off the news feed. A glut of people's opinions only reinforces the blinders of an earthly perspective. Maintaining a heavenly point of view can only come from reminding myself of what is true, and I certainly won't get that from the media. 

So in the light of current events, I remind myself:
Everything that can be shaken seems to be shaking, but we have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken. (Hebrews 12:25-29)
Men and women may make empty promises, but God keeps His Word. None of His purposes will be thwarted. (Job 42:2; Isaiah 55:8-11)
God will never abdicate His rule and authority over all things. (Psalm 2:1-12)
Jesus is building His church around the world, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:18)

And further encouragement from J.C. Ryle on Matthew 16:
In the next place, let us take care that we understand what our Lord means when He speaks of His Church.
The Church which Jesus promises to build upon a rock, is the "blessed company of all believing people." It is not the visible church of any one nation, or country, or place. It is the whole body of believers of every age, and tongue, and people. It is a church composed of all who are washed in Christ's blood, clothed in Christ's righteousness, renewed by Christ's Spirit, joined to Christ by faith, and epistles of Christ in life. It is a church of which every member is baptized with the Holy Spirit, and is really and truly holy. It is a church which is one body. All who belong to it are of one heart and one mind, hold the same truths, and believe the same doctrines as necessary to salvation. It is a church which has only one Head. That head is Jesus Christ Himself. "He is the head of the body." (Col. 1:18.) ...
In the last place, let us mark the glorious promises which our Lord makes to His Church. He says, "all the powers of hell will not conquer it."
The meaning of this promise is, that the power of Satan shall never destroy the people of Christ. He that brought sin and death into the first creation, by tempting Eve, shall never bring ruin on the new creation, by overthrowing believers. The mystical body of Christ shall never perish or decay. Though often persecuted, afflicted, distressed, and brought low, it shall never come to an end. It shall outlive the wrath of Pharaohs and Roman Emperors. Visible churches, like Ephesus, may come to nothing. But the true Church never dies. Like the bush that Moses saw, it may burn, but shall not be consumed. Every member of it shall be brought safe to glory, In spite of falls, failures, and short-comings--in spite of the world, the flesh, and the devil--no member of the true Church shall ever be cast away. (John 10:28.)
From Expository Thoughts on Matthew by J.C. Ryle

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