Such a Time as This

“Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy (1 Peter 2:7-10)” 

Peter, the Rock on whom Christ would build His church, wrote this to remind followers of Christ who they were in Him.  How we need a Peter today to remind us of this.  Today, it is too easy to put our face in our hands and cry out to God and say “COME QUICKLY, LORD JESUS!”   I am not opposed to rapture.  I have long since squared myself with the fact that Jesus Christ is my only hope of salvation.  To be united with Him will be the completion of the work He did on Cavalry.

But is that what He truly called us to? To accept the salvation of Christ and then hide in a hole until He returns?  If that were the case Christianity would not have spread all over the world nor would the untold thousands of Christian martyrs have perished.  If that was the case, Christ died only for a few.  This is something I can’t believe nor can I align that thinking with Scripture. 

God in His infinite wisdom planned for you to be alive for a time such as this.  We could look at the world crumbling around us and say, “Woe to me, Lord!”  Or we could be encouraged of our place in the Kingdom.  “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace (Romans 11:5).”  By the grace of God you have been chosen to be His representatives to this dying world!  That is a great honor. 

At my previous job I was friends with another department head.  Her daughter had become pregnant by a man who was in her opinion, less than desirable.  To make matters worse she decided to elope.  My friend was overcome with sorrow.  I will never forget the sound of her wailing when she found out.  Instead of the casual, “I’ll pray for you” or “I’m so sorry”, I decided to act.  I prayed for words of guidance because on my own I am worthless.  In my email to her, (I am a lot smarter writing than speaking), I told her how sorry I was that all this had occurred.  I also told her that what the devil meant for bad God could use for good.  Her daughter had made some bad choices, but I knew that she was strong in her faith.  Most importantly I told her that God’s plan in all this was maybe for her and her husband to be a witness to the young man.  I told her that she might possibly be the only Christian witness that this young man had ever met or ever would meet.  After I sent it she came to my office sobbing and gave me a big hug and thanked me for my words.  Those words were not mine.  I prayed that God would equip me for the battle ahead.  When I left that job she sent me a note thanking me for helping her get through one of the worst times of her life.  I told her whatever help I was it was because God chose to use me to speak to her. 

I have my particular choice for president next year but even he will not be able to fix the main problem that man faces: sin.  Sure, socially, he would be much more aligned with my social views but the main problem is out of his pay grade to fix.  We are a sinful people.  We are incapable of righteousness.  Everything that man can do to please God is worthless.  Isaiah describes it as, “filthy rags.”

What Christians must do now, in whatever time we have left, is present this dying world with the one thing that can save it.  That is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  As the world grows darker and evil begins to get more boastful, we are commanded as followers of Jesus Christ to show light to the world.  At times it will appear as though we are failing.  At times it will appear as though there is too much evil in the world.  There will be many who fall away.  Habakkuk 2:3 speaks to the certainty of our message, ”For the Revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

Though man attacks it and denies it, the certainty of God’s Word is eternal.  It is fixed and cannot be changed.  Everything that Scripture says will be fulfilled before the end.  We should not focus as much on the end as we should on bringing to all that we can to the Light of the World.

“Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  For, “In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, But my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.”  But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved (Hebrews 10:32-39).”


To quote Chris Tomlin, "I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind.  The God of angel armies, Is always by my side"   Therefore, what fear should I have?

Jim Shempert

Editor, One Million Dads
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