There are several different areas today that many people are not clear about: what constitutes “normal”, what constitutes a “message of hate”, and what true faith in God is and how it manifests itself. What truth lies beneath the surface of our understanding of them? Let’s look at each of these in turn.
Normality –“Everything’s okay.” We seem to think that despite the world’s problems, things are somewhat normal. We still go about our daily routines, our weekend carousings, and our occasional adventures here and around the world. But what lies beneath is anything but normal. Our media outlets continue to tell us of the movements responding to police brutality, the conflicts with international terrorism, and even the outlandish statements made by presidential candidates hoping to rule the country (The latter issue is a very dangerous issue for God’s people, as highlighted here.). Many of us, even those who do not keep up with these things, know that something is wrong with the world and something is about to happen.
When catastrophic events occur in our country, one of the places that people flock to is the church. But the people affected by these things are not seeking after faith of their fathers. They are not merely seeking comfort and an assurance of God’s presence in these troubling times. They want to know when things will “go back to normal.” They do not understand that sin is not normal.
“Normal” was written in Genesis chapters 1 and 2. God created a world without sin and without the troubles of our times today. It was a world without crimes against God, man, and the earth. But when man rebelled against God, things changed. Humanity eventually became so intertwined with sin, many cannot imagine living a “normal” life without it. But the day is coming soon when God will truly bring things back to normal and His people will enjoy a normal life—without sin.
Hate – “Scriptures = Messages of hate” In a time where the fleeting feelings of man are held in higher regard than truth, reason, and principle, the Scriptures are constantly berated as “messages of hate.” But if we understood in the true implications of the phrase, we wouldn’t be so quick to call a message hateful.
A message of hate conveys a complete lack of love and concern for those it is addressed to. It tells people that there is no redeeming quality within them and the only messages they are worthy to receive are messages of condemnation. Ultimately, if God’s prophetic messages were truly messages of hate, it means that God hates you. Unfortunately, many people are being told such a lie right now. This understanding completely counters the fact that our God is a God of love.
How do we know this? Because God created humanity. Even though He knew we’d trash Him, His Creation and His Word, and each other, God still created us. He still sent His Son to die for us. He still gave us His prophecies to prepare us for the time before His Son’s Coming. This is hardly the work of a God who hates us.
Faith – Believing is not enough. In our time, many have embraced the belief that merely acknowledging the mission of Christ to save man is all that needed for them to be delivered from the coming crisis. But Jesus and the early church demonstrated that faith in God was manifested practically. Through holy living, works (not to be saved, but because we are), and a complete change of character, we know that the Lord will deliver those who allow the Holy Spirit to bring about such a change in them. This is what He did to the early church and what He will do to those who allow Him to in the last days. Faith begins the journey, but no one ever completed a journey with one step. The devils today were once on the same path, but they never completed the journey. When they chose to stop, they stopped merely at believing. This, God’s people cannot afford to do before His coming. They must complete the journey here in order to complete the journey home.
God’s people must look at what lies beneath the surface of what they are being told and what actually is. They cannot be content with their lack of understanding prevailing among them. The time is coming soon when God will reach out to all of them and many among them will hearken. They will understand that God never intended for sin to corrupt the earth like it has. They will understand that God’s prophecies are not messages of hate, but messages of hope. They testify that God has not given up on us, even after we have corrupted the earth and one another. They teach us what faith truly is: believing that does not stop with a mere intellectual assent, but believing that takes action to claim God’s promises.
The time to understand these things is now. There is truth beyond the surface and God’s people must behold what lies beneath it.