“BLESSED ARE YOU WHEN MEN REVILE YOU”
Christians and Biblical convictions are more and more despised. As we see flagrant acts of vile living, rampant violence, and vicious attitudes toward any that uphold righteousness, the hearts of Christ-followers hurt. Our pain is the result of seeing the nation we have loved move so far from what made us distinctively great. And, the greater pain is knowing that the wickedness that is infecting our culture is a direct affront to God. No one escapes God. If we run from His mercy, we run head on into His wrath. I am so sad that America is speeding toward the latter of those options. Although we had history taught to us in school, we did not learn “history”. We are about to repeat the tragedy of other nations that forgot God.
You probably do not remember the name Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin nor should you. But during his day he was as powerful a man as there was on earth. A Russian Communist leader, he took part in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, was editor of the Soviet newspaper Pravda (which by the way means “truth”), and was a full member of the Politburo.
There is a story told about a journey he took from Moscow to Kiev in 1930 to address a huge assembly on the subject of atheism. Addressing the crowd he aimed his heavy artillery at Christianity hurling insult, argument, and proof against it.
An hour later he was finished. He looked out at what seemed to be the smoldering ashes of men’s faith. “Are there any questions?” Bukharin demanded. Deafening silence filled the auditorium. Finally, one man approached the platform and mounted the lectern standing near the communist leader. He surveyed the crowd first to the left then to the right. He then shouted the ancient greeting known well in the Russian Orthodox Church: “CHRIST IS RISEN!” The crowd arose as one man and the response came crashing like the sound of thunder: “HE IS RISEN INDEED!”
I, too, am convinced! I have faith that Christ was dead and he was buried. That I believe. But, this too I accept as true: He rose from the dead and will come again in glory! What a moment that will be!!!! (Copied).
The good news is that for all that know Jesus, this present era and the things that are transpiring did not surprise God. He told us in many places in the Bible how things would be in the last days. Although most people do not read the Bible regularly and many have never read it at all, the warnings that are included in those pages are very clear.
Praise God that “warnings” are not all that is found in the Book. The mercy of God to forgive us of all sin and to allow us to become Children of God is found in Scripture. The promises of Jesus coming at the end of the age to take those home that belong to Him are found repeatedly in God’s Word. And the provision of assurance, peace, and confidence even in the storms are given to us in the Bible. Our faith is based on the One Living Lord Jesus….risen from the dead…returning for His people….and reigning triumphantly forevermore! How great is that!!