“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God,for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” – Psalm 42:5
It’s hard to maintain a positive outlook in such a negative world. Doom, gloom, death and destruction are served up piping hot 24-7 by the modern-day soothsayers (news media). Consume that fodder all the time and you may sink deep into manic depression.
I was reminded by a good friend recently that in spite of all the darkness and desperation here in modern Sodom and Gomorrah, this is still a world filled with much beauty and wonder. You know, he is right. This world is chock-full of marvelous things that we can all enjoy.
Sure, the spiritual, social and personal depravity of mankind is a present reality that is often difficult to escape. But, as a Christian, I can shine the light of truth into the black abyss of human depravity without allowing that darkness to consume my joy and happiness in the process.
Allow me to share a bit of history with you. Over a century ago, the luxury steamship RMS Titanic met a calamitous end in the North Atlantic after sideswiping an iceberg. The collision slashed a 300-foot gash far below the ship’s waterline, and from that moment forward the good Titanic was doomed. No amount of human intervention could alter the now determined outcome. Upon assessing the damage, the crew of the Titanic abandoned all hope of making repairs in an effort to save the ship. The focus turned to saving as many lives as possible. The mighty Titanic, once considered unsinkable, would now plunge two miles to the bottom of the dark cold depths of the briny deep. Of the estimated 2,208 passengers and crew on board, roughly 1496 people perished in the disaster. Only 712 people were saved. How were their lives spared? They were rescued.
“We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King
Why am I sharing this story with you? Because of this correlation: we too are all passengers on a marvelous ship floating upon a celestial sea. Like the Titanic, spaceship earth is also doomed. The fate of this planet was determined long ago. In fact, the final moments of world history are described in the ancient texts of the scriptures:
8 “But don’t forget this, dear friends, a day or a thousand years from now is like tomorrow to the Lord. 9 He isn’t really being slow about his promised return, even though it sometimes seems that way. But he is waiting, for the good reason that he is not willing that any should perish, and he is giving more time for sinners to repent. 10 The day of the Lord is surely coming, as unexpectedly as a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the heavenly bodies will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be burned up. 11 And so since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives we should be living! 12 You should look forward to that day and hurry it along””the day when God will set the heavens on fire, and the heavenly bodies will melt and disappear in flames.” (2 Peter 3:8-12 – Living Bible)
Talk about massive global warming. This world is going out in flames. Rather than try to change the inevitable, the Bible actually says we humans should look forward to that day and hurry it along! It amuses me to no end as I pass my time here in Sodom to watch the blind masses being whipped up into a frenzy over climate change. It’s going to get warm alright. Really warm. If you believe the Bible, the whole planet is going to catch fire!
“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Charles Spurgeon
Never the less, our modern day Babylonians – ever rebellious toward a dependence upon a supreme God – continue to spread the religion of humanism as they build a tower to the sky. Their futile attempts to rewrite the laws of society and nature in hope of saving the planet and humanity will ultimately fail miserably. Like their distant Babylonian cousins of the past, they cannot succeed. It’s simply not the Great Architect’s plan for the planet earth. This world was damned in the distant past and mankind can do nothing to change the final outcome. As detailed in the ancient texts of scripture, much of the human race and the spaceship we call earth will perish one day in a cosmic meltdown.
Knowing all of this should not depress men and women of faith. These are exciting days in which we live. There is plenty for us to do. It’s time to man the lifeboats! Remember what the liberator Jesus said, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned.“ (Mark 16:15-16) It’s called the great commission. We are to help facilitate the rescue of as many as the Almighty has called to himself before it is too late. Listen to the words of the Newer Testament writer Peter once again,
38-39 “You must repent and every one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that you may have your sins forgiven and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For this great promise is for you and your children””yes, and for all who are far away, for as many as the Lord our God shall call to himself!” (Acts 2:39 – J.B. Phillips New Testament)
Do you know why I am so glad to be a Christian? Okay, there isn’t a single answer to that question. But among the many reasons is this one: I know how all of the chaos and depravity will end. My future is secured. I have escaped from the world’s contaminations through knowing the Liberator Jesus. This freedom allows me to really enjoy my life. Sure, I have bad days. I have cried many tears and had my share of sorrows and even questioned God’s wisdom a time or two (imagine that). But I am learning to look beyond the momentary difficulties in life. The Newer Testament writer Paul said,
15-18 “We wish you could see how all this is working out for your benefit, and how the more grace God gives, the more thanksgiving will redound to his glory. This is the reason why we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are really permanent.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – J.B. Phillips New Testament)
Today, I am happy. Tomorrow? Who knows? But every day – happy or sad – I am filled with joy. And the joy that my God gives to me supplies the strength to see beyond this present gloom. The world is indeed a very dark and dangerous place. But at this moment, sitting by the Gulf of Mexico in Tarpon Springs, Florida, I have the joy of writing these words to encourage you. I love the smells here by the shore, and the cry of the gulls. The gentleness of the breeze, the smallness of the boats bobbing along atop the majestic grandeur of the mighty seas. And suddenly, my soul breaks out in song,
“O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder, Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art, how great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art, how great Thou art!”*
Remember: Negative world – Positive you! Greater is he that is in us than he that is in this world! Now, take a deep breath and enjoy your life!
Almighty God, before there was time, before the particles of matter were arranged to form the heavens and coalesce into the stars and the planets – there was you. We know so little. There is nothing you do not know. That is why I have placed my absolute trust in you. I pray that my friends will also find the joy and freedom that comes from trusting in the Liberator Jesus, sent to earth by you to seek out and save that which had been lost. I thank you for watching over us today. In the name of Jesus, Amen.
Joseph A. Cerreta, PhD., is a noted author, broadcaster, a popular Bible teacher and a rabbid Coastal Junkie ®
For additional information write to: Coastal Life Ministries, P.O. Box 1283, New Port Richey, Florida 34656
* HOW GREAT THOU ART © 1949 and 1953 by the Stuart Hine Trust. All rights in the USA its territories and possessions, except print rights, administered by EMICMG Publishing. USA print rights administered by Hope Publishing Company. All other North, Central and South American rights administered by Manna Music Inc. Rest of the world rights administered by Kingsway Communications Ltd.