Friday, June 22, 2018

Nothing Has Changed

Lawrence Rast is President of Concordia Theological Seminary. In a recent alumni newsletter, he reflected on the 172 year history of that institution. He wrote,

“In the intervening 172 years, the world has seen war and peace, famine and plenty, disease and medicinal advances. Yet in all this historical change, theologically nothing has changed. Our Lord Jesus Christ remains the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8).”

While we would disagree rather sharply with Dr. Rast on many points, he is certainly right on this. Our Lord, and therefore our message, is changeless. Jesus is still “the way, the truth, the life” (Jn 14:6). There is still “no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). We must reject any other gospel than the one then proclaimed, for any other message is a false gospel and not really good news (Gal 1:6-9).

There are many things in life that are both/and rather than either/or propositions. One can like green and also like blue. One can enjoy both baseball and football. We should eat vegetables, grains, and meats (all within moderation, of course).

But there are a few things that are either/or propositions. There are some questions in life where trying to take the both/and approach is illogical in the extreme. There are some matters in life where moderation is worse than foolhardy. If a gun is pointed at your head, don’t pull the trigger – not even moderately. In fact, get your finger off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard.

Jesus went to the cross because there was no other way for us to be saved (Mt 26:39). That being true, legalism cannot be true, secularism cannot be true, Islam cannot be true. Either Jesus is the only way or he is nothing at all. Those who know his word know that he is something, in fact, that he is everything.

A lot has changed in the last 172 years; but, spiritually speaking “there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl 1:9). We are still great sinners; but we have a greater savior. Let us cling to him.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Do It Now

Near the beginning of World War Two, C.S. Lewis gave this advice.

“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favourable conditions never come.” (C.S. Lewis, Learning in War-Time)

What Lewis said about learning can also be said of Christian service. Many people claim that they want to serve the Lord; they claim that they will serve the Lord when an opportune time comes. Satan sees to it that the opportune time never comes.

If you want to have fewer interruptions in your life, then I suggest that you serve the Lord even in the midst of interruptions. Those who allow interruptions and distractions to keep them from the work will find that distractions and interruptions are constantly coming up. But if Satan sees that we serve on through the distractions, then he has less of a motive for distracting us. He will not stop his evil work, of course, but he will at least be forced to change tactics.

If we wait for a better time to become a Christian or to become a more active Christian, that better time will never come. As Paul tells the Corinthians, “Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2, ESV).

Take hold of each day. Redeem the time (Eph 5:15-16). Do not wait for an opportunity to do some great deed, do the small deeds that are possible today.