Submission and Obedience


Right now we are in the midst of the 2023 heat wave affecting much of the world! Temperatures here have risen to close to 100 degrees each day. How thankful I am for air conditioning and hurt for those who don't have the luxury.

Several hours ago during the height of the heat, the sky clouded over and the weather man sent notice by app that a severe thunderstorm was headed our way. Sure enough, in just a few minutes the wind began to blow intensely and then water hit the north windows with a fury! We had rain, rain, rain accompanied by lightning and thunder with strong wind gusts.

The storm lasted perhaps fifteen to twenty minutes and then it was over. Everything had had a refreshing drink. The grass is greener, the flowers have bowed their heads in thanksgiving, and the dry dust created by the sun's rays beating on the earth has been subdued.

Probably most people didn't stop to think about the storm and its origin. Perhaps many grumbled at the inconvenience of its interrupting their occupation or hobby. Little did they think that God is the One who brings rain on the just and the unjust. He controls the winds, the water, the sun and the heat. He waters the farmer's fields and fills the cities' reservoirs.

It is He who gives us the ability to get out of bed in the morning. It is He who prevents car accidents. It is He that brings correct answers to our minds for final exams. A woman on TV blessed beyond measure with the 'tiny house' she calls home spoke of how happy she is and 'thanked her lucky stars!' She could have as easily thanked God, but He did not seem to come to her mind at all.

Many people, even professing Christians, assume that when God created this universe and said "It is good," He took leave of it and took a seat on His throne in heaven, far removed from the moment-by-moment coursing of our world with its joys and sorrows. With that belief comes a frame of mind that says God doesn't know or care about what happens, and our well-being must originate with us, not Him. God is denied, ignored, insulted and forgotten. Yet, He continues to pour out His kindness on all of us.

One day He will end this season of planet life that enjoys His beneficence. He will lift His hand of abundance and care. Abominable heat will beat down on every-day life. Disease plagues will impale millions on sick beds and mortuary slabs. Terror will intimidate with violence and murder. Families which once provided seclusion and comfort to its members will be torn apart as they turn against each other with lies and treachery. No place of safety will be found.

God will have withdrawn His people and His Holy Spirit from this world in what is termed The Rapture. His Presence will be absent and even then, people laboring under the worst of environmental and societal circumstances will curse God instead of crying out for Him and His mercy and deliverance. Rather than abhor their suffering and sin, they will hate the One who offers salvation and will refuse to repent for their sins.

Even then, His mercy will withhold the worst that could happen to give a window of time for men and women to turn from their sins to Him. The book of Revelation says no matter the awfulness of their suffering, they absolutely will refuse to seek God and humble themselves before Him.

Instead, they will be duped by a man like no man who has ever appeared on earth. He will have such charisma that all people will believe what he tells them. He will be the counterfeit Christ, the Anti-Christ. As people pledge their allegiance to him, they will receive a mark on their forehead or hand that will permit them to carry out the 'normal' activities of daily life like buying and selling, and holding a job. But by receiving that mark, they will have allied with the wrong god and their destiny of being relegated to hell will be cemented forever with no possibility of being born again.

How foolish people are to deny God's existence, not to recognize His goodness in their lives every day. The Bible calls it unbelief. It will damn their souls to separation from God forever.

In this day and time, it is impossible to imagine what life will be like without God. Whether we admit it or not, God does give all of us good things: loving spouses, healthy children, good jobs or occupations, enough food and places to live, not to list all the benefits of our modern society.

But, one day they all will be gone. Stripped of everything they acquired in life, people will stand before Jesus seated on His Great White Throne to be judged according to all their words and deeds done throughout their lifetime. One glaring omission will determine their fate: their names will not be found written in the Lamb's book of life because they did not receive Jesus as the sacrifice for their sins while they had the opportunity. Only then, when it is too late to repent, will those who scoff then understand their fate. All the good things God does for us moment by moment will be gone. All that will remain are death, chaos and suffering without end or relief according to Jesus' description of the devil whom they serve: he comes to steal, kill and destroy. They will reap what they sowed, which breaks my heart for the saying!

Think of this: Jesus called Himself certain elements we take for granted in life:

"I am the Bread of Life." Without God, there will be no food; famine will persist without abatement.

"I am the Water of Life." On the post-rapture earth and certainly in hell and the lake of fire there will be no water to quench insatiable thirst from the never-ending heat of the flames.

"I am the Word." In hell no one will speak words of comfort or help. Only curses and foul language will be heard, words of death.

"I am the Way." Those in hell will recall the times when God spoke to them, trying to point them to Himself. Despair will rule their thinking.

"I am the Truth." Only Jesus' words are without shades of meaning. Only His words bring life; they created the universe! Hell will be filled with deception and all forms of lying, based on their origin in the father of lies, the devil.

"I am the Life." Hell will be filled with death, rotting flesh, vile odors and filth. Life in any form will not exist there.

"I am the Resurrection." The only resurrection the hell-dwellers will experience is their appearance before the Great White Throne judgment, from which they will be thrown as worthless trash into the lake of fire that burns forever.

Does that give you a picture of how unimaginable being separated from God will be, the God you take for granted every day? It defies true description. That is why you must know God NOW while it is called "today." Only then will you find your home in heaven when you slip from this life into eternity. Jesus is your perfect Redeemer. Beg Him for mercy right now! He waits for your call.

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Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®
© Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.
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