For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.–Isaiah 9:6
In times like this when the world aches under the weight of man’s great wickedness and its most vibrant exercises thereof, the hope of Christ is ever more appealing, and even more needed in this dark world. The fear and dread, the destruction suddenly appearing here in civilization after being confined “over there” for so long, has driven many to distraction.
My only hope, the only hope for anyone in these times, is Christ. It’s hard to say what any government will do, nor will I use this space to opine on the matter. The matter of what to do with those fleeing from persecution and the possibility–or maybe more accurately, probability–of those with evil intentions being among them is no simple matter.
But I’m not here to solve those problems in a few easy steps. I’m here to encourage everyone to take counsel from the King! We struggle and fight and hurt and refuse, through it all, to turn to the One who can bring true peace. We hide our faces from the One who was given for His people, thinking that if we shut our eyes tightly enough, He will be gone, and we will be able to figure out our problems on our own.
But this evil that persists, that continues to recur in one form after another, each strain more virulent than the last, is one that is inherent to us. It is our own sinfulness. This is not to say “It’s our fault that ISIS murdered innocent people in the streets,” because that is certainly foolishness. Those men are responsible for their own actions and they will stand before a holy God and account for them. No injustice will go unavenged.
But we will stand there as well. We will be face to face with the Creator, who gave us our being, and who we as a species have rebelled against almost from the word go, and make account for the lives we’ve led. And every single one of us will have a record of sinfulness that condemns. Without a doubt, the men who perpetrated this evil act will receive righteous judgment. But it’s a judgment we all deserve, save one thing: the mercy shown us by that same holy and just God.
And that mercy comes in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, in His glorious ministry to His people in gentleness and wisdom, and in His perfect sacrifice of Himself to pay completely the penalty of all those who trust in Him. Make no mistake, every person who stands before God clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ stands as clean, covered, made holy, and adopted. I ask you to know and believe two equally crucial truths: you are guilty of rebellion before God and righteously condemned to death for it; and you are safe, made whole and healed, and fully justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. Believe this, friends, and you have found life. I hope that the words of Mr. Spurgeon in this sermon help convince you of that truth, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I want to remind everyone of the winter clothing drive my church has coming up. Christ Community Church in Denton, Texas, will be holding a coat and winter clothing drive on December 6, and you can click this link for more information. If you are in the area and in need, please reach out and contact me. Likewise, if you have a way to give and support those about to walk through a very cold winter in dire straits, please let me know.
Finally, I would like to say hello to so many I have seen coming to this page and these recordings from around the world. I have been excited to see visitors appearing from South America, Europe, even parts of Asia. I hope that what you find here is a blessing to you, and I pray that you will communicate with me the ways I and my brothers and sisters in Christ here can be praying for you.