Jul 15, 2016
Hanging out in the shadows of society and living for the moment were the hallmarks of Sergio’s life. It started with drinking and associating with the wrong crowd, and he eventually became one of the major drug lords in Rio de Janeiro’s underworld of cocaine trafficking. His life of corruption left a sadness in his soul, a lack of hope that nothing could fix—until one day while he was in prison he heard the life-giving words of Jesus. It was at that moment that he understood what the risen Savior had done for him and for the whole world!
And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Revelation 6:10
In the beginning stages of the Tribulation, multitudes of martyrs will be slain and arrive in heaven. They will have a question for the Lord. According to Revelation 6:10, they’ll want to know how long before He returns to judge the world, judge the evildoers, and put things right.
We have the same question now. As we scan the headlines, watch the news, and battle the anxieties of our age, we feel like asking, “How long, Lord, until You return and clean up this mess called planet earth?”
The answer is in verse 11: “Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.”
As we wait for Christ’s return we should do it with patience. His coming is sure, certain, and closer than ever before—but we don’t know the year, day, or hour. That’s why the Bible says, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7).
The promise of the Redeemer’s return is calculated to develop the grace of patience. John MacArthur
I’ve often heard folks proclaim, “God is good!” when all is going well but then doubt His benevolence when the blessings they envisioned don’t materialize. Because God alone is good, only He can accurately determine what is best for each person. His kindness is expressed in more ways than simply provision of wealth, health, and relationships. Some of His gifts are experiences we would never choose, but the Lord knows we need them in order to grow in faith, obedience, and perseverance. Consider the following expressions of God’s goodness toward us:
Loving Discipline. Since God’s love is unfailing, He corrects us when we refuse to follow Him and instead go our own way. The process is painful, but the result is “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11).
Wise Limitations. Satan offers a world of opportunities and possessions that seem to promise happiness but ultimately draw us away from God. With great wisdom, the Lord lovingly withholds those things that prove detrimental to our spiritual life.
Useful Suffering. God knows which refining experiences we need in order to become fruitful in His kingdom. What appears to us as a valley of weeping is God’s place of preparation for godliness and service.
It can be tempting to interpret God’s character on the basis of our circumstances. If evidence compels us to doubt His goodness, we must remember that while His gifts come in a variety of wrappings, they are always beneficial. As Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.” (Romans 1:20)
Are you aware that all science rests on an invisible law of science? The most certain and universal of all scientific principles is that of causality, or the law of cause and effect. The implications of this principle have been fought over vigorously in theological and philosophical disciplines, but there is no question of its universal acceptance in the world of experimental science, as well as in ordinary experience.
Every event can be traced to one or more events that preceded it and, in fact, caused it. A scientific experiment specifically tries to relate effects to causes in the form of quantitative equations, if possible. Thus, if a scientist repeats the same experiment with exactly the same elements, then exactly the same results should be produced.
The very basis of the highly reputed scientific method is this very law of causality. Effects are in and like their causes, and like causes produce like effects. That is, everything that happens contains the “stuff” that made it happen.
Nothing can come from nothing—everything has a cause. Everything we can observe—up and out to the seemingly infinite reaches of our universe or down and into the miniscule pieces of the world of the nature of matter—is exceedingly complex and fascinatingly related to everything else.
Rather than looking for a “god particle” that is the source of everything, why not trust what the Creator has said: “In the beginning was the Word. . . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1, 3). HMM III
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time…. And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. —John 21:17
Do you love the Lord Jesus Christ—really? Now I know we sing that we do. We sing things that aren’t very true sometimes. Do you really love Christ?
A half-comical answer was given to Moody one time when he inquired of a man on the street, “Do you love Jesus?” He answered, “I have nothing against Him.” I think that is about as far as a lot of people go. We have nothing against Jesus, but can we say we love Him?…
When I read the writings of the old mystics and the devotional writers and hymn writers of the Middle Ages and later, I get sick in my heart and I tell God, “God, I’m sorry; I apologize and I’m ashamed. I don’t love You the way these loved You.” Read the letters of Samuel Rutherford… and then see how sick it’ll make you. You’ll fold that book shut and get down on your knees very likely and say, “Lord Jesus, do I love You at all considering that this was love? Then what have I, what have I got?” SAT075-077
Lord, I wonder if I really know anything about love. Give me a tender heart that I might love You as I should. Amen.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth… neither was any deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:7, 9)
Christians who understand the true meaning of Christ’s cross will never whine about being treated unfairly. Whether or not they are given fair treatment will never enter their heads. They know they have been called to follow Christ, and certainly the Savior did not receive anything approaching fair treatment from mankind.
In language the word “unfair” seems altogether innocent but it indicates an inner attitude that has no place among Christians.
The man who cries “Unfair!” is not a victorious man. He is inwardly defeated and in selfdefense appeals to the referee to note that he has been fouled. This gives him an alibi when they carry him out on a stretcher and saves his face while his bruises heal.
It is a certainty that Christians will suffer wrongs; but if they take them in good spirit and without complaint, they have conquered their enemy. They remember that Jesus was reviled— but any thought of His shouting for fair play simply cannot be entertained by the reverent heart!
Might not Jesus well say to us, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love?” Alas! it is but little we have done for our Master’s glory. Our winter has lasted all too long. We give to God pence when he deserveth pounds, nay, deserveth our heart’s blood to be coined in the service of his church and of his truth. But shall we continue this? O Lord, after thou hast so richly blessed us, shall we be ungrateful, and become indifferent to thy good cause ana work?
O quicken us that we may return to our first love, and do our first works! Send us a genial spring, O Sun of Righteousness.