Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him,
If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth
shall make you free.
Blow the Trumpet
Proclaiming the Gospel as a Witness
January 25, 2005
To All the Saints
In the Churches of God
Re: The Cause Eve of Freedom
This past week President George W. Bush was sworn in for a second term as America’s Chief executive. After taking the oath of office administered by Chief Justice William Renquest, the president spoke to the nation as well as to the world. The words he uttered over the next 21 minutes have been heralded by some as the most eloquent of his political life.
During this inaugural address, the president spoke of the power of freedom and of the extraordinary hope it can bring to all mankind. At one point he proclaimed that peace and freedom were intimately connected and that a true and lasting peace on this planet could only be achieved through the presence of liberty. His exact words were: “The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”
As members of God’s Church we should have a profound respect for the presidents message. This is because we, more than all people, should know the great peace that stems from liberty. This is because we were once in bondage. We were once enslaved by ignorance and sin. But our Great God delivered us out of bondage into the glorious liberty of His truth.
Today our world is in bondage. It is enslaved by a plethora of ideologies all masquerading as hope. The tragedy is that man’s way will never lead to a meaningful peace. No matter how hard he tries to grasp this great treasure, it will invariably slip through his fingers. The question is WHY? Why is our present age so filled with violence? And why is a real and lasting peace so elusive? Furthermore, is there any hope for mankind to experience something better than this present age has to offer?
This is Not God’s World
There once was a time when our world was at peace. Every part of it reflected God’s great wisdom and His extraordinary love. It was a time when man’s potential was limitless and his future was bright and filled with hope. Tragically, man decided that he wanted to take a different path—one that he would craft using his own wisdom and his own virtue. The result of that decision was catastrophic and its effect is all around us today. You can see it in the faces of starving children in all parts of the world. You can see it in the anguished look of parents burying children whose lives were snuffed out by unspeakable violence. You can see it in hospital rooms and orphanages. It cries out from filthy streets and parched lands. It speaks to us in perverted values, broken homes and ruined lives. Today, we aren’t even close to the world that God fashioned for His human family so very long ago. BUT SHORTLY THAT IS ALL GOING TO CHANGE.
The great news of the gospel is that the disaster created through six thousand years of human mismanagement is going to be corrected by the greatest act of liberation in history. God’s word declares with great force that the time is coming when all mankind will be freed. The ignorance and sin that has enslaved this world for millennia will be replaced with righteous judgement administered by a wonderful King and His royal family.
Imagine what this world will be like under a perfect King. Imagine how profoundly true freedom will change the world we see today. Consider the horrible atrocities our planet suffers and how they will be removed when Jesus Christ returns. For example: Consider the violence that fills the earth today. No matter how leaders try to masquerade it, we are a world at war. Violence now manifests itself in every corner of the globe. And the causalities are growing by the day. The threat of terrorism is so real that experts are now regarding it as immanent. Some have even suggested that the United States may suffer in the next few months, an attack that will be far more devastating than the one it experienced on 9-11. Imagine the impact such a thing would have on our nation.
Additionally, the United States is still entrenched in a bloody war in Iraq. And although its motives may be honorable, the price it must pay may be greater than it can bear. Since coalition forces inaugurated the war to liberate Iraq over 1,500 US servicemen have lost their lives in that region, not to mention tens of thousands of Iraqis.
Furthermore, pro Saddam factions as well as terrorist sympathizers within Iraq, have resorted to barbaric savagery in an attempt to win the hearts of fanatics throughout the middle east, as well as to strike fear in the hearts of America and its allies. Who can block out the images of people like Nicholas Berg, Jack Hensley, Eugene Armstrong, and Daniel Pearl who’s grizzly executions now appear on the Internet for all to see?
Furthermore, there is no evidence that it is getting better. By all indications things may actually be getting worse. While the US is embroiled in mortal combat in Iraq, other nations may pose an even bigger threat. In addition to countries like the United States, England, Russia and even Israel having nuclear capabilities, new players have now emerged on the nuclear scene. Places like North Korea, Iran, India and its mortal enemy Pakistan each have aggressive nuclear weapons programs that pose a clear and present danger to what little stability exists in the middle east.
But where is the GOOD NEWS?
The Bible reveals that a time is coming when a new world under the leadership of Jesus Christ and His saints will replace the scarred wreckage of the one man has produced. It is then that the Messiah will establish a Government that will be above all governments. The prophet Micah described what this Kingdom would be like and a prominent characteristic of it will be PEACE. “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more” (Micah 4:1-3).
Imagine how much suffering and anguish will be eliminated when mankind is freed from the ravages of war. Imagine how economies will change. Imagine how national priorities will be effected. Imagine how the collective psyche of all mankind will change from fear and suspicion to confidence and hope. When that time comes people and races will look to each other as brothers and friends. As a result, a genuine spirit of cooperation will fill the earth and peace will descend like a gentle rain on all nations.
But the great Kingdom presided over Jesus Christ and His saints will reflect more than just peace. It will be a government that will touch every part of society and just like liberating man from the ravages of war, it will emancipate mankind from so many other horrors he experiences. For example the removal of poverty and hunger will be high on this new government's list of priorities.
Today, man battles hunger and despite his best efforts, hunger seems to be gaining the advantage. Despite all the technological advancement this world has produced, more people die of starvation than perish in war. But that will not always be the case. The Great God of Heaven has promised that the time is coming when hunger will be a distant memory. The great prophet Isaiah put it this way, “Israel will blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit” (Isa. 27:6). Isaiah went on to declare, “Then shall He give the rain of your seed, that you shall sow the ground withal; and the bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall your cattle feed in large pastures” (Isa. 30:23).
The kingdom that will soon reign on this earth will be one of such abundance that the reaper will not be able to keep pace with the one who plows (Amos 9:3). In this world there will not be one square inch that shall not be able to bring forth fruit. Even “the desert shall blossom like a rose” (Isa. 35:1). Notice the powerful words Isaiah used when describing how pervasive prosperity will be. “And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons (lizards) where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes (Isa. 35:7). Clearly this will be a BEAUTIFUL Kingdom and God’s hand will be seen everywhere one looks.
A Time of Great Health
The wonderful world to come described in your Bible will not simply be a place of great peace and immense prosperity. It will also be the home of health. Imagine a place where vibrant health is the rule and not the exception. That place is soon to be a reality, and you have God’s word on it! The time is coming when the ravages of disease that fill our world will be replaced with strength and vitality (Isa. 35:5-6).
Today, man is constantly waging war against diseases that cripple, maim, and kill. There are virtually thousands of hospitals and tens of thousands of physicians. Tragically, however, there are countless millions who suffer from an endless stream of plagues that wreak havoc on man’s health and his hope. But once again, this will not always be the case. The time is coming when a Great Physician will rule as King (Mk. 2:17) and all who suffer will be healed.
Dear friends, this is only a small glimpse of a Wonderful Kingdom that will one day fill the earth—a Kingdom that will be governed by the most merciful Being in existence. The Great King who will preside over this Government will nurture and sustain it in righteousness, and His influence will be felt everywhere. The Bible reveals that in this Kingdom, the knowledge of the true God will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Isa. 11:9).
Imagine how many problems will be solved with this one miraculous act. All the suffering that has stemmed from man-made religions will be brought to an end. There will be no more crusades, no jihads, and no arguments over the separation of church and state. In this Kingdom God’s law will be the law of all lands. It will serve all people in every part of the earth. Mankind will finally have a common morality because it will believe in a common moral voice. That voice will be proclaimed by the greatest leadership team in the history of the universe. And we have the distinct privilege of being a part of that team.
A Final Thought
This present age is unquestionably the most perilous time mankind has ever lived in. The threat of destruction is everywhere. But there is a real hope. A hope that this world has been deceived into rejecting. It is a hope that God’s people proclaim in their daily lives as well as their support of His work. We should view it as the greatest cause ever entrusted to those who are called according to His purpose. It is the cause of liberty and freedom. And we carry that cause.
Finally, remember this: The Time is Short. The Work is Great. The Laborers are Few.
Blow the Trumpet
To the Church