The Baptist Pillar © Brandon Bible Baptist Church 1992-Present www.baptistpillar.com
"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
E. L. Bynum
From The Plains Baptist Challenger, January 2014
“'And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:28-39
We stand on the threshold of a New Year! Great opportunities lie ahead! Great challenges will confront us! Many disappointments will occur. All of these and probably much more! The future looks gloomy from a human standpoint. Our nation is in political turmoil and God is left out of the decisions that are being made in Washington, D.C. by our political leaders. Decisions are being made that are contrary to the Bible and the will of God.
The greatest healthcare system in the World is being dismantled and will probably never be restored. Homosexuals are winning the debate on what constitutes proper relations between the sexes and the argument over marriage. Our nation is in the midst of abandoning the age old plan for a man and a woman being necessary for a marriage to take place. Sexual perversion is being taught to our children in public schools and over television.
Our nation is in debt to the extent that neither this generation nor many generations to come will ever be able to repay it. It is going up astronomically every day and the people who want to do something about it, are persecuted and ridiculed until many of them are afraid speak out. We are in danger of becoming a third world nation.
I could go on and on about the shameful path our society is marching down, but that is not the purpose of this article.
We have a need for many things, but God knows all about our needs, and He has promised to supply our needs and lead us through every temptation and every trial we will ever face. When has the godly man had it easy to exist in a sinful world? With every new day comes change, but there are some constants that we as believers have. It is good to know some of the comforting facts to feed our faith for the future we face.
In spite of the condition of our world, we have every reason to trust in the mighty God of Jacob and to lean upon Him at all times. Noah, Abraham, Jeremiah, and Daniel faced their trials by faith, and so should we be able to do. Jesus, the apostles, and the early Church faced great trials but they triumphed over them because of their God.
We Have a Lord That Lives
Regardless of whatever happens in this ungodly World, we have a God that lives and he is aware of all of our troubles and trials, and he loves us with an everlasting love.
The Redemption. Jesus Christ gave himself as a willing sacrifice upon the cross for the sins of humanity. He too was afflicted, He too was abused, He too was abandoned, but let's remember his final words as he was consumed in darkness: "It is finished."
These are not words of defeat, but His words of a decisive victory. We are assured of victory because we have a victorious Saviour!
The Resurrection. The devil and demons of hell may have shouted jeers, and cheers as he died there on the cross, but they were soon silenced as the cold tomb revealed a colossal triumph. Oh, I know my Redeemer liveth. Amid the chaos of today, amid the concern about tomorrow, amid the challenges of the future, every child of God can lift up their voice from every corner of this great land, and say I know that my Redeemer liveth. Now is the time, now is a great opportunity for us to share with the world that there is a Lord who lives!
The Return. When all is said and done, when evil seems that it might triumph, the Lord will return. The Bible shares with us the words of Jesus, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matt. 24:44)
Chaos shall not win, confusion shall not prevail, corruption will not reign, because the Son of God is coming to reign in righteousness.
Paul knew about uncertainty and trials that few have ever experienced:
"Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches." (2 Cor. 11:24-28)
Paul experienced criticism, and persecution. He was defamed and treated as the filth of the earth. "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." (2 Cor. 4:8-10)
Yet in spite of all of life's uncertainties, Paul proclaims here in these verses certain truths that gave him the faith to go on and serve God. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:26-28)
The Reign. He knew that he had a living Saviour who was going to re- turn and reign upon the earth with all His Saints. "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archon-gel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."(1 Thess. 4:16-17) "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." (Rev. 5:10)
We Have a Love That Lasts
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor pow- ers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:35-39)
There is no place that his love cannot reach. It can penetrate the darkest, coldest heart. On the walls of an insane asylum were scrawled the following words by some unknown patient in the institution. "Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made, and every blade of grass a quill, and every man a scribe by trade: to write the love of God to man, would drain the ocean dry, nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretches from sky to sky." Fear not, because the love of God endures! It is a love that is continual, constant, and certain. In an ever-changing world, isn't it good to know that there are some things that remain the same, and God's great love for us remains!
Among the rubble of the World Trade Center, devastated by the cowardly terrorist attack, there were twisted beams of steel that formed a perfect cross. As my eyes beheld it, it reminded me of the love of Christ displayed in the old rugged cross of Calvary when He hung upon it.
There is not a person that He doesn't love. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) God demonstrated his love toward us in that, "…God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Rom. 5:8) Think about it "Christ died for us."
He is not moody or capricious; he knows no seasons of change. He has a single relentless stance toward us: he loves us. He is the only God, man has ever heard of who loves sinners. False gods–the gods of human manufacturing—despise sinners, but the Father of Jesus loves all, no matter what they have done.
A Hungarian Baptist Pastor said he enjoyed being with the Gypsies. He explained the Gypsies are nomadic people and are accepted by no one. They are rejected by all classes and never find a warm welcome or a word of encouragement. He said that when he was with the Gypsies he felt most like Jesus must have felt. The Gypsies have no place to call home. No one loves them and no one wants them. He had the blessing of preaching in a Gypsy camp, and used John 3:16 for the text. He spoke about the love of God for all mankind. One Gypsy woman stood through the entire service weeping. He was told that her tears were a result of the knowledge that God loved her so much that He would send His Son to take her place on the cross.
There is not a problem in which his love doesn't endure. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:38-39) There is no tribulation, no distress, no persecution, no famine, no peril, no sword that can separate us from his love. Nothing in this life, not even death itself can separate us from our loving Father. Nothing high enough, nothing low enough, nothing powerful enough, nothing today nor tomorrow that can separate us from his love!
We Have a Labour That Lingers
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." (1 Cor. 15:58) Because of our victory in Jesus Christ, our labour is not in vain in the Lord. Much that we do in this life is vain, many things are not fulfilling, and many things only lead to emptiness.
Paul here encourages believers to be steadfast in our work for the Lord because it is not in vain. During times of uncertainty, we can know that what we do, what we contribute, what we invest into the work of Christ will not be vain. Let me challenge you in this New Year that you serve the Lord with dedication, that you give out of devotion. And you can serve Christ, and give faithfully because nothing that we do for the Lord will be in vain!
During times of shifting uncertainty, we are prone to shift with it, but we must not. Amid changing times, we have some constants that we must cling to as believers!
In the New Year, whatever we face and wherever we go, let us remember these faithful facts!
We have a Lord That Lives
We have a Love That Lasts
We have a Labour That Lingers.