Have you ever wanted to turn the world upside down and hit the re-boot button? Maybe such an act would bring the price of gas down or flood our grocery shelves with plenty of food? Would schools be safe again and nations reconcile with each other? You might ask where God is in all this shock and confusion. Does God have the answer to the world’s current chaos? If we look back in history, there actually was a time when God himself turned things upside down to re-boot the whole world. And he is still at work, changing this world, one heart at a time.
In the book of the Acts of the Apostles, chapter seventeen, we find Paul and Silas at Thessalonica. They had traveled there to bring the good news of Jesus Christ and to proclaim him as the light of God shining into the darkness of the world. Some of the citizens were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large group of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women. But the religious leaders grew jealous and roused up a mob to accuse the men and they set the city into an uproar. When they dragged some of the believers to the city officials their loud complaint was that the men who had turned the world upside down had also come to them!
And so, Jesus came, and he held out his arms, calling us to come to him. You’ve seen the pictures: Jesus nailed to the cross with his arms stretched wide. He came to reconcile us to God. The problem was that we were violating God’s law. His son’s sacrificial act was the payment for every fine that we accumulated over all the years. Our offenses set us against the court of heaven. “O God, you are aware of my foolish sins; my guilt is not hidden from you.”
If we wonder why the world has fallen into such disrepair we must look back, all the way back, to the beginning, at the garden of Eden, when God’s children rebelled against him, yet he showed mercy to them. Even though the curse of sin would cause them daily troubles, God still called them into relationship with him. Life would not be easy as they lived in a world now broken. But, he made them a promise that one day he would send a deliverer, a man who would (re-boot) and set our hearts right.
So, where are we in reference to the world and the deliverer that God sent? We are living in the last days:
With the arrival of God’s son, the New Testament gives us Biblical references to “the last days.” We read in Hebrews chapter one that God has spoken to us in the most firm and final way through his son. We read that Jesus created the world and that the father appointed him as the heir of all things. The son is the radiance of God’s glory and the representation of his essence. “… And he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”
This is the new and living way that God intentionally set forth for our much-needed return to him. This is the love of God. He did not send his son to condemn the world, but he sent his son, the deliverer, to save the world. (John 3)
Barbara Brown is a member of the ministerial team at Lighthouse Church of God.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.