Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Tag Archives: the blood of Jesus

Living in Apprehension

Many people today are convinced that the Great Tribulation and the rule of Antichrist are imminent. One would think that if such a person had an assurance in the depth of his heart that he would be removed from the earth before that happened, he would be at rest about the future.

That doesn’t seem to be the case. Such people read the news with great fear. So many government initiatives are evidence of the coming of a one-world government, which will soon lead to the rise of Antichrist. Christian bookstores have whole shelves of books pointing out signs of the end. In many churches it is the main topic of preaching. There are blogs and podcasts. If people believe what they say they believe, why are they so anxious?

The spread of COVID-19, government actions to limit its spread, the vaccines that have been developed, are all fodder for the mill of conspiracy theorists. The underlying fear of many of those spreading these theories is that these events are preparing the way for a one-world government.

Other people see the Communist Party of China behind almost everything that goes wrong. For others the great danger is Vladimir Putin. The USA is descending into chaos. BLM and Antifa are actively promoting a Marxist revolution. Marxists have control of the schools, the media.

Whatever element of truth there is behind any of these things that cause so much fear, it is important to realize that the real problem is not secret conspiracies, Vladimir Putin, the Communist Party of China, or any other force in this world. It is the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil and Satan. He has been the source of all mankind’s strife and sorrow since the Garden of Eden.

The dragon loves for us to see the problem everywhere else but him. He loves it when we begin to blame one another because we cannot see the imminent danger of such and such a thing that is happening. His purpose is to divide mankind until eachy individual stand alone and trusts noone else. It is especially his goal to divide Christians. And we are letting him do it far too often these days.

It is time to stop and see what is happening, to us and to those we love. Let’s stop trying to fix the world. Every time we do that, the dragon is right beside us to lend a hand. In the end, we only succeed in making things worse than they were before.

The way to begin making the world a better place is to stop worrying about things we have no power to change. We need to let go of all our hurt feelings, forgive one another and work to mend broken relationships. We need to talk more about the healing, cleansing, saving power of Jesus’ blood.

That may not sound like much. But that is the only way to extract ourselves from the grip of the dragon and to help those we love get free. Every time that happens is a defeat for the dragon. Every time we try to do something big is a victory for the dragon.

Are we trusting in the wrong DNA?

Doesn’t it almost seem that the church we belong to is determined by our DNA? Mom and Dad were Anglican, so were Grandma and Grandpa, so were my my great-grandparents, so I become Anglican too. For others it would be Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Mennonite and so on. But it is part of our heredity. With that heredity comes a whole package of tradition, myth, custom and ideas of right and wrong behaviour.

As we are growing up that feels comfortable and natural. I know where I fit and we do things right, not like all those other denominations. But sooner or later we begin to wonder about those comfortable assumptions. Questions arise for which my cultural faith has no answers. At this point an alarming number of young people bail out, not just out of their parents denomination, but out of Christianity altogether.

What has gone wrong? I have been part of that exodus from a form of Christianity that seemed empty and meaningless. The problem is that we had mistaken the outward packaging of Christianity for the redemption and the relationship with Jesus Christ that is the essence of Christianity. Maybe those who handed that package down to us believed the packaging was what was most important, but when we looked inside the package we found it was empty.

The apostle Peter wrote: “Ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ,” (1 Peter 1:18-19). Vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers means the meaningless manner of living handed down from your ancestors.

I looked at other belief systems and practices that claimed to be the way to a truly meaningful life. I found them just as disappointing. Eventually that search brought me back to Christianity, not the outward packaging, but a transformed life through the blood of Jesus Christ. It is the blood of Jesus that brings redemption, a meaningful way of living and a new relationship with Jesus, the giver of life. Our natural bloodlines, culture or even an intellectual knowledge of the truth, will not do that for us.

For some of us, our parents did have that real, living faith, but they did not pass it on to us. It is a spiritual heritage, not a family heritage. We can only obtain it from Jesus, by His blood. What believing parents can do for their children it to demonstrate what a living faith looks life, by reading the Bible and praying as a family, by belonging to a church which preaches and practices a living faith, by living out their faith in all areas of life, especially in their relationships with others.

The people around us who scorn and reject Christianity do not do so because they lack intelligence, or because faith was not part of the DNA received from their parents. For many of them it may simply be that they have never seen models of true faith in the people they know. Perhaps if we lift up our eyes we will see fields ripe for the harvest in places where we never expected that to be possible.

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