We were with our small group that we meet with. The topic of discussion was about retirement, and what we had planned to do when we decide to work no longer. We fantasize about buying a home in Florida and spending our summers in New England and the winters in Florida. One other wanted to be near her grandkids and the other couple wanted to be in the city and enjoy the culture and restaurants. On the way home I could only think that we were all planning for what we wanted to do. We were not considering what God wanted us to do.
We may be working our jobs, plugging our money into our 401ks and any other retirement fund we my have. We building up our stockpiles of earthly treasures so that we can enjoy earthly pleasures. We want to continue on in our pursuit of happiness into our retirement, only that happiness is temporal and fleeting. We are chasing a dream that disappear like a puff of smoke, like the dreams we have nightly.
Perhaps it is time that we considered a new angle, a new path we should take we enter retirement. Maybe we should consider what the God we claim to serve would have us do. Maybe He has plans for us to retire, splitting time between a warm climate and a cold climate, counting down the rest of our allotted days. But maybe He has plans for us to use our retirement money and open a rescue mission with a soup kitchen. Maybe we are meant to use our retirement money to fly to poor countries and assist in disaster efforts. We have been given tools and resources in our professional lives, perhaps we should use them for our Lord’s kingdom instead of our own.
How many of us are willing to become a martyr? It is a serious question we should all be considering. We hear a lot of talk and are involved in a lot of talk about God’s will for everything going on. We hear a lot of talk about tough times with relationships, money, work and family, and how it can bring us down. But Jesus can take away all that stress and sadness away. Jesus can be a salve for all the pain and woe that the American life can bring to us. We have problems with a lot of things that are outside of us, and we rush to the altar to treat these, but neglect the deeper, internal, problems of sin and it’s impact with the relationship we have with our Lord.
Oh, to move past the superficiality of our current, modern spirituality. There is not much of a call to a commitment to our Lord. There isn’t much talk about praying and praying more. There isn’t much of a call for surrender. There is talk about how great His grace but there are not too much talk about how grateful we should be. Is there anyone who can lead us to the deeper parts of God? Will we ever see a Polycarp or Perpertua or Peter or Paul or anyone else who is listed in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs in this country?
We are callous, sometimes indifferent, sometimes deaf, sometimes ignoring the voice of God. The signs are around us that this country is becoming hostile to those who identify with faith in God. The name of Jesus has become more than a name that people say in exclamation, His name has become a name that provokes anger and venom. A time is coming when this country will finish legislating God out of the public life and just begin punishing those who call on Jesus.
I guess I want that sort of commitment for me, myself. A commitment that means, in spite of my family, friends or fellow people at our church. Will I be told to moderate my position because it makes people uncomfortable, or will some join me? My guess would be the latter because sometimes a person willing to stand on God’s truth without compromise, putting it all on the line, and appearing to be turning one’s back to all the people he knows is a risk to be around. I want to stand in the arena before the lions and gladiators and say Jesus is Lord and none other.
Bruce Jenner is a seriously misguided in his thoughts and actions. No one is born as someone else or as another sex. No one born a male was meant to be a female. It’s not like God flipped the wrong switch or forgot to pull the lever or missed pushing the button determining the sex of a fetus. All are born as they should be, male or female. No one is born the wrong sex. The infection and dementing power of sin influences people into taking paths that they wouldn’t take had they not been left inside their own heads unchecked.
The part of this that is almost as confusing is the backlash when people disagree with what happened. Bruce Jenner decided to become another Kardashian and we are supposed to not think he is out of his mind. Poor Drake Bell, only expressing an opinion about what Jenner did, is attacked on Twitter for saying that Bruce will always be Bruce to him. He would not embrace the reinvented Bruce, and people hated him for it. The sad part is people were calling Bell irrelevant when their reaction to his tweet made him relevant, for about ten minutes.
What happened to “freedom of speech”? What happened to being able to express an opinion about something? It seems that an opinion cannot be made if that opinion contradicts the current popular trend in this culture. We are to embrace the perversion and delusional actions of anyone and allow them to be. We are not to speak out against sin but to accept it as progress. Our society seems to be in a constant state of evolution, evolving to the state of any perversion is good and any opinion or appeal to the Creator’s original intent is bad. Paul spoke about this at the end of the first chapter Romans.
The world is embracing the twisted alternate reality brought about by unchecked sin. Not just unchecked, but fully engaged in changing the perspective of all of society. God no longer has a place in our daily life. We have been able to figure out how everything is supposed to be, through government programs and the mainstream media and the movers and shakers in Hollywood. Their perversions are meant to be accepted as mainstream. But we must persist to resist the temptation to approve of the twisted path our culture seems to have taken.
As Christians, we are to resist sin and to speak out against its perversion. But how active are we supposed to be? Are we supposed to be in politics fighting against this progression of perversion, or are we to remain quiet and keep to ourselves, become our own little subculture separate from the rest of society? This is a topic I may delve into deeper at some other time because how we respond to the twisting of the Creator’s original intention is important. But for right now, this preposterous notion that it is wrong to hold a negative opinion about anything that the influential part of society puts forth is more anti-American than restricting free speech.
That old adage, “All roads lead to heaven”, is said by those who wish to go to heaven without making a commitment to Christ. It is such an easy thing to believe. You don’t have to do anything except that, hey, I will get into heaven without having to do much of anything. I can live as I wish and sin with impunity. God is a generous God who will let me into heaven because He says He loves me, and there is no way that He would send me to a horrible place like the hell described in the bible. So whatever way I choose is good enough to get myself into heaven.
Upon further review, maybe that phrase should be changed. Maybe we can agree that all roads do go to heaven but not necessarily into heaven. You see, we are all destined to make a trip into the Great Throne room, which I presume will be somewhere near the entrance of heaven but not inside of heaven’s gate. I can guess this because Jesus has to allow us, those He has placed His mark on, into His kingdom when He separates the sheep from the goats, and the goats will not get a glimpse past the gates. So, those who follow any road they choose will get to heaven but not very far.