Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

The Forgotten Promise: War No More


The Memorial Day holiday was originally dedicated to remembering the fallen dead of the American Civil War.  Then as the years went on, and America became involved in further and greater wars, in which many more young men gave their lives, the holiday was further expanded to memorialize the dead of all war.  And sadly, the dead shall continue to be multiplied, as in recent years America has entered into everlasting and unending war.

In light of the unending war we as a nation have entered into, I want to take a moment not to remember the great number of dead who have given their lives for our nation.  Rather, I want to take a moment to remember a prophetic promise and the Messianic hope that many have long forgotten.

And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war. – (Isaiah 2:4 NASB)

What an amazing promise to read.  But my question to you is do you have the faith to believe it?  And having the faith to believe it, are you looking to participate in this great hope?  Whether for “just” or unjust reasons, there is a natural bent mankind and the nations have to propagate war.  It is something our political leaders are well versed in, even in “Christian” America.  But here we read there is nothing Christian about war.  Jesus never once taught His disciples how to fight in a war– not even a just one.  And if America were truly the Christian nation we claim it to be, we would have never taken up the sword against King George in England, nor would we have ever dropped the atomic bomb three times on Japan.  Why?  Because Jesus has never taught us to do such things.

Indeed, I would be so bold to say that if you have learned war it is because you have been a disciple of somebody other than Jesus Christ.

The only reason the nations wage war against one another, be it for just or unjust reasons, is because they have yet to submit themselves to the rule and reign of the Messiah, who teaches men to beat the instruments of their warfare into tools for harvest.  If nations would be taught of Him, they would stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars a year on national defense.  If nations would be taught of Him, they would not have to secure their borders.  If nations would be taught of Him, they would not have to destroy those upon the “Axis of Evil” to experience liberty.  If men would be taught of Him, they would know nothing of the fear that leads one man to slaughter another.

Instead of war, we would know the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.  But because we do not know that peace, and have forgotten this great Messianic promise and hope, we learn war.


St. Jimmy’s Apocalypse


Through the centuries and even into our day, there has been a great fascination with the great theme of apocalypse.  We find the theme taken up by everybody from ancient prophetic writers to modern day Hollywood producers.  It is intuitive to human nature, and has been a common observation, that all things that have a beginning must eventually have an end.  It is a cycle that repeats itself, and is plain for all to see.  Indeed, this truth is so self-evident, that not even a fool would probably doubt it.  All things must come to an end.

As you are probably aware, the Scriptures contain some writings that would be classified as “apocalyptic.”  A lot of people have given much time and energy to studying and debating the apocalyptic books of the Bible.  Few books have caused more controversy than the apocalyptic book of Revelation.  It is a book loaded with powerful, violent, and majestic imagery that depicts the finality of this age and history as we know it.  In it we read of great and terrible things that God promises will one day come upon the entire world.

As an American, we feel a strange disconnect in our rather comfortable and affluent lifestyles from that of the events we read of in Revelation.  Our fascination for the book is little different than a motorist who slows down to observe a terrible car accident on the side of the road.  Our interest in the wreck and our interest in the book of Revelation is almost entirely morbid.  We want to see, not because we have any heartfelt interest, but because we enjoy the titillation of it all.

But the book of Revelation was never written so that one could have idle curiosities aroused and satisfied.  For God doesn’t really care if you know and understand anything about the end of the world.  Rather, God has granted us a knowledge of these things so that even in the midst of great trial, turmoil, and tribulation, you might gain a revelation– not of the end of the world — but of Jesus Christ.  And truth be told, at the end of the day that is what the book of Revelation is about.  It is not a book about the end of the world, but it is a book about Jesus Christ.  As has been often pointed out, the book is not named the Revelation of St. John, or the Revelation of the End of the World, but it is named the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

And I think it is important that God chose to give us a revelation of Jesus Christ in an apocalyptic context.   Why?  I believe God did this so that when “apocalyptic” events happen in my own life, I might learn to not be consumed by the events that unfold around me, but that in those events,  I might learn to be consumed by Him who sits on the throne.  When the foundations of the earth shake and the stars from heaven fall upon me in my own life,  I need to remember that there is One to whom “all blessing and honor and glory and power” belongs to.  In such times I need to be reminded that though a flood of satanic furry be released against me, and though the armies of hell may march upon everything that I have ever known, there remains One who comes seated upon a white horse, slaying all His enemies with the sword that comes out of His mouth.

Should the Lord tarry, none of us will live through the apocalyptic times depicted in the Scriptures.  But none of us will be without apocalyptic moments in our lives.  For in this world, we will have trial and tribulation.  Catastrophic, life changing events will suddenly happen to us without notice, and the future as we know it will suddenly come to an end.  But when these things happen, we must look at them as events ordered by God to introduce us to a greater knowledge of Him.  These events are an opportunity for us to turn aside and see Jesus Christ.

Today, I have reason to reflect upon an apocalyptic event that happened in my life just over two years ago.  The event was almost without notice, and brought many things in my world to an end.  And today, I am still not quite sure all that happened in those days.  But in those days, when my world came suddenly crashing down, I was given a unique revelation of Jesus Christ.  And though those days were some of the worst days of my life, looking back, I know they were also my best.  They were my best, not because of anything great happening in them.  But they were great because in the midst of it all, I had a revelation of Christ that I could have not otherwise obtained apart from going through my own personal apocalypse.

The revelation of Jesus Christ that comes through apocalypse is so awesome, that even though all the turmoil that is written of in the book of Revelation is still yet future, the final cry from its pages is “Come Lord Jesus!”  Such a cry is not superficial or cheap.  It is a heartfelt cry that recognizes that though one may have to go through a living hell in order to experience the revelation of Jesus Christ, the intimate knowledge one gains of Christ during such times is ultimately worth it.  So when you are going through hell, embrace the apocalypse God has ordained for your life.  For in doing so, you will be brought into a greater and more intimate knowledge of Jesus Christ, and you will see Him as you never saw Him before.  You will have a revelation.


Save The Drama For Your Mama


Do you know people with a lot of “drama” going on in their life?  People whose lives would qualify them for an one hour long special on Jerry Springer?  Or, instead of talking about “those people,” let’s talk about you and the drama going on in your life.

As I ponder this thing called drama, I can’t help but think of the theatrical nature of it all.  Perhaps that is why we call it “drama.”  Theater is never about boring people who do boring things.  Such would never sell tickets, as it would cease to capture our attention and entertain.  Instead, there is always a juicy story of some sort that ultimately involves people whose lives are a bit out of control.  There is always an element of instability interjected into any good story.  And this same instability that makes for a good story on stage, I can’t help but notice the way it also manages to not only creep up into our lives, but indeed, is often invited by us into our very lives.

As being one of the many sons of Adam, bad, disastrous, sinful, and outright wicked decisions are often ours in abundance.  Drama dominates our lives.  And not simply the kind of drama that “happens” to us, and makes us mere victims.  But the kind of drama we invite into our lives as we make deliberate and willfully sinful decisions.  And the end therein has always and will always be death.

But why do we invite such instability into our lives?  Why the drama?  Yes, in part it is the nature of a fallen and unredeemed humanity.  We are born sinners and by nature act as sinners.  We welcome the drama because that is what sinners do.  But such goes beyond merely making the decision to sin because we are sinners.  Rather, such drama is ours in abundance because we refuse to build our lives on the rock solid foundation of Jesus Christ.

In the “Sermon on the Mount,” in Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus said that everybody who hears His words and acts upon them can be compared to man who built his house upon a rock.  And when the troubles of this life came his way, because he was grounded in something rock solid and stable, his house was able to stand.  But for the man who did not act on the words of Christ, such a man could be compared to somebody who built their house on sand.  And when the troubles of life came this mans way, the instability and shifting nature of sand caused the house he had built to collapse.  In other words, the first man did not invite drama into his life because he built his life upon Christ.  Whereas the second man invited drama into his life, because he did not build his life upon Christ.

So, will you continue to invite drama into your life, as you continue to do things according to your own way of thinking?  Or will you invite the stability that can come into your life through building your life on another way of thinking?  Will you build your house on sand, or will you build your house on a rock?

I would urge you, save the drama for your mama.  Build your life upon the rock of Christ.


The Second Reformation


It is no longer a question if there will be a second reformation in Christianity.  There can be no doubt about it:  a second reformation is already well underway.  But unlike the first reformation, spearheaded by the likes of John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Eurich Zwingli, and Menno Simmons, tracing this reformation to specific historical leaders is a difficult, if not impossible task for the historian to undertake.  And while one could perhaps examine the movements that have influenced this reformation, such as the Pentecostal and Charismatic renewal movements, the underground Church in China, and the like, I believe this reformation would best be likened unto three specks of leaven hidden in a loaf of bread.  It has been a largely unseen movement, but over time, has slowly but surely begun to leaven the whole lump, as it grows every single day.

Why does this second reformation lack much in the way of any visible leadership?  Because this second reformation is concerned with only making one leader visible, and that leader would be Jesus Christ.  For Jesus Christ is the leader of the second reformation.  That’s not to say that there haven’t been and aren’t other leaders in this movement.  For undoubtedly, there certainly have been and are.  But they prefer to go unnamed, unseen, and uncelebrated, for while being like glorious stars in the sky, because of the surpasing  glory of the Sun, discerning their presence becomes difficult at best.  For the philosophy of these leaders has always been, “He must increase, while I must decrease.”  And the more they decrease in visibility, the greater His influence, and the more He becomes seen.

Like the rising of the sun, as with the nature of all reformation, such does not happen instantly, or with one giant blow.   Rather, it happens gracefully, gradually, incrementally, and smoothly, until the sun fully rises, or as in the other analogy, until the leaven consumes the entire lump.  Over time, the present ecclesiastical system that is undergoing reformation will simply collapse upon itself, as an unsustainable model that will be counted as but a forsaken relic of the past.  For His people who have become holy discontent with the present order, who deeply hunger for the fullness of the presence of Christ in the Church, with Him operating unhindered as its true head, will simply find no reason to carry on with the way we’ve operated for centuries, laboring largely in the dark.  For their eyes will be opened to the glory that rises out of the eastern sky, and once seen, they will no longer desire what they knew in the night.

We aren’t there yet.  Many of our brethren, are still living in a place where much darkness abounds.  The reformation is not yet complete.  Be patient.  Don’t attempt to do for the Lord what the Lord is doing in His own timing.  Continue to just wait on Him, and let Him arise.  Teach, exhort, and rebuke much.  But pray even more.  Don’t try to force anything, or to try and take some imaginary shortcut to the reformation.  For if you do that, you will find yourself in a battle without the Lord.  Walk with the Lord in what you do, and love the brethren even as the Lord loves them.  Abound in forgiveness and major in mercy.  For that is how Christ has behaved towards us, so let us have the same attitude towards our brethren who have yet to have their eyes opened to the truths we’ve come to know. 

Don’t forsake assembling yourself together with them, and fellowshipping with them, but rather, spend all the more time with them.  Even if they resist you, and find themselves at odds with you.  Share with them the same fragrance you have smelled.  Lead them to the same waters you have been drinking from.  Model for them what you have come to know.  Be an example to them in all things.  If they slap you on one cheek, offer them the other.  If they curse you, bless them in return.  Don’t pull back from them in pride, but like our Lord, forget yourself, and truly become a servant to them in all things.

For ultimately, the only way for the second reformation to prosper is that it be a movement that doesn’t make much about itself, and what is going on.  Rather, the second reformation will prosper because it makes itself much about Christ, and speaks often of Him.


Welcome


Welcome to ChristThinks.com.  The purpose of this blog will be to offer regular reflections on various Biblical topics and world happenings in the light of the teachings of Jesus Christ.  The essence of each post will be to explore what “Christ thinks” about anything and everything, so that you and I can be disciples who are fully engaged in discovering Biblical truth, and applying those truths to our lives.

Be blessed,

Jimmy Humphrey


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