Jesus asked this question, "How long shall I put up with you" (Mt.17: 17)? It was in connection with their lack of faith to carry on His mission without him. After three years of being with Jesus, they were not prepared to graduate. Years later, the Hebrew Christians were still feeding on milk and not on solid food. They were still struggling with repentance and faith in God. And they were unable to discern between good and evil in their world. Some even gave up on being Christians (Heb.5: 12- 6: 6).
A prankster stood at a busy street corner and kept looking up at the sky. Within minutes a crowd blocking traffic had surrounded the man looking up. No one asked what he was looking for and no one needed to ask. They were all intrigued by curiosity to find something in the sky. When Jesus' disciples bid farewell to their Master, they too kept on gazing into heaven (Ac.1: 10-11). It is not just Christians that gaze toward heaven for help. Unbelievers in increasing numbers stretch their necks into the unknown for some miracle. Both, believers and unbelievers hope that heaven would send someone to help us deal with our divided nation.
A Safe Haven for Christians is like a "Pit Stop" in racing. Christians like racers require a place where they can stop and refuel or make repairs. Churches have become such places. Perhaps, they have given us too much comfort. That could be one reason why we are afraid to go out into the world and recruit disciples. Many of us have become permanent residences in these religious pit stops. We need to get back in the race if we want to cross the finished line.
We are hesitant to think that God has a hand in our destiny (Eph.1: 4; 2: 10). Jesus informed us that not even a hair is lost outside His knowledge (Lk.21: 18). Like Moses, we may step outside His intended purpose and most certainly God shall bring us back (Ex.3: 10). Moses' entire life was planned, preserved and directed by heaven (Ex. 1-4). It took eighty years to prepare him for the leader he had to be in order to deliver a people and built them into a nation. And with God's help, Moses led his people out of Egypt and kept them alive for forty years in a wilderness. It was no fairytale.
The President announced that his decision to support "Embryonic Stem Cell Research" was based on "Science and not Morality." Science, he regards as factual and morality as what? What is puzzling is that he believes that embryos are not potential human beings. Yet science has proven that when embryos are placed back into a woman's womb, they result in babies. Thus science negates the President's concept. By dismissing morality he has granted science a license to use life as if it were merely substance. Science has been put in the place of a creator that can heal and sustain life (Ex.20: 3-6). Only the real Creator has put a limit on our earthly life (Ps.90: 10).
Jesus told his followers that in this world they would have trouble (Jn.16: 33), and woe to those that are the cause of it (Mt.18: 7). The Greek uses the word "thlipsin" (pressure). It has to do with severe hardship and oppression. The King James Bible describes such a time as a tribulation. Whenever God's people went through such times, they emerged more vigorous in their growth. And whenever God's people were accepted and tolerated by the world, they became complacent and lost their distinct identity. Being trouble-free is not exactly a benefit for God's people.
Gamaliel, Pharisee and respected teacher of the law, told the Jewish leaders when they tried to harm Jesus' followers, "But if their (purpose) is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God" (Ac.5: 39). How did the people or nations fare that took on God? How will the U.S.A. end?
Jesus said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you" (Lk.11: 10). Things are happening to all of us; but are they the things we have asked for?
The sons of Korah, choir members in Salomon's Temple, wrote these words, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps.46: 10). These were noisy musicians that learned in order to get to know God one had to become still. King David himself had to learn how to be still before God (Ps. 37: 7).
In difficult times, we wish we were in heaven. We imagine that in heaven all things shall be set right. Perhaps we may even believe that in that eternal life Jesus promised, we shall fare much better than we did on earth? I am apprehensive for not having listened to Jesus' explanation of life in heaven.