Occasionally I drive down a road I generally try to avoid whenever possible. Hidden in the trees barely visible on the side the road is a cage, about eight by ten feet, and in the cage is a dog. The very small area that this dog was put in years ago is unkempt, the water in the large bucket, when I have noticed any, is usually covered with a green algae, and though I have seen a food bowl in there, the animal has always looked as if it is on the verge of starvation. I stopped by the side of the road once and as I approached the cage, I was met with ferocious barking and growling, any sense of compassion was denied this dog long ago, and he will most likely die alone in that cage.
I have seen, as I am sure you have, stories of the lives of individuals who have made it their life’s work to rescue animals, God’s creatures of all sorts who have been abused, neglected and treated in ways I dare not say here, yet they keep coming, there is no diminishing of their numbers, and though it is temporal, it is honorable.
I heard a saying once that most do not like to hear, “Man’s inhumanity to man is only exceeded by his inhumanity to animals.” I do not watch or listen to the news much anymore, for it generally starts, as I am sure you have noticed, with destruction, pain and sorrow, and inevitably ends with an uplifting story, one that is meant to make us think that it will all be okay, that if we all pull together, we can make all this work someday.
I have seen this false hope, as it were, in some Christians I have met over the years, this thought that says, “If we all just pull together everything will work out, it will all be alright.” I hope for you that are reading this realize that this statement is false, it is a deceiving lie that is, and always has been, one of the greatest deceptions of Satan. My friends, we cannot ‘make it work’ here, and we will never be able to. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that evil is held at bay, and it is through God’s people that He has chosen to display this incredible power. (Phil. 4:13)
It is sad to say, but we have become a world of individuals who by doing nothing when we see injustice and evil, condone it by leaving it to someone else, someone who has “been called” to combat sin in a particular area, someone else to stand in the gap. I am in no way diminishing the work and great gifts from God of those who try nearly each and every day to battle against these great injustices, what I am questioning is whether or not we are doing them for the glory of God or for the hope that we can make it better here for all of God’s creation.
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” (Matt. 5:6) We are commanded to be righteous and Holy, (1st Peter 1:16) when we see evil, we are to speak up, and not pass injustice by like the priest and the Levite did, (Luke 10:30-36) but we are never to believe that righteousness will fill this world, that ‘peace and love’ will be the crowning end of all mankind through our efforts, for it will not be, until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. Do not fool yourselves, do not be deceived, there will not be a heaven on earth until that time.
“For ye have the poor with you always…” (Mark 14:7) Children’s hospitals will remain full, elderly individuals will continue to be abused, wives will be beaten, men will kill men for all manner of reasons, dogs will die in forgotten cages. Pain and suffering is here to stay, and will only grow worse exponentially, until that day. If we dwell on these truths on a day to day basis, great depression can envelope us, but too many Christians have decided to hide from these facts, seeking solace in the comfort of their houses, friends and family, making a life for themselves here on earth, and many have actually started to call this earth ‘home’. Their prayers revolve generally around themselves, their wants and needs, and only rarely for a lost world and those in it. Their assistance to the needs of others has been whittled down to the collection plate, and then only after they have spent on themselves their desires fulfilled, sacrificial giving both in money and time a thing of the past for some. They have been laying up treasures on earth, instead of heaven. (Matt. 6:20) This world has become their home, and they fear to leave it for the unknown, to walk in complete darkness with only the hand of Jesus to lead them.
Not all of course though, there are still those whose eyes are on the prize, those whose paths lead directly to heavens gate and no obstacle will change their character, no evil will befall them (Psalm 91:10) for the Lord their God has made them heavenly minded. The world calls these saints “to heavenly minded to be of any earthly good,” but they do not see our hearts. When we ask if we can help, we mean it, but they will think you are prying into their business; when we offer assistance, we mean it, but they will think you are denigrating them. Occasionally though, one will say “thank you”, one will listen, one will hear the message you have to say to them, and sometimes, though O too rarely, one will head the call and come to the knowledge and truth of the love that God has for them through Christ. When this incredible blessing comes from God, when you are there to experience it, you will know that this occurred so that this person will now live in eternal bliss with our Lord. (Psalm 16:11)
God has not promised a wonderful, worldly filled life here, full of happiness in the things of this planet, safe from sorrow and pain, in fact, it is just the opposite, for this is not your home. He never said we would be kept out of the valley of the shadow of death, there are no promises in the bountiful Word of God that says that we will suffer no pain, no loss, no sorrow, either in our own lives or the lives of the people that live on this earth. But He has promised that He will always be with you, (Heb. 13:5) that He will lead you in paths of righteousness, (Psalm 23:3) that He will fill you with joy (Rom. 15:13)
We must stand for righteousness, we must speak up against evil, always remembering that our fight is not with any fellow human, but “against principalities…” (Eph. 6:12) and always and only for the Glory of God.
The work is hard, it is difficult, and it hurts, pain of heart and soul, and perhaps even of the flesh will be your constant companion, but what else would you expect for a visitor from a far off land, bringing a message of repentance from sin to a lost world in exchange for eternal love.
Rewards are given to those when they reach the finish line, when they get home, and my friends, that is where Jesus is waiting, at home.