The year 2016 has, like those years just previous, brought with it strange geophysical manifestations. The heat and storms of recent days were once called unprecedented in many cases, in terms of records falling. Now the unusual weather is becoming considered the norm.
The tremendous rainfall in several regions of the U.S., particularly in southern Louisiana, have taken lives and devastated property along it’s swath. People are forced to move to safer ground and will likely have to completely rebuild their homes and their lives in the areas affected. Wild fires in California are even more destructive, with thousands left homeless, their lives thrown into chaos.
This outbreak of devastation is joined by myriad earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other geophysical phenomena that seem to be ratcheting up by the hour around the world.
Paul the apostle’s words provide the thought-provoking impetus for this commentary: “This also know, that in the last days perilous times shall come, for men shall…have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:1, 2, 5).
My own cerebral meanderings on what’s going on conjured the thought. This generation, through denying even the mention of the power of God’s dealing with mankind, might be resulting in an increasing lack of power of the electrical sort to energize the households and businesses of large parts of America.
A stretch, you say?
The supposition/postulation isn’t as far-fetched as might be thought at first assessment. To begin, we must ask: Using Paul’s perilous-times indicator, what is the “power”–albeit of spiritual nature–within the “form of godliness” that this generation is denying? The answer is found in the following Scripture. That power is He “who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:15-8).
The name is Jesus. It is the name above every other name–now, and in the ages to come (see Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 2:9). Come to think of it, it is totally relevant to analyze these matters in this way. The One who owns that holy name holds in His mighty hand all power, whether of the natural or supernatural variety, according to God’s Word as given above. Without the Lord Jesus Christ, there would be nothing whatsoever upon which to cogitate–nor would you and I be here to think upon anything.
But, this is not the way many people in America now view the God of all creation. Jesus, in this country whose founders and other leaders invoked that holy name in many of their writings, is now considered persona non grata. His name can be used as a curse word in film and other public entertainment venues, and in private conversations. But, He isn’t to be mentioned in the public school systems, nor can public prayers be ended with His name for fear of offending those of other religious belief systems.
As a matter of fact, the Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that God will no longer be allowed in public classrooms. Our leaders have turned their backs on God, and, sadly, many of America’s citizenry prove by their daily way of life that they indeed follow the leaders. Jesus, as we’ve written before in these commentaries, spoke to the very conditions we see developing with regard to geophysical upheaval. While the Lord rode the little donkey toward Jerusalem to offer himself as Israel’s Messiah, the people laid palm fronds before the animal’s path. They praised Jesus, shouting, “Hosanna!” They were shouting, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
The pharisaical religionists told Jesus to make the people stop their praise of Him. These considered it blasphemous for the people to attribute the title of Messiah to this carpenter from Nazareth. The Judaizers hated Him and wanted Him dead. They would shortly get their wish, because Jesus would soon be crucified upon Golgotha.
The modern-day religionists and those who hate the name of Jesus Christ, because He represents to them a narrow-minded way of righteous living to which they will not conform, are doing all within their power to keep the people of the nation from seeing Jesus as the Savior of the world. The name of Jesus is suppressed at every level they can manage to influence.
Luke recorded Jesus’ words to the God-despisers of those times–those who had a form of godliness but denied the power thereof: “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:40).
Jesus is again about to interject His majestic presence into this Christ-rejecting world. It seems to me that nature is shouting, “Hosanna!”