Friday, March 02, 2012

The Deepest Tragedy of All
This world has seen and continues to see incalculable tragedies. Every week we read of hundreds, if not thousands, of people killed in some accident. There are millions that starve, and many millions that die of diseases that are easily cured in the west. Children are molested, marriages are broken, teen suicide is rampant, and violence stalks the classrooms.
Read the history books and relive the millions that perished in the plague, or the millions that died in the Inquisition, or the millions that died at the hands of the Nazis. Millions died under Stalin and Mao, and many died under Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Attila the Hun, and millions under Caesar’s Rome. Millions of women have died in childbirth as well.
How many families have had a loved one taken by car accident? How many planes have gone down with no survivors? How many blacks were lynched? The Mexican landscape is littered with the dead bodies of those murdered by drug lords. Many thousands have been slaughtered in Libya, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and in China. And the unborn are systematically murdered and their murder has lined the pockets of greedy doctors. The human story is one filled with tragedy.
Tragedies are common to man and only differentiated by their magnitude. But when human time is no more, and when God summons all creation to stand before Him, then and only then will we understand that the deepest and most profound tragedy of all is how man has compromised, changed, and completely ignored the gospel message. When we more fully understand the suffering and humiliation involved in redemption, and when we see just Who it was that suffered in our place, we cannot but stand amazed at our indifference. That is a tragedy without equal.
Death fills the pages of our news. But no one speaks of spiritual death, or as the Scriptures declare, the “second death”. It is most beyond us to even imagine what it will be like when the conscious souls of unredeemed sinners realize for the very first time that they have lost everything. The enormity of such a narrative cannot be imagined by a human mind or heart. When a condemned man was brought to the gallows, and the noose placed around his neck, I often wonder about the level of fear that must fill his being.
But when that same man hears that eternal judgment is pronounced against him, and when he awakens to the fact that he is headed for a lost eternity, what emotions will fill his being then? What kind of fear will grip his soul? What screams will be heard within his soul and audibly by those present at his formal execution, an execution that will continue forever? Does it seem so very antiquated to speak of such things? Does it seem so absurd in these days of spiritual enlightenment? Are my words just spiritual fear mongering?
Again I say, the tragedy of all tragedies is when a sinner descends into the lake of fire knowing he could have escaped. Christ died for the entire world, and yet billions do not know it and billions do not care.
Matt.7:13-15 - Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
he world loves the beatitudes found in the Sermon on the Mount, but it is ignorant of the powerful warnings in that same sermon. Jesus Himself told us that only a few would find the gate to eternal life, and yet that gate is open for whosoever will believe in Him. What a colossal tragedy!
Lk.12:4-5 - And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

Very few even think about eternity, and fewer still about eternal judgment. The western church has grown too sophisticated and self centered to think about such things, and preachers are wary of losing members. Is it not incredulous that we who say we believe in eternal life and eternal death hear so little about it? It’s as if it doesn’t exist, or more probable that we do not actually believe it. And the tragedy grows exponentially with each passing day.
The labor that was accomplished at Calvary puts to shame the greatest glories of the created universe. No star, no supernova, no galaxy, nor the entire universe itself can be compared to a six hour event outside the city of Jerusalem. The universe itself is far beyond our comprehension. We grasp at straws in our attempts to understand creation’s mysteries. Man puts a motorized skateboard on the surface of Mars and applauds his feat. But a supernova expends more energy is one nanosecond than the Sun will in its lifetime of billions of years. God has no equal.
But God could not just wave a magic wand to extricate us from our spiritual predicament. Most religions portray their God with the power and knowledge to help men achieve immortality. But who could concoct a narrative where the God they believe in would come as a man and die in suffering and pain? Who might invent a God with human spittle on his face? Who would suggest such a thing? This is no religious fiction; it is a surpassing reality. And although the crucifixion appears as a tragedy, the real tragedy is in its rejection.
And so we live in a spiritual tragedy of epic proportions. It isn’t just the unbeliever that adds to this tragedy, but preachers and teachers by the thousands have abandoned the gospel through multifaceted errors and enticing words of man’s wisdom. The cross has become an offense, not to the unbeliever, but to the church. An excruciating tragedy that must grieve the heart of God. And in a future reality, this tragedy will be laid bare for all to see. And billions of souls will become a part of this monstrous tragedy.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. Be vigilant, lest we become unwitting enablers to the tragedy that has been and is and is to come.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Blessed is he whose name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life!