“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” Lk. 18:8
As we see the storm clouds approaching and time drawing to an end, verses like the one above should get our undivided attention. When we reflect on the necessity of our Christian behavior and action in the world, and the shapes those actions take, e.g., evangelism, teaching, or political action; when we consider that our lifestyle or manner of conduct can have revolutionary effects; when we even search for ways in which we can express our faith, we are unwittingly forging a means to an end. Scholars and social scientist study these problems at their source while we non-intellectuals adopt more practical methods which ask fewer questions. But, the reality is that all of mankind is concerned with ends and means-to-an-end, and the common and universal result is that all of these individual elements eventually end with the termination civilization.
It appears to me that today the “means” has become the focus of our life instead of the end; it is as if we have forgotten where we are going, and the road and trip itself have seized our attention. The world has set in motion many lovely continuously moving conveyances that take us nowhere, with man as his own destination; he is now both the means and the end. Even in Christian circles, it is not much different, the focus is on means: more and better schools, technological skills, marketing structures, economics, etc. I am here attempting to place the “means” in its proper perspective. Ways and means are without value and become just more ineffective ideologies unless they are accompanied by a deep and radical change of nature and a true lived-out faith in the view of a watching world that despises our efforts.
Christianity alone offers the solution for a way out of the Matrix. These words are easy to say and to type, but this only means that the delusion is real and that the solution is simultaneously the most difficult and the simplest. What is the Christians responsibility in this adventure we are on? Life and history will continue, with or without our input. History may stop tomorrow, or maybe not, but whenever God decides to move He will look for those who are flexible, supple, adaptable, and ready to be used. Rarely, has God worked directly, but rather chooses to work through human instruments to accomplish His goals. The Church has inadvertently led us to believe that it is the “intellectuals” that God will use, the worldly wise, or the young, successful and rich; but our Father does not look for the talented or the gifted or the energetic because He is the giver of gifts and the source of all energy. Our God is looking for the willing and the ready, for those who continually pray “send me,” an empty vessel that He Himself can fill. The great questions for us are, Will God find the men and women He needs in this late hour?When we say that the solution is in Jesus Christ alone, regarding the ends and the means, will that confession result in serious consequences in the life of those who bear the sign of Christ? Is your Christianity anything more than just an intellectual declaration?
We need not fool ourselves, our Father is not limited, He can employ a fisherman just as easily as a financial genius!
“As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? What did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? Look, those who wear fine clothing are found in king’s palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.'” Mat. 11:7-9
I believe that we have lost the true meaning of what “Life in Christ” means. When that person who possesses the testimony of a profound life rises up they will once again see heaven and earth move. Paul’s words to Timothy are just as true today as they were when he spoke them, “If you live righteously(i.e. right) you will be persecuted.” And, Jesus’ words to His disciples, “If they hated Me they will hate you” are still valid today. The fact that we do not experience persecution and severe hatred as followers of Jesus is proof positive that we have not yet found the voice of our generation. (Fighting in a court battle because a bakery declares their constitutional “right” to not bake a cake for a homosexual couple is NOT what I am talking about.) There are some things when lived-out in our Christian life, as the martyrs can testify to, that will attract the wrath of both the world and the commercial church and they are, 1) non-resistance to the evil person, i.e. rejection of military service, self-defense, or accepting the protection by others with their use of violence. 2) non-conformity to the world in their idol worship of flags, memorials, holidays, and songs, and refusal to serve on jury duty condemning of the enemies of society. 3)speaking out for the poor or marginalized who have no voice of their own.
Real life in Christ is not being devoted to “means” or to building something for Jesus, but it is rather having our eyes fixed on a cross and speaking radical truth into the world, and boldly signifying to the world that we have THE solution while the world demands that we “cease and desist” with our proclamation to flee the wrath to come. We are living sacrifices who intentionally crawl onto an altar, which is the very least we can do and through the exercise of this liberty, we will once again witness the work of the Holy Spirit pouring life into empty lost souls.
Unless the seed falls to the ground and dies . . . .