Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
I read recently that in California, it has been determined that no one can be a judge who is associated with the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America, it was decided, is such an evil institution (because it does not endorse men marrying men) that mere association with it makes one unfit to serve as a judge.
As people are losing their respect for the Son of God, goodness is becoming disgraceful and disgraceful things are becoming the new “goodness”. What used to be commonly understood as righteousness is gradually being outlawed, and wickedness is being imposed on us and our children by this increasingly godless society.
It’s happened before. In ancient Israel, among God’s own people, the truth became so hated and wickedness became so loved that anyone who dared to speak the truth or dared to stop sinning made himself a target:
14b. Truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.
15a. Yea, truth fails, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.
As is happening now before our very eyes, ancient Israel drifted so far from God that good was everywhere condemned as evil, and evil was praised as good:
20. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil, who put darkness for light, and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
And as is happening now, perverse immorality became standard practice in the nation that God had chosen. Very few of God’s people loved Him enough to resist the pressure to embrace the socially acceptable wickedness of the time:
9. Except the Lord of hosts had left for us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like Gomorrah.
Heartbroken as God was about the direction His people had taken, He extended a precious promise even to those who had embraced the worst of the dark spirits of the time:
18. Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
And since our God does not change (Mal. 3:6), but is “the same yesterday and today, and forever” (Heb. 13:8), I feel sure that He is extending that same promise of mercy now to those who have fallen victim to the dark spirits of our time. May we all be wise and “seek the Lord while He may be found, and call upon Him while He is near” (Isa. 55:6). It is supreme importance that we do that, that we take advantage of God’s compassionate offer of forgiveness and cleansing because “it is appointed to men once to die, and after that the Judgment” (Heb. 9:27).
When that day of Final Judgment comes – and it is coming – the time for repentance will have past, and no offers of forgiveness will be extended. On that day, we will “all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each may receive recompense for the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2Cor. 5:10).
“Now is the day of salvation”, the man of God said. But what makes that statement true is that God is now offering mercy to those who turn from sin and come to His Son Jesus, whom “God has made both Lord and Christ”. Let’s all do that while we still can! A life of righteousness is much preferable to a life of sin and shame. And an eternity of peace and joy is much preferable to an eternity of torment and regret.