Jesus told his disciples a parable. “Consider the fig tree and all the other trees. When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now near; in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near. Amen, I say to you…heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
Today is “Black Friday”. Hundreds of thousands of shoppers will be looking for and taking advantage of great deals and bargains. Items that were once out of reach may know be available at half the price!
I think this is all good news when deals apply to appliances, gadgets and clothes. But if applied to faith and morals, then I think we would be selling ourselves far too cheap!
The Vatican just published its annual report on the growth of the Church. Over thirty-four thousand new believers are added daily throughout the world. Just fewer than two thousand new believers are added to the ranks of Anglicans, Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons on a daily basis. This surprised me! After all, who would want to be a Catholic today? Isn’t it much harder to get married in the Catholic Church? Aren’t the obligations of being a Catholic much more intense? Yes. And you can see how truth bears fruit!
Last week, the Spanish voters ousted the Socialist Party from power after a humiliating defeat in general elections. The Conservative Popular Party won an absolute majority in parliament. Jose Zapataro, the socialist Prime Minister, spent his years in office bending over backwards to humiliate Catholics in Spain. What the Spaniards did not realize was that he was bending them over backwards by bankrupting their pensions and nation! The nation nearly broke – financially and morally! I would not be surprised if he is held responsible for the devastation he inflicted upon the nation.
In Pakistan, the head of the telecommunications office recommended that the words “Jesus Christ” be banned from texting! He stated that the freedom of Pakistani people is “subjected to limitations stipulated by the law, in the interest of the glory of Islam.” This is one reason (out of many) that I reject Islam. Any religion that resorts to death threats to maintain its members or prohibits the free flow of ideas from other religions must not believe that it can stand on its own truths. Thank God for the bravery of the Minister of Harmony, the Catholic, Akram Gill, who raised the matter in the cabinet of ministers. He did not bend! He stood erect! The proposal was defeated.
How can anyone in their right mind say that all religions are the same? If the vast majority of Americans only knew! If they only knew, and took not for granted their Christian roots!
All the above will one day pass away. Even the Church will pass away. But Christ’s Word, God’s Word, will never pass away. Every day we must renew our resolve to banish evil, not Christ, from the planet. The cute Protestant saying, “Once saved, always saved” does not make any sense to me. After all, we are not God. When God speaks, creation happens. When we speak, it may or may not get done! “Once saved, always saved” ignores human nature and seasons. Imagine the pilgrims saying to one another, “If we make it through this one winter, we will make it through all of them!” We all know that one mild winter could easily be followed by a severe one. We all know that one good day could quickly be followed by a horrible one! Our faith will always be tested until we cross the finish line!
We cannot sit back on our laurels or on our morals. Otherwise, we will find ourselves being bent to the breaking point! The Lord reminds his faithful (not the new comers) to “stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”