The Preacher Says....  
  Three Absolute Truths  
     
  What is Truth? demanded Pilate of Christ, but did not stay for an answer. (1) Who knows how the course of history may have evolved had Pilate learned then of Godís purpose with the earth and man. The role that Christ would now play to further Godís purpose was at hand , his crucifixion and resurrection imminent. The time had passed when Jesus could exhort the merciless Roman governor on the three great truths of Bible narrative, 1. Godís absolute sovereignty, 2. His purpose with the earth, and 3. His purpose with man.

The first truth, Godís sovereignty, is difficult to grasp. Many people try to make God conform to what they perceive Him to be, attributing their own standards of fairness. They want God to be one of their own making, e.g. The man upstairsí. Take care. God does not conform to any personal image we may hold. On the contrary, God says through Paul, "Who art thou that replies against me?"(2) This is God, Creator of light and darkness, the One who says, I am the Lord and there is none else; I make peace and create evilí. (3) Speaking through the prophet Isaiah, God describes the magnitude of the abyss that separates Him from man. He says of Himself. "My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts". (4)

Godís judgments are unsearchable, said Paul to the Romans, and His ways past finding out. (5) The Jews, chosen of God, understood this message. They believed His name too holy to utter or write, and the custom continued into New Testament times. The disciple Matthew in his epistle to a basically Jewish audience rendered "Kingdom of God" as "Kingdom of Heaven" and the difference between the two has perpetuated a confused theological ball of yarn almost impossible to unravel.

The second truth is Godís purpose with the earth. This theme pervades Bible narrative from Genesis through Revelation. God created the earth to last forever, never to be destroyed by fire, flood, or nuclear bomb. After the Genesis flood man escaped by the skin of his teeth when everything alive had been destroyed save Noah and those on the ark. The earth did remain, however, with the promise of God by the rainbow sign that He would never again destroy all flesh.

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night, shall not cease.í (6)

Through Moses God declared that all the earth would be filled with the glory of the Lord,(7) And with the voice of Solomon He declares that generations come and go but the earth abides forever.(8) God created the earth, He established it; He did not create it in vain but formed it to be inhabited. So spoke the prophet Isaiah (9) How can we believe this statement when we know in our hearts that the world cannot continue in its present state of overwhelming perilous environmental disasters, war and destruction, enhanced by the nuclear threat, disease and death , all signifying an outcome of doom. From manís point of view earthís life is finite, and the world can end with a whimper or become a burned out cinder in space. God has promised something better.

Man cannot solve the worldís problems. In late August, 2008 a conference took place in Erice, Sicily where 120 scientists, engineers, analysts and economists from 30 countries met to confer on planetary emergencies in the hope of finding cures The participants themselves were not optimistic. It is God who will rescue His creation.. He has promised to make all things new in a kingdom where the wolf will lie down with the lamb in an earth full of the knowledge of the LORD.(10) God will rescue His creation.

If we are fortunate to live until that day and can survive the giant upheavels in nature that will surely take place, we will witness the dawning of the kingdom age; a time when swords will be beaten into ploughshares and war will cease.(11) This transformation of the kingdoms of men to the establishment of the kingdom of God is the new dispensation described by Isaiah the prophet (among others). A few lines describe this new earth:

Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. `But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight, and its people a joy. . . The sound of weeping and crying will be heard in it no more. . . No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. . .they will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD. . . Before they call, I will answer, while they are still speaking I will hear. . . They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord(12)

The third truth, Godís purpose with man, shares good news with bad. The Good News preached by Christ, Paul, and the disciples, was of the establishment of the Kingdom of God on the earth. As it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.(13) Christís parables declare the essence of the kingdom where its citizens manifest attributes like faith, joy, love, forgiveness and mercy.

The bad news for some is that this kingdom will not be an open society, but limited to those who are beneficiaries of Godís grace through faith. These citizens in Christ will not likely be from the ranks of the rich and famous, but rather from those poor in spirit, they that mourn and who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the meek and pure in heart, peacemakers, and those who have endured persecution for righteousness sake.(14) These followers of Christ who have put their hand to the plow will be made perfect in the Kingdom of God. What to do? Is it just for the moment we live? Do we merely hope for the best in the belief that everything will turn out all right? Some forty generations removed from that fateful scene on the pavement before the Praetorium, after the resurrection of Christ, God appears to have witheld His hand from the affairs of men and we witness today the sad outcome of a world with man in charge. Godís word will prevail, however, heralded by the return of Christ to set up the promised Kingdom of God. No one knows when this will happen, but signs are evident, most visibly in the establishment of the Jewish state in the land of Israel. God wants all men to come to a saving knowledge of the Truth.(15) Listen to Godís truth preached by Christ and his disciples. Respond. Do this and live; for it is your Fatherí good pleasure to give you the Kingdom (of God).(16)

Footnotes:

1. John 18. 38
2. Rom 9. 20
3 Is 45. 5 - 7
4. Is 55. 8, 9
5 Rom 11. 33
6 Gen 8. 22
7 Num 14. 21
8 Eccl 1. 4
9 Is 45. 18
10 Is 11. 9
11 Joel 3. 10
12 Is 65. 18 - 30
13 1Cor 2. 9
14 Mat 5. 3 - 12
15 1Tim 2. 4
16 Luke 2. 31, 32