Sunday, September 28, 2014

A Lead Pipe Cinch

Does anyone use this phrase any more? It was quite common as I was growing up, oh so long ago. It might have come from the mouth of a snarling gangster in a B movie, but we all knew what it meant--an outcome that was a sure thing. It might seem like a big leap from the use of this phrase to a Biblical theme, but I will try to make it.

Disadvantaged through early exposure to an "activist" church, I carried the burden on my little shoulders of the need to "do something". This was almost as important as not doing a whole bunch of things. But we all carried the onus that if we all did not work together, God's plan of saving the world would fail. However, working real hard would bring about a heaven on earth, both religiously and politically. We might even get to heaven if we were good enough, but that was not a foregone conclusion.

I came to hate such burdens, which included our duty to support World War II. The food we ate, the War Bonds we bought, the scrap drives we worked on--though necessary--were quite a load, especially for a young boy. A little freedom would have helped, but every aspect of life was ruled by sacrifice for the war effort, or the striving for perfection of moral character.

Needless to say, I did better at my war efforts. Young people rebel, and I was young, so I quit my church in disgust. I never learned anything, and learning was very important to me. So I gave up on religion and turned to what was for me "scientific/materialist".

This phase did not last long. Soon great writers, some of them scientists, brought me to repentance. I returned to the fold, confessed my sin of desertion from the faith, and thought and believed like the Christian I was. But I never forgave the Corporate Church which had stifled my mind.

When I first learned of the subject of prophecy is lost to me. It could have been from a radio sermon or a used book store, but I came to realize that the Great Outcome of history was not dependent on human effort at all. It was in fact going to take place regardless of human effort. This represented the lifting of a great burden from me.

Human efforts are needed, and God will reward them, but the outcome of the Devil's World, his rebellion and final doom, will result from the action of God. I came to love this great Biblical idea and still do. Others have their callings, but this one is mine.

The world is disintegrating as I write this. But Lord Jesus promised to take his church out--living and dead--before the time of Jacob's trouble. Satan has been doomed since the early part of Genesis. Though he and his angels will war against God, his fall, and the restoration of creation, are assured. God and his saints will prevail. It's a lead pipe cinch.

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