© 2022 Warren L. Johns. All Rights Reserved.
U.S. Marine, William Manchester, describes World War II’s nightmare in his book, Goodbye
Darkness. Manchester’s graphic title, applies appropriately to God’s pathway to peace.
“There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness, but denying its power.”
II Timothy 3:1-5
Musical Performance by Guy Hovis & Ralne English
Wealth and wisdom can seduce, divert and destroy the human soul, even a man like Solomon, born into privilege. This wise, rich ruler, sat on a throne of sold gold, lived in a palace, was blessed with the DNA of a father loaded with courage and charisma, and genes of Bathsheba, his beauty-queen mother.
“The weight of the gold that Solomon received yearly was 666 talents, not including revenues from merchants and traders and from all the Arabian kings and the governments of the Land.” I Kings 10:14, 15
Despite being born to advantage and exposed to the truth about God, Solomon lost his way and squandered his birthright.
“So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord, he did not follow the Lord completely as David his father had done.” I Kings 11:6
The sin virus has mutated human DNA, compromised our ability to love and display characters reflecting God’s image. Sin has launched mankind into a death spiral. The virus infects thoughts with false pride, selfishness and revenge, leaving human lives drowning in stress.
Once infected, a form of external conduct surfaces, blemishing character. The sinner slave, bereft of love, becomes a taker rather than a giver. Without God, doors open to unspeakable traits that defy the will: dishonesty, hatred, bullying, and murder. Evil’s pandemic inspires merchants of hate to unleash mass murder in the form of ruthless, equal opportunity killing machines that destroy and degrade the human family.
No one is immune from the contagion. Even the righteous person does not escape pain, sorrow and stress. “Rain falls on the just and the unjust alike.” Paul warned of the increase intensity of the sin pandemic and the stress consequence in the end time.
”Terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power.” II Timothy 3:1-4
No wonder stress plagues current culture. Stress invades lives under multiple guises. A failing grade; PSTD; loss of a job; addictions; a broken romance; “wars and rumors of war”; exhausting traffic jams; guilt burdens; pain; bankruptcy; suffering from corrupted DNA; a hostile neighbor; alcoholism; hunger; imprisonment; and suffering under a tyrant’s heel. Any forms of overpowering stress can trigger depression!
Resort to alcohol, chemical self-medication, or bully behavior to hide insecurity to escape stress, offers no peace. Stress symptoms may be temporarily suppressed while depression can return with a vengeance. Once locked-in to depression, normal emotions of empathy and love can be numbed.
The Creator understands hurting heart and brings comfort to the depressed. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.’” Psalm 91:2
To demonstrate the essence of true love and peace, the Almighty God of the universe sent His “only begotten Son” to Planet Earth to show His justice and the miraculous power of a transforming love. God’s unconditional love marks the pathway to emotional peace that provides an antidote to depression!
Jesus Christ, “the way, the truth, and the Life,” demonstrated love in living action. His ministry led to His excruciating death at the hands of power-driven, evildoers. Mortals cannot begin to comprehend the agony God the Father must have experienced witnessing the unimaginably cruel death of His innocent Son.
Jesus’ life demonstrates perfect love, peace and morality. His sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection conquered the death curse and offered a prescription that cures the sin virus. Life eternal is offered to every believing human who ever lived on Earth.
The Christian finds an open door to abundant living and that promised “peace that passes all understanding” even in a culture drowning in stress and depression. Fellowship with believers is a reward. Life eternal is a guaranteed bonus.
The antidote to this toxic environment is built on faith in Jesus. A Holy Spirit empowered “new birth,” results in a full range of intuitive, life-enriching, love-based emotions featuring humility, forgiveness, compassion, honesty, kindness, and gentleness.
Paul assures that “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…there is no law.” Galatians 5:22, 23 He says that walking in Christ’s footsteps, while inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, represents obedience to God’s commandments.
Christ described the intuitive lifestyle of a “born again” Christian in graphic detail. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I need clothing and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35, 36
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, take you inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” Matthew 25:34
All of Solomon’s gold cannot buy a ticket to that eternal kingdom of heaven. Human wisdom, collected from all eras and cultures, cannot grasp the rich beauty of the creation miracle or imagine the full dimension of God’s forever love for all mankind.
What we know we are not alone; we are enveloped by the limitless power of God’s love; forgiveness of sin is assured when sought; and salvation is absolutely free, for you and for me. All we need do is accept salvation’s gift, believe the promises of God and follow Jesus. It’s never too late!
Heaven’s gates are open wide! Heirs of salvation’s timeless gift are promised a welcome to that with its promise of life eternal, awarded to all believers who “obey the commandments of God and remained faithful to Jesus.” Revelation 14:12
Warren LeRoi Johns