To my political friends

I was scrolling through my social media home page today and noticed something disturbing. My post feed comes from friends only, and you know what I noticed? About 90% of all posts were political in nature. “We are against this, that, and the other thing.” “People should be listening to these people and not those,” they proclaim. “All of these people are fools.” Poking fun, mocking, ridiculing.

And, it hit me how devisive this is. Want to divide your friends? Easy: talk politics.

Please understand my position. I vote when I can. (I live overseas, and sometimes, it’s easier said than done. We’ve actually received ballots after elections.) It’s my right to have opinions—and yours. Thankfully, we still have free speech in most countries, and we can say what we think about politics. I am not against that at all.

Many years ago, my husband and I made it our own family policy not to talk publicly about politics. We live in the Basque region of Spain and knew that to speak out would not help us reach people for the Lord—which is the reason we’re here. So, we made it a practice—fine if you do otherwise—not to express our opinions on Basque politics, Spain’s, or America’s. It’s proven to be one of the wisest decisions of our lives, especially in the ministry.

What grieved me today? Seeing so much about politics and so little about the gospel.

The Apostle Paul was arguably the first traveling foreign missionary. He traveled from Israel to Turkey, covering most of the northern Mediterranean area back in 47-64 A.D. Paul preached the gospel everywhere and to every people group he could. He used their own cultures as illustrations, but his message was always the same.

Paul said to the Corinthian church in Greece, Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, emphasis mine).

What’s the gospel? Three parts:

  1. The death of Jesus on the cross for MY sins
  2. Jesus’ burial
  3. The fact of His resurrection

What does it have the power to do?

Save souls.

Politics are important in every nation. It is vital that Christians stand for right, biblical values, morality, freedom, and that they support the good guys and reject the bad guys. (That may look different from country to country. I remember the former pastor of a church here in Spain voicing that quandary. Did he want to vote for the party that would give him more religious freedom or the one that was more in line with the Bible?) Each Christian needs to know the issues, examine the candidates, pray, come to a conclusion, and go and vote.

But, more important—eternally so—is the gospel of Jesus Christ, Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:6-11).

Jesus said, For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). His whole purpose is to save.

Who’s lost?

Every sinner. That’s everyone on the earth. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

Who can save?

Jesus.

He said, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16-18).

Have you believed in Him? Jesus wants to save you.

If you already know Jesus, are you sharing the gospel? Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16). The world today needs our light.

God bless you.

Truths and fallacies

Wow! What a change in the world since a couple of weeks ago.

As many of you know, we live in Spain. This country has been officially locked down since last Saturday evening, and people are only allowed to leave their homes for food shopping—one per family—communication, pharmacy, and hospital. Some important jobs are being done, but almost everyone is at home, trying to be careful, and waiting for the virus to pass.

Since then, I’ve heard all kinds of reactions, most of them not realistic.

Some say the virus isn’t even real. Maybe they don’t live in a part of the world where people are sick and dying, but to say it doesn’t exist is silly at best.

Others say it’s a hoax or a conspiracy. I always question these reactions. Seriously? Everything is a conspiracy? Mysterious persons—always unnamed—are pulling the world’s strings? Well, there is a master plan, and I will get to God’s plan later in this post, but to think that every world event, great or small, either is a hoax or conspiracy is narrow-minded. Consider that the doctor who first reported this virus was a Christian and was ridiculed for making it up. Conspiracy? I don’t think so. Hoax? I hope everyone in the world understands the coronavirus is real and extremely contagious. If you don’t, you obviously don’t live where I do.

Some people say it’s exaggerated. Who knows? The non-exaggerated fact is that thousands have actually contracted this virus, and they can infect others merely by touching things or coughing. Thousands have died worldwide. As I write this, over 300 died from coronavirus yesterday, in Spain alone. Exaggerated? I have no idea, but I personally believe the statistics from health officials in Spain, and I actually know people who are sick.

Similar to those who believe it’s all a joke and not real are those who are apathetic. They don’t want to wash their hands, stay inside, or avoid personal contact. I heard that, at the beginning of this crisis, people from the center of Spain decided to travel to the coast and party on the beaches. Now, the hotels are closed and some are outfitted as adjunct hospitals. I also heard that those of differing political persuasions don’t want to listen to the government. I get that, but this is a health issue, folks. Take care of yourself, and think of others.

Some of my Christian friends think it’s God’s judgment. Only God knows whether that’s true or not. I remember when the Divine-judgment label was put on other pandemics: AIDS, for example. When hemopheliacs and other innocent people got HIV from simple blood transfusions, I hope those labelers changed their tune. Only God can proclaim actions as His judgment. We need to be careful about mis-characterizing Him. By the way, in the Bible, judgment and mercy go hand-in-hand. And, if this is His judgment, why are lovely people like two of my Christian friends sick with it?

I’ve heard these are the end times. This is one of those terms we can always agree with. The first part of Jesus’ Second Coming is imminent, which means it could happen at any time. The disciples knew this, and we do, too.

I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left (Luke 17:34-36). To me, this sounds like everyday life in different parts of the world. That encourages me, as this coronavirus quarentine is anything but normal. I think it will pass, but if not, I am glad I’m ready for Jesus to come and that I know I’ll be caught up with Him.

The Apostle Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote these words to comfort Christians: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep (dead believers), that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Timothy 3:1). After that, it lists many sins we are familiar with today.

A similar prophecy is found in 2 Peter 3:3, Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.

The times we’re living in certainly fit this description, but the Bible advises against date setting and foolish talk. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:36-39).

I sincerely believe this pestilence will pass, and we will go on living. But, not even the angels know if the Lord is coming today or tomorrow or three weeks or a thousand years from now.

He (Jesus) which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20).

Are you ready?

If Jesus should come today for believers, would you be caught up in the clouds with Him?

You can make sure today. (See “Is your truth the Truth?” here.)