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MESSAGE FOR THE FORTNIGHT
 





Of Fury and Fairness of God

First things first! What is the chief and highest end of man? Let the revered Christian Book namely the Westminster catechism give the answer. Man's chief and highest end is to glorify (worship) God, and fully to enjoy him forever. When it comes to glorifying Him and fully enjoying Him, let it be said that the entire exercise ought to be “absolutely genuine emanating right from the innermost core of one’s being (read spirit)”. This would lead to the next question, how could the process of glorifying Him originate right from the depths of one’s heart? It is only possible, when a person (enabled by the Holy Spirit-John 4:24) is truly fascinated by His unique traits. Remember, worshipping God for WHAT HE IS, is the highest form of worship, standing head and shoulders above other forms of worship, which come with strings attached, such as worshipping Him for the blessings, He showers upon us.

A reputed Christian leader put it succinctly, when he stated that we need to worship God "not by looking at his mostly bountiful hands but by focusing upon His unchanging good heart which holds our best interests uppermost". For if we look merely at his hands, most of the times, we wound find them holding bountiful blessings but at the same time we may notice (as we are prone to go astray and He is determined that we safely reach the Heavenly shores) a chastening rod too (sic... Heb 12:5-12). But the fact of the matter is the hands that hold either the blessings or the chastening rod are in the control of His unchanging good heart which I reiterate harbours our best interests.

While on the subject, at this stage, it would serve us well to look at the synonym of the word “Glorify”, which is “Magnify”. When, one magnifies Him, that is to say, when one keenly observes His Divine nature, with a magnifying glass, as it were, the “spiritual explorer” (if you permit me to use this expression- Psa 119:18) in you is bound to come across several unique attributes of the Almighty, which would evoke awe, and in turn lead to spontaneous, heart-felt worship and praise.

Amongst many of his noble qualities what stands out is the trait of being fair to the righteous minority at the time of unleashing his fury upon the wicked majority .Our God who is intrinsically Holy hates sin and it needs to be punished (Psa 5:4). The fair nature of the Almighty (Hebrew word for Divine fairness or equity is Meshar) however galvanizes Him to save the remnant from the wrath unleashed upon the unrepentant caught-up in the rampant sins of their times.

In this message, Yours truly has endeavoured to bring before his readership three (including one of the future) Biblical incidents where we would see God's righteous judgment in saving a "righteous few" even whilst meting out His just judgment upon the "unrighteous many". Kindly note "righteous" man is one who has right, obedient relationship with His Creator. The Hebrew and the Greek words for "Righteous" which are "Tsaddik" and "Dikaios" respectively typify "the one living in perfect conformity with the Lord's will".

Flood...



The outstanding aspect of Noah's story is not only one of "Rainbow Covenant" it led to at the "end of it all" but the matter of how the fair God was concerned about saving one righteous family from global destruction.

It would not have been impossible for the Lord (in fact, it would have been relatively easy for Him) to destroy the Entire world (including Noah's family) and create everything afresh from the scratch once again for nothing is impossible to Him (Matt 19:26) rather than making elaborate plans to bail out one family from the rampaging floodwaters. However His fair nature demanded that He go the "extra mile" in saving Noah from the watery grave.

To Noah's credit, it must be said that He first and foremost believed (like a righteous man would- Heb 11:7) in the Lord's plan of "redemption through the Ark” amidst destruction (Ark is the NT equivalent of the Cross- Rom 5:9/ 1 These 1:9). Noah’s faith comes across as nothing short of stupendous when we consider the fact that he believed that flood would come at a time when forget floods even rains had not seen the light of the day, literally and figuratively speaking (Note: the sole watering agent till that time of the soil as per most of the Biblical scholars was the dew- Gen 2:6).

The belief (read faith) that doesn't translate into action is dead says the Scripture (James 2:26). However Noah's genuine faith entailed that he embark upon an energy-sapping, time-consuming and finances-draining project of a massive Ark construction. So much so it is said that after 120 years of waiting for the Flood, when he eventually entered the Ark" he was “an exhausted pauper” drained as he was of his physical and financial resources after undertaking such a gargantuan project. But when he emerged out of the Ark 377 days later, he was the "sole, undisputed Regent of the Planet with ample time for rest and recuperation"!!!

We who are patiently walking in the straight and narrow path bearing our Cross sincerely would one day in the near future disappear (read raptured) like Noah did “into the Ark” one day before the watching world of his days...leaving our earthly possessions behind (or beneath sic), only to emerge 7 years later along with our everlasting King (read Christ) to be undisputed Rulers' of the World alongside Him even whilst enjoying ethereal rest (Rev 3:21/ Heb 4:8-11).

By the way, what sins were prominent in Noah's time which anguished the Creator's heart, so very much (Gen 6:6)? The sins of "violence and corruption", Ladies and Gentlemen (Gen 6:11)!!!



Fire...



Then again, if the prominent sins of Noah’s time were “violence and corruption”, then that of the city of Sodom was homosexuality (a detestable unnatural sexual practice) resulting out of too much of pride, indolence and gluttony what with this prosperous City being always endowed with ample natural resources (Gen 13:10, Eze 16:49/ Jude 1:6).

Heterogeneous, natural sex (under the Holy auspices of marriage) appeals to men only when their basic needs of food clothing and shelter are met. However, it is in prosperity that men tragically crave for “extra gratification of self” outside the borders of legitimacy. Ditto with the Sodomites!!!

Though the Sodomites did not have the “Outer Enshrined Law” just like the people of Noah’s time which was to come later condemning homosexuality (Lev 18:22) or for that matter even murder and corruption (Exo 20:13/ Exo 23:8), they (like the people of Noah’s generation) had the “Inner Law” (read conscience- Rom 2:14-15) to help them instinctively discern what is right and what is wrong. Doesn’t the very structure of male and female human body designed so wisely by the Creator with all the organs (inner and outer) in their proper place itself “shout out” that homosexuality is unnatural? But with hardened hearts, the Sodomites kept at it (homosexuality) till Divine comeuppance caught up with them one day (Gen 19:1-25).

Even as Divine wrath came upon this City by way of fire, the Lord rescued the righteous Lot (2 Peter 2:7) from the flames, as it were because Former’s fair nature would not allow the latter perishing along with the wicked.

Frightening Future...



The prospects of any generation/society where the sins of “Noah’s and Lot’s days” are replicated are bound to be dark, to say the least, for God’s disapproval of violence and corruption (peculiar to Noah’s days) and homosexuality (peculiar to Lot’s days) would never change (Psa 102:27).

Our Saviour in the context of rapture of the Church (when genuine disciples of Christ would be ethereally lifted out of the mire...opps sorry... I mean the sin-accursed World, not to suffer in the 7 year tribulation period that would follow) had remarked that one sure sign preceding rapture (Luke 17:34-35) would be “return of the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:26-30)”. Now factor in the fact that Rapture would be followed by 7 years of horrific tribulation (I reiterate)...the kind World has never seen before (Matt 24:21) as God’s undiluted fury would be poured upon this World, then slowly but surely contours of the frightening future would emerge in our minds with no shades of grey.



Say Reader, do you want to be part of the transcendental raptured Church and be in a position to bid goodbye to terrible consequent 7 years of tribulation? Without any delay, accept Christ as your Lord and Saviour both privately and publicly (Romans 10:8-10) by saying this prayer “Lord Jesus, I admit I am a sinner by birth and choice. I accept you this very moment as my Lord and Saviour. Fill me with your Divine peace and joy as the proof of you forgiving all my sins”. Once Divine joy and peace fills your heart, find a local Church and start participating in its programs to further strengthen your faith.

Have the days of Noah (noted for violence and corruption) and those of Lot (when homosexuality was on the rampage) really returned? Consider this... have not violence and corruption mushroomed all over the World? Speaking of violence, terror attacks, bomb blasts, mass shootings, gang rapes of women and even little girls (Kathua incident melts even a stony heart) are the order of the day. Even as I am typing this message...comes the grim News of mass shooting in Cincinnati, USA near a Bank (on Sept 6th, 2018) which has left one Indian native namely Pruthvi amongst others dead.

And corruption? It is said that that it is News nowadays (Note: News reporting takes place by exception and not by rule) only if there is no scam in 24 hours span for scams too are the order of the day. In the Indian context, if the previous Congress government did not exactly cover itself with glory what with plethora of scams such as Satyam Scam, CWG Scam, Adarsh housing and 2G scams to name a few emerging during its tenure, then the existing BJP Government has fared no better on this front either (though it’s performance may be marginally better)...what with PNB, ICICI Bank loan scams and recent Rafale Jet deal frequenting the media headlines.

Now coming to the aligned themes of “return of the days of Lot” and “sodomy of the Sodomites”, if proof was ever needed...bang it came on Sept 6th in our Country in full public view. Let it be said the Indian Supreme Court’s recent brazen verdict on that day scrapping parts of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) (that had hitherto criminalised homosexual sex between consenting adults) does nothing to enhance the great spiritual image of our Country known for its rich spiritual heritage. Now if my research is right out of the 195 countries in this World, 121 of them beginning with Holland in 2000 have already legalized homosexuality despite being aware of its propensity to spawn epidemics like Aids. Can the sowing-reaping principle ever be changed (Gal 6:7)?

Conclusive disquieting similitude between the sin-soaked generations of Noah and Lot on one side and that of the 21st century on the other is the absolute ignorance of the impending Divine judgment. If everything seemed “normal” then till the D-day arrived (read Divine attack), the situation is tragically no different now.

Hitting the loopline as it were, I want to state that God’s people (toeing the Jesus’ line of hating sin but loving sinners) ought not to look down upon the gays for we too may have plumbed greater depths of depravity, if not for our Saviour not only

    a) saving us from our natural inclination to “enjoy the whims of the flesh” by placing greater power of resistance deep inside us (His own Spirit - 1 John 4:4) but also by

    b) giving indescribable exquisite joy by that same presence of His Spirit (Psalm 16:11) which dulls the attractions of the flesh or the world. Take my word; normally a person who has enjoyed the luxuries of 7 Star hotel would not get attracted by that of its 5 Star counterpart.


Finally in conclusion...I (a Pre-tribulation rapture proponent) would say that Mid-tribulation rapture proponents would do well to consider this truth. The persecution historically unleashed by the Enemies of the Church on the Christians’ which these well-meaning but skewed interpreters’ analogically compare to the imminent 7 year tribulation period on the basis of John 16:33 was the work of the Devil with the Divine permission of Sovereign Adonai God who eventually sought the Church’s spiritual welfare (1 Peter 1:7-8). It was that and no more. God’s hand did not weigh heavily upon the whole World or one big region like say Sodom and its neighbouring towns at that time like it did in the days of Noah or Lot respectively. The 7 years tribulation period in a nutshell would be much more than persecution as described in John 16:33 (which our Mid-tribulation Saints compare to Anti-Christ’s persecution of those who accept Christ during the tribulation period overlooking in the process that the “troubles” would not be merely Church-specific but World-centric). This 7 year tribulation would be to a greater extent the very definition of the action replay of Noah’s Floods or Lot’s fire because here 21 woes (Rev 6-19) are unleashed directly by the Lord’s Servants’ at Lord’s command upon the unrepentant World. Plus, these Biblical scholars need to remember that when God’s fury is unleashed upon a “big territory” He always saves miraculously the righteous few from the unrighteous many dwelling therein (besides Noah and Lot, Jews in Goshen under Pharoah’s rule during the time of Egyptian woes and Rahab in Jericho are also a case in point). In other words, when God declares “War on Earth”, so to speak, He would summon His ambassadors’ (2 Cor 5:20) out of the enemy territory (like any Government of a Country would do at war time) into the “mid-sky” (Goshen equivalent- 1 Thess 4:13-16/ Isa 26:20-21) lest “His bombs” hurled upon Earth hurt them!!! Yes, many would repent even during tribulation days and accept Christ as their Saviour and reach Heaven but their predicament would be that of initially lust-centred but last-minute spiritually saved, repentant Samson, who too had to bear tragically the brunt of God’s fury unleashed against the wicked. Many would be martyred too by Anti-Christ.

Dear Christian, even as all signs pertaining to the imminent rapture of the Church are getting fulfilled (most conspicuous of them being the return of the d ays of Noah and Lot) your sober response ought to be one of sincere introspection “ Am I alert (2 Cor 13:5-6/ 1 John 3:2-3) and am I alerting others (1 Peter 3:15)”!!! Yonder, the Lord is coming; He is right at the door (James 5:9)!!!



Yours in His service,


(Suresh Manoharan)