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My real name is Charlie Albright. I am the pinnacle of evil who God has flooded with His mercy. Declaring my sinful self righteous and holy in His sight! Lavishing His grace upon me by the blood Jesus shed on the cross! Carrying me through this life and giving me satiatfing joy! Anything good about me is only because of His grace!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Inauguration and Christ's Kingdom

Well, yesterday we welcomed our 44th president into office, Barack Obama. I, sadly, did not get to watch this momentous occasion. I was stuck in an apartment (mine to be exact) with no TV and a massive test looming in my very near future (the next day to be exact).

Thinking upon it, I could not help but to feel some irony in this inauguration and in man. Let me explain...

Here is America celebrating the first African American to be elected president. And this is of great importance! At one time ships would sail from our coast to Africa for the purpose of kidnapping black people. they would kidnap them and cram them into the hulls of their ships like sardines. There, some of these people would die in their own refuse! For those that did survive, they were sold to be slaves for the rest of their lives. For their entire lives they would be classified as sub-human and work tirelessly until they died. But all of this has been completely over turned with the inauguration of Obama! Now, part of a race that was once deemed sub-human, he takes his place as the leader of the nation that classified his people as such, so long ago. Now a man who’s skin's color is black can be made president of the United States of America.

And as Christians we should rejoice with this! Those who's hearts hate injustice and love the dignity of human life should be very happy that God's common grace descended upon this nation and now one's value is not determined on the color of their skin. (of course I say this as being general and about the extent of the racism in America. Racism still exists. But it is not as prevalent and it is not to the horrible extent it was in the 1700s and 1800s).

Yet, here comes the irony,

With this evil passing away, a ominous evil is still among us and will grow because of the election of Obama. The evil that I am speaking of is abortion. Abortion is the hideous practice of murdering a child in the womb because they are unwanted by their mother. And Obama has pledge to be for abortion. He will be for laws that keeps it legal and remove any restrictions placed on it by the states.

Thus with the passing of one great evil comes the sustaining of another great evil. It the same snap shot we see the passing of the great evil slavery and the acceptance of abortion. Both are wicked acts against a human being. But as this culture shouts for the destruction of one it willing embraces another. (And some people like to talk about mankind progressing!)

Evil is in the very heart of man and no matter what he does it will still be there. Even when he is celebrating the removal of one evil he is praising the practicing of another.

as it is written:
None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one.”
“Their throat is an open grave;
they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
in their paths are ruin and misery,
and the way of peace they have not known.”
“There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Rom 3:10-18)

This is man and the place where he lives. He tries to setup his own laws and rules by which to live. But justice shows that it is all a sham in the end. In the end, there is no hope in man’s kingdom!

But there is another kingdom that has invaded! This kingdom is not of this world. This kingdom was proclaimed by a peasant man who lived in the land of Palestine 2000 years ago. He came declaring a message of repentance. For a kingdom was coming and would come. But unlike man’s kingdom, full of its hypocrisy, this kingdom does not let one iota or dot go unfulfilled from the law of God. It is perfect in upholding what God has declared. It is perfectly just and righteous in its rulings. And the man declaring the coming of this kingdom was Jesus.

But there is a problem for us. This kingdom that has invaded is the true kingdom of this world. For this kingdom is God’s kingdom. God is coming back to claim what is His. Man’s kingdom is actually a charade. For it is a kingdom set up in rebellion against the true king and ruler. It is man looking his creator in the face and saying, “I don’t want you to rule me!” And God’s answer to this is not one of passivity. God is just and will not let rebellion go unpunished. That is why one of the defining aspects of this coming kingdom is Jesus, at the end of time, casting the chaff (all those that still rebel against him) into unquenchable fire (Matt. 3:12).

But there is another aspect of this invaded kingdom. For the same one that came declaring this kingdom willing let himself be murdered on a cross! Why?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” (John 3:16-18))

How wonderful and mysterious this is. The same king that is coming to judge, came to give His life as a ransomed! So that those there were rebels could forsake their sins and come into this new kingdom. For Jesus did not stay dead but rose again the third day so that we know that He was God and all that He said on earth is true. All those that see what God has done for them in sending His Son, the second person in the trinity, to suffer the wrath for their rebellion, would turn from their rebellion and love Christ. And they are now part of Christ’s kingdom awaiting the day when Christ will return to establish His beautiful kingdom on earth.

Oh, how our hearts should long for the consummation of our Lord's kingdom! When Jesus returns we will not have to have a list of primary issues to think through. Everything that He will bring will be righteous and good. Every policy will be for our benefit by making us glorify the Father!

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:1-8)