So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.” 1 Peter 1:13 NLT
We live in a world that is in natural regression because of sin. God, originally, had made the world to be a paradise where mankind could live and walk in His presence as well as enjoy the beauty and splendor of His handiwork. A conscious choice of disobedience changed all that. God made Adam and Eve as free moral creatures. They weren't robots or puppets. He gave them His Word (command, instructions) on what to do to live and what not to do if they didn't want to die (see Genesis 2:15-17). Their adherence to the Word of God was essential to life and the continuation of that life. Doing what God said would preserve the life God gave them as well as the world under their command. The very moment that Adam ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, death reigned over man and the world he was to govern (see Genesis 3:1-19). Ever since that time, man's nature has been corrupt. Although the world around us is, in many respects, a beautiful place (naturally speaking), it is spiritually and morally corrupt. The only hope of salvation is through the One who created us, Jesus Christ (see John 1:1-3, 10-11; Colossians 1:13-20; Hebrews 1:1-3). It is in knowing Jesus that we are redeemed from the death that was imposed upon man by sin. When we come to know Christ Jesus as our Savior and Lord we are immediately restored to right standing with God spiritually. However, the world around us is still on a head on collision course with eternal destruction. The gospel of Jesus is the only way out. Once we accept Jesus as our Lord, we are called to live our lives for His glory and the propagation of the gospel. We must keep our minds set on our purpose of carrying that good news to a dying world. In the midst of doing so, we must never forget that we are not going to be liked or accepted by everyone. Persecution will arise but we must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and his coming kingdom. We must not lose focus on the world that is yet to come. It is a reality! We must never let the circumstances of this fallen world discourage our mission. Christ and Christ alone. He is what life is all about. One day, we will see Him face to face! One day, the world will know Him for who He is. Many will mourn because of their rejection of Him. Those of us who know Him will be eternally glad. March on, Church of God!
Rev. Curtis Norris