Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Is Happening in the World?

by Gregory A. Johnson
What Is Happening in the World? by Gregory A. Johnson

What is happening in the world today? What does the future hold? How can I make sense of it all? How can I be saved from it? These are all relevant questions that are being asked by many. Please allow me to point you in a direction that can shed some light.

Psalm 2 is both a prophetic and messianic psalm that points us to Jesus and that which is to come. The present condition of our world is described prophetically in the first three verses. It describes our day. "Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One. Let us break their chains," they say, "and throw off their fetters" (Psalms 2:1-3 NIV).

In our day, nations and rulers have decided that God’s yoke declared through Jesus is “chains” and “fetters” and keeps them from fulfilling their fleshly desires birthed through selfish ambition. Jesus, the "Anointed One" has been denied by entire nations, their rulers, and their religions. Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:29-30 NIV).

Nations fight against God because they have rejected Jesus. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him" (John 14:6-7 NIV). If Jesus is rejected, God Himself is rejected.

Psalm 2 records God’s response to the condition of the world in our day. "The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill" (Psalms 2:4-6 NIV).

God is not threatened by what the world has become. He has lifted Jesus up to be King of Kings and has exalted Him to the Holy Hill of Zion! God has done this because of Jesus’ obedience to Him. Jesus came to earth as the sacrificial lamb to be offered for the sins of this world so that whoever believes in Him can be saved from the wrath of God and be given eternal life.

Notice Jesus’ response. "I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery'" (Psalms 2:7-9 NIV). Jesus inherits the nations, and the earth will be His possession. That is the Son’s reward for His obedience to the Father.

When Jesus was tempted by Satan on this earth (Matthew 4:1-11 NIV), Satan promised Jesus the kingdoms of the world if Jesus would just worship him. "Jesus said to him, 'Away from me, Satan! For it is written: "Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only"'" (Matthew 4:10 NIV). Offering Jesus the kingdoms of this world was not an idle offer made by Satan. The world that we live in is truly Satan’s kingdom. But for the Christ follower, God’s kingdom is currently in them and will be consummated upon Jesus’ return as He rules in total justice and righteousness. God has made the nations Jesus’ inheritance and the ends of the earth His possession! Satan’s offer to Jesus was temporary. God’s offer was eternal. Jesus declined the temporal for the eternal.

What will you do?  Satan constantly offers temporary gratification. God offers eternal life. Follow Jesus and chose the eternal over the temporal!

Psalm 2 concludes with a response of the Holy Spirit through the writing of the Psalmist. "Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him" (Psalms 2:10-12 NIV).

The Holy Spirit gives us three imperatives in these verses. First of all, the Holy Spirit compels those of our day to be “wise” and to be “warned.”  Wisdom and warning both come from God’s Word and His Holy Spirit. Christ followers must constantly be people of the Word and the Spirit to live for Jesus in the day in which we live. The Word and the Spirit come together to do a powerful work in our lives. When either the Word or the Spirit is rejected, wisdom and warning are cast away, and the result is destruction.

The second imperative given by the Holy Spirit in these verses is to “serve the Lord.” Salvation from the wrath of God that is to come is not complete by only accepting Jesus as your Saviour. You must also make Him Lord of your life. You must follow Him and commit your life to His Lordship.

The third imperative the Holy Spirit gives us is to “Kiss the Son” which implies intimacy in relationship. Jesus came to earth rejecting religion and religionist. Instead, Jesus proclaimed and portrayed relationship with God. You see; it's not about religion. It’s not about manmade denominations. It’s not about church membership. It’s not about devoting all of your extra time to church activity. It’s all about an intimate relationship with Jesus—kissing the Son.

Why does the Holy Spirit give us these three imperatives?  Because the wrath of God is coming on all those that do not love God and have rejected His Son, Jesus Christ. Those who obey these imperatives are found in Jesus and there is wonderful news for them in the face of world destruction like has never been seen before. That wonderful news is found in the last part of Psalm 2:13 NIV—“Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.”

Beloved, be blessed today, taking refuge in Jesus.

Know that you are loved,