Andrae Crouch wrote a song I was familiar with during the 1970’s. I sang it, church choirs sang it, radios played it, all during wars and “rumors of wars” of that era. Here are a few of the lyrics and chorus:
I’ve had many tears and sorrows, I’ve had questions for tomorrow,
There’ve been times I didn’t know right from wrong;
But in every situation God gave blessed consolation That my trials come
to only make me strong.
Through it all, Through it all, I’ve learned to trust in
Jesus, I’ve learned to trust in God; Through it all,
Through it all, I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.
In PART 1, the emphasis was placed on The Bad News; lawlessness, iniquity in the world, the government, the church and society as a whole. In PART 2, my intentions are placed on “The Good News Revealed” and getting “Through It All”.
GOOD NEWS FOUND IN GOD’S WORD
“THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus christ (the Messiah, the anointed One). Through Him also we have [our] access (entrance, introduction) by faith into this grace (state of God’s favor) in which we [firmly and safely] stand. And let us rejoice and exult in our hope of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God. Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles, and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving ENDURANCE. And ENDURANCE (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity). And character [of this sort] produces [the habit of] joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation. Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us” (Romans 5:1-5–Amplified Bible).
WOW! When I read those five verses, I high-lighted some key words in my Bible regarding our pilgrimage in the “Through It All”:
–Justified through faith.
–Peace with God, through our Lord Jesus.
–Standing safely by His grace.
–Exult and triumph in the “Bad News”; our troubles.
–God’s LOVE has been poured out into our hearts.
–As believers, we have been given the Holy Spirit.
Let’s go back and look at what Jesus told His disciples and, to us too in Matthew 24:12, 13:
“And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity” (verse 12).
THAT’S THE BAD NEWS!
“BUT he who ENDURES to the end will be saved” (verse 13
I love the “BUTs” in Scripture. When you see the word, it means the previous statement is cancelled out!
THAT’S THE GOOD NEWS! And that is why I capitalized the word ENDURANCE when I saw it in Romans 5:1-5.
SAVED FROM THE BAD NEWS BY ENDURANCE
According to the Expository Dictionary Of Bible Words, the word “endurance” in the Greek language is hypomeno; a variant form of meno, with the primary meanings “endure,” “bear patiently.” References to the perseverance of believers who “stand firm (i.e. endure) to the end” are found in Matt. 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13. See also Jas. 5:11. The virtue of LOVE is said to “endure” all things in 1 Cor. 13:7.
Now if anyone could understand “endurance” through getting the bad news, it would be Jesus. Christ Himself is said to “have endured” much persecution, including death on the cross. Talk about bad news! When Jesus was telling His disciples, how people would be saved in the midst of lawlessness and iniquity through endurance, He knew what was about to come; He knew that He would have to endure “Through It All”; shed His blood on the cross for all mankind to receive [SALVATION].
GOD’S WORD GIVES HOPE IN BAD NEWS
“But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel) ENDURES (“stands firm”, “lasts”) forever. And this Word is the GOOD NEWS which was preached to you” (1 Peter 1:25).
Can I hear an AMEN to that verse? That’s it in a nut shell. God’s Word is your source for the Good News; when you were treated unfairly and you have convince yourself ‘no more church for me’. Or, every time you talk about Jesus at work, you get ‘dirty looks’ or worse. So you don’t want to be offended or offend someone else; you repel reading the Word and distrust and desert Him, Whom you ought to trust and obey (Matt. 24:10). Because of your disobedience to His Word, you stumble and fall away, your love grows cold.
“WE ARE NOW GOD’S CHILDREN” THAT’S REALLY GOOD NEWS!
“Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is. And everyone…STOP!
The everyone isn’t everyone in the sense that everyone that is in the church on Sundays is automatically included.
“And everyone who has hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless)” (1 John 3:2, 3–Amplified Bible).
The apostle continues addressing the everyone s in verse 4:
“Everyone who commits (practices) sin is guilty of lawlessness; for [that is what] sin is, lawlessness (the breaking, violating of God’s law by transgression or neglect–being unrestrained and unregulated by His commands and His will.”
“Wait a minute here, is John saying that when you become a Christian, a born-again believer in Jesus the Christ, you will never sin again?” No, that’s not what is being said here. John further explains the meaning of lawlessness or iniquity in verse 6. He changes our thoughts from everyone to no one:
“No one who abides in Him [who lives and remains in communion with and in obedience to Him–deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] commits (practices) sin. No one who [habitually] sins has either seen or known Him [recognized, perceived, or understood Him, or has had an experiential acquaintance with Him].”
MORE “GOOD NEWS”!
In this mystery of lawlessness mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:7, there is a Light in the “through it all s” and John elaborates in 1 John 3:
“No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born of God” (verse 9–Amplified Bible).
After studying God’s Word in my Bible, looking at the headlines in the newspaper and on television has given me hope. I am standing firm in endurance until God calls me home. The mystery of lawlessness is no longer a mystery. Because the Holy Spirit is holding back, restraining lawlessness until the church is raptured; or taken up. With Holy Spirit’s residence residing in believers, He will be removed at the same instance as the church; no more restraint of lawlessness in the world.
My personal belief is for those that remain, that accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour during the tribulation, the Holy Spirit will be upon them, not in them. as He was in the Old Testament.
Jesus gives us this Good News in conclusion to His disciples–us too:
“And this GOOD NEWS of the kingdom (the Gospel) will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then will come the end” (Matthew 24:14).
“GOSPEL PREACHED” (MATTHEW 24:14)
I found some interesting points to leave you with from the Christian Almanac for 1990 (the numbers have obviously changed):
–The Gospel has been preached to over four billion people.
–Christian churches now exist in 251 countries of the world.
–Every year about four billion Gospel tracts are distributed around the globe.
–The entire Bible, or portions of it have been translated into some 2,062 different languages.
–Bibles are available to around 98 percent of the world’s population.
–The Gospel is also preached in over 2000 radio and television stations and religious shows can be seen to many more thousand secular stations.
Never in the entire course of history has the Gospel been preached in all the world; to all nations as right now! Every nation on the face of the earth today has heard the Gospel message as Jesus prophesied they would before the end comes.
HERE’S THE GOOD NEWS IN TIMES OF LAWLESSNESS
So if Jesus was right in His saying and the Bible is true, we are now living in the time of the End! While we are enduring, Jesus tell us what we must do; even knowing the statistics contained in the Christian Almanac:
“WATCH therefore [give strict attention, be cautious and active], for you do not know in what kind of day [whether a near or remote one] your Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42).
“UNDERSTAND this: had the householder known in what [part of the night, whether in a night or a morning] WATCH the thief was coming, he would have WATCHED and would not have allowed his house to be undermined and broken into” (Matthew 24:43).
“You also must BE READY therefore, for the Son of Man is coming at and hour when you do not expect Him” (Matthew 24:44).
As the Gospel continues to be preached to all the nations as it should, Jesus doesn’t want us to put our hands behind our heads, take a deep sigh of relief, because we are at the End!
Jesus wants us to: Watch, be active, understand, watch some more, and be ready! As the expression says, It ain’t over until it’s over” and at the writing of this blog, it ain’t over yet!