Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hit Between the Eyes with the Gospel!

I do an awful lot of worrying.  I worry about money.  I worry about the souls of friends and relatives who have left the Faith.  I worry about Socialists taking over our once-great nation.  I worry about Sharia law.  I worry about the insane clutter of my basement and garage.  I worry about this widespread acceptance of homosexual sex, and the attendant loss of souls for eternity.  I worry about my cars breaking down.  Will my children make it in the world?  What kind of a world will they face?  Will their faith endure and carry them through?  Will my wife stay married to me, even though I'm a jerk?  Will I ever get over the injuries that keep me out of the gym?

But every so often (and this doesn't happen as often as it should), I just get hit with the reality that none of this can ultimately touch me.  Even if the forces of evil capture worldly institutions or churches, even if I never get my act together, God still loves me:

    Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

     As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

     Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

     For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

     Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I'm not saying that I am going to ever become unconcerned about the affairs of this world.  But I am saying that nothing in this world can touch God's salvation of me through the power of Jesus Christ and his Gospel.  That is forever, and it doesn't depend upon me being a "good guy" or successfully stemming the rising tide of evil in the world.  I ought to relax a bit, knowing that I shall have eternity to spend with my Lord.

But the Gospel urges us on to take action, and if I am not careful, this eventually becomes a kind of semi-Pelagian false "gospel", in which my own works play the deciding role in my eternal destiny.  It is so easy to fall into this, because it is the natural bent of the entire world.  I love this Jefferson Airplane song, Good Sheperd.  But, the lyrics are about salvation based on works.  There is a list of things you must do "if you want to get to heaven":

If you want to get to heaven
Over on the other shore
Stay out of the way of the blood-stained bandit ...

... Stay out of the way of the long-tongue liar ...

... Stay out of the way of the gun shot devil.
It's a lot to worry about.  But the true Gospel bids me instead to rest in Christ's finished work.  Will I do it?  I hope so.  I still worry a lot.  But every so often, unexpectedly, the phenomenal promise of God's grace in the true Gospel come and hit me with full force, and I am at peace.  It doesn't matter if President Obama gets re-elected; I am safe in the arms of God.