First off I have to apologize in advance for this post on account of the fact that I myself happen to be one of the most darkly cynical, fatalistic people on the planet. I don’t even try to cloak it in pretty words, I just cut to the chase, we’re all going to die here, probably in the most humiliating and stupid way possible. Lovely. Just lovely.
That’s kind of who I am so I empathize with those who perceive the world as nothing but a vale of tears, alas we’re living in the last days, judgment and impending doom are bearing down on us, the world is broken, fallen, decaying all around us. In one sense these things are technically true, but in another sense they are not true at all. That is why I often say, perception is everything. What is truth? The way we perceive and process the data in front of us.
So in the vale of tears analogy, one must weigh one’s perceptions against scripture, against what we know of our Lord and Savior. John 3:17 says, “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
Well now, so much for fatalism. Apparently there was a bail out, the biggest bailout in human history.
John 10:10 says, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Ah, so life, and life abundant! Apparently life itself has value. Our fatalistic attitudes seem to edit regeneration, rebirth, renewal, Resurrection right out of the equation. We are not actually supposed to be living in a vale of tears, as if we were all condemned to a penal colony, 3rd rock from the sun, our only hope of escape, death.
That is not the Good News.
1 Peter 3:15 says, But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
It is a bit challenging to give an answer for the hope that is in you when one feels as if the whole world has gone mad and they are actually driving the crazy train right off the tracks. Just the same, that is what we are called to do. Rejoice, celebrate, delight in the Lord.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things arehonest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; ifthere be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
There is another narrative that suggests that rather that being trapped in a vale of tears, we have actually been reconciled, ransomed, returned to God, placed back in that perfect garden, now free to walk hand in hand with Him in the cool of the evenings. If we all embraced that idea, received it, walked in it, the world would look a whole lot different than it does today.
Fatalism, above I said, “That’s kind of who I am.” It’s true, but that is not who He is, that is not the God I know and worship, that is not the whole Truth about the one who came to bring Salvation to the world.
Revelation 5:9 says, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation..”
Now that’s what I’m talking about. Every kindred, tongue, and nation singing a new song, a song of praise because Jesus Christ hast redeemed us to God by His blood, blood powerful enough to wash clean even the most cynical heart.