From the Pastor’s Pen:
“Lamb’s book of life...”
“But nothing unclean will
ever enter it,
who does what
or false, but
only those who are written in
book of life.”
Within our theology, Christians have historically made a simple distinction between The Church Militant and the Church Triumphant. We are all too familiar with the former, are we not? The Kingdom of Grace finds herself in fierce combat against the Kingdom of Satan. At every turn, the Church finds herself either pressed on all sides by those hostile towards God or with “schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard of the devil’s malicious attempts at disrupting the unity of the Church. It is exhausting, isn’t it? We grow tired of watching, tired of fighting, tired of trying.
Jesus was well aware of this discouragement. In Matthew 13, He describes the Parable of the Weeds. A farmer sows a good crop, but the enemy sows tares. The servants run to the master and break the discouraging news. What does the master say? “Wait until harvest time.” He overcomes discouragement with hope. Hope assures him that the wheat will be harvested, the tares will be burned, and all will be right with the world.
What of Revelation? For whatever spin you take, one truth is sure – Jesus wins. John sees a world in chaos; John sees the wheat and the tares sowed throughout the world. John is discouraged! But he looks up, and what does he see? God on the throne and the Lamb. He sees the Church Triumphant, victorious over all her enemies. John sees a city in which nothing detestable may enter, where only those written in the Lambs Book of Life may enter. The wheat gathered, the chaff burned, the Church perfected – John rejoices.
What of us? We look around and see 800 reasons to be discouraged (and we haven’t even left our house yet!). The tares are on the rise, and the wheat suffers. The dominion of darkness extends its tentacles into every nook and cranny of God’s people. Like John on Patmos, like Elijah at Mount Horeb, we feel alone, don’t we? And yet, lift up your eyes and see. As surely as Jesus was victorious over sin, the devil, and death, so too the Church will be victorious over ever fiend and foe which rises up against her. She will be victorious, she will be victorious, she will be victorious!
Let that truth encourage you to continue the good fight.