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He nicknamed himself “The Greatest” and few disagreed. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay in 1942, Boxing Heavyweight Champion Muhammed Ali died earlier this month. He wasn’t the first personality to step onto the world arena who eventually earned enough public recognition to be branded with a bigger than life nickname!

In the twentieth century, Elvis Presley was “The King” (reportedly responding to the title when he first heard it by saying: “only Jesus is King”).  John Wayne was “The Duke”. Then there was the singer who called himself “Prince”.  It seems to me as if we are subliminally longing for a monarchy!

Let’s not forget, reaching all the way back to 356-323 B.C., the king of Macedonia, conqueror of Greece, the Persian Empire and Egypt – Alexander the Great. These “Legends” have one thing in common; they are dead! “…it is appointed unto men once to die…”(Hebrews 9:27 King James Version). That means the rich, the poor, the powerful, the weak, royalty, presidents, the average person and legends! The Bible teaches no second bite of the apple; no second go around. This is it! That certainly distinguishes Biblical Christianity from eastern religions.

Francis Bacon wrote: “Men fear death as children fear to go into the dark.”

Death comes to all of obvious statement.

How we die differs. How we approach death also differs. The followers of Christ see life beyond the grave. C.S. Lewis expressed the perspective believers hold about our own death: “There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.”

When legends die they are remembered in the pages of books and magazines until the pages yellow with time and blow away in the wind. But, if they have put faith and trust in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, then their names are written in God’s Book of Life. While their legend may not live on, they will live on. At home, at rest, at peace in heaven where they will meet “The Greatest”, “The King”, and “The Prince of Peace.” The only one worthy of our praise, Jesus Christ!!!

Over the Memorial Day weekend, when America honors its military fallen dead, the nation was gripped by the story of a young boy who had wandered past barriers and fallen into the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla enclosure. An anxious mom, visitors and zoo staff looked on in fear as the 450 pound gorilla manipulated the tiny child through the enclosure’s running stream as if he was a toy. Within minutes, zoo management decided the boy’s life was in imminent danger. They then had the primate killed. The boy was rescued suffering only minor injuries. End of story? Not by a long shot!

Next came the second guessing, the hindsight wisdom, the advocacy groups, followed by strident messages and the heated debate questioning the primacy of human life over animal life. I assume most people would consider the life of the child must take precedence over the life of the gorilla. But there is a segment of the population for whom there is no such hierarchy in which human life is neither superior to animal life nor has the right to exercise dominion over all other living things. The line of demarcation is brightest for those who believe the Genesis account of creation.

Genesis 1:26 King James Version And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

In His decree for humans’ “higher role” God also determined man’s higher responsibility to nurture and care for all living things. In God’s economy all life is sacred and precious, but He holds human life as distinctive and set apart from that of animal life because He endued humanity with a living soul. It is that soul, which is eternal in nature, that purposed Christ to Earth. He came to “seek and to save” us from sin and death! God did not give animal life the ability to choose between good and evil, right and wrong. Instead, He gave them the sense of instinct, i.e. behavior that is unlearned, complex, impulsive and powerful.

The gorilla in the Cincinnati Zoo was doing what came naturally. Humans in authority at the zoo used their God given intelligence based on experience to determine that the gorilla’s instinctive actions was a threat to the life of the child, consequently they ordered the primate killed. Life is neither a movie nor a fairytale in which there’s always a happy ending. In this situation a child is alive to live his life with the potential to go on to greatness: Happy! A beloved animal lost his life so that the child would live: Sad! Sad for the people who loved him, sad for those who in their best judgment determined he must die.

We Christians understand that trade off in an even deeper way. Our savior gave up His life that we might live. It was His great love that allowed for that transaction to take place. “Good Friday” was ‘sad’, but then came Sunday – and the Resurrection – “oh happy day”!

Jesus said “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25, 26). Do you believe this? 

Here we are in the Presidential Primary Campaign of 2016. A campaign, by most assessments, unprecedented in its rancor and divisiveness. Democrats are split between the progressives versus the socialists. Republicans between the outsiders versus the political insiders.

We’ve been building to this rift by virtue of a political and cultural system that has promoted a philosophy of “winners and losers”, “the lucky and the unlucky”, “the privilege and the underprivileged”. Race, gender, education, politics, religion are all used to as pry bars to separate us from one another. Our nation is poised for a state of “divorce by virtue of irreconcilable differences”.

2,000 years ago Jesus said: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand (Matthew 12:25 King James Version).” The word desolation is defined as unfit for habitation, devastated, dismal, gloomy without friends or hope, lonely. It seems in 2016, anger and despair have replaced hope and optimism. Jesus said cities or homes won’t stand if divided. Just look at the devastation occurring in some of our biggest urban areas prompted in part by fatherless, broken families.

God is in the addition and multiplication “business”. Satan is in the subtraction and division “business”. “For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek for the same Lord overall is rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” Romans 10:12,13. Only Christ can change our divisive politics! How? Only He can change the heart of the dividers and the divided

It seems so strange for us in the West that people seek to murder the maximum number of total strangers (including innocent women and children) while blowing themselves up. Our western minds cannot grasp the total depravity of such actions. But we who grew up in a civilization grounded in the light of the Jewish and Christian scriptures perceive the world through different glasses. We have a sense of hope and we believe in the future. We love life and everything that it has to offer. We are optimistic of the future. Even those of us who were born into poor immigrant families hope to better ourselves and enjoy our time on this earth. We dream of marrying and having children, seeing them grow up to become doctors, lawyers and even politicians. These are the dreams of even the atheist and agnostic who are increasingly being churned up by our universities; institutions originally founded by pious men so that everyone could read the scriptures - now unfortunately, these are populated by atheist professors who think they are wise, but are fools. These are not my words, but those of the Creator of the Universe (Rom 1:22).

Most of us believe in a life after our time on earth is over. Jihadists hope to attain better life in the hereafter if they commit these heinous crimes. They have been convinced that the only assurance of entering into paradise if through this terrible act of self-sacrifice. It does not help that corrupt and morally bankrupt regimes (who are too cowardly to involve themselves in open war with the West) manipulate them to become their proxy swords and tanks; and bank roll these criminals by providing generous payouts to the families of these infamous murderers. Sadly, they are not going to paradise as they like to think, but instead to eternal damnation. How terrifying it must be to close your eyes in this world and instantly open them in the next and find yourself in the pit of hell. To find that everything you believed in was nothing but a lie and to know that those whom you love are also destined for this miserable place. But there is no way to go back and tell them. One thing is certain, whether we are believers in God or not, all of us will one day meet our Maker (Heb 9:27).

Pray for those who lost loved-ones in Brussels. Pray for those who are related to the bombers. Pray that you and your loved ones are not caught unaware when your time of death comes. Whether under tragic devised means as our brethren in Brussels or comfortably in your own bed, pray that you may be found innocent and worthy to enter the kingdom of heaven because our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ paid the penalty for you in the gruesome and cruel Cross of Calvary (Rom 6:23, Jhn 19). It is because of his sacrifice that we choose to love life and have it more abundantly (Jhn 10:10).


If a farmer plants seed corn he fully expects to reap corn! (Genesis 1:11,12)

What should a culture which plants seeds of violence, pornography, vulgarity, disrespect of authority, disdain for sacred traditions and institutions, intolerance and rejection of God and His word expect to reap?

The resent heartbreaking string of school shootings has been attibuted to guns, drugs, mental illness and poor parenting. But we have left one factor out...sin! We have abandoned that word! We have celebrated its many manifestations as liberation from our cultural conformity.

Entertainment and celebrity figures claim they have now taken the place of religion in american life and there is a seed of thruth in that!

But remember Galatians 6:7 " Be not deceived God is not mocked for whaterver a man sows that shall he also reap".

We have been warned!!

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