Friday, May 15, 2009
The Kingdom: Christ and Job Loss
And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago (Acts 3.17-21).
There can be nothing more shocking, or numbing, than being called into your bosses office to find out that you are being laid off. At this point your whole life changes. All those plans for the future come to a halt and all hope for a stable life seem to vanish; worry sets in and the question, "what will happen next?" is constantly running through your mind. This is a situation that is being faced more and more today as companies lose money and can no longer afford their employees.
What does the Bible have to say about all this? I believe that true comfort can come in these troubled times by recognizing the truth that Jesus, the Messiah, has come. A good way to describe this world is 'chaos'. Sometimes there is good but other times it seems that everything is wrong with this world; people suffer from hunger, some face injustice by the governing authorities, while others lose their jobs and can no longer afford the 'cost of living'. When man first sinned against the creator God it brought on the curse and chaos ensued. But God's plan is not to leave the world the way it is. His plan is to save it and he has acted to save us from the evil in ourselves and the world at large.
When God's people were suffering because of their sin God made a promise to his people that one day he would make this world right (see Isaiah 35). All these promises have been made good in Jesus. He has come to take the curse of sin upon himself so that we, the ones who justly suffer for it, would go free, "But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out." For those who come to Jesus we can have our sin problem dealt with when we repent and believe. Moreover, we can be confident that we will experience 'times of refreshing' at Jesus' second coming. Jesus is coming to restore all things. He is coming to make all things right. He has entered into our chaos so that we might be freed from it. Turn to Christ and be saved.