15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.1 John 2:15-17
I ran into a friend from a previous workplace who I run into periodically. This time he gave me a list of the bad things that had occurred to him in the previous year. Like “Job’s” messengers they came one after another.
When all goes well for us the world seems a wonderful place. It is full of experiences and opportunities and pleasures.
Yet when sickness, poverty or grief come into our lives the glitter starts to flake off and the grim reality sinks in.
This is not to say that there are no genuine good things in the world but rather that they are fickle and fleeting and they come to an end.
This is always the danger in making the things of this world an end in themselves. The non believer may be excused somewhat because this world and its goods are all he knows about. For the Christian who should know better, seeking the good things of this world as the, be all and end all, is self defeating folly.
The puritans use to say that we should treat this world as an inn. We enjoy the meal and the soft bed but always remembering that it is only a stopping off place and that tomorrow we must head home. We must not hold earthly things too tight as we soon may lose them and are less able to grasp the things of God which are eternal and do not perish in the using.
In the same way we should react to the bad things of this life in a different spirit and way than the unbeliever.
To him bad things shake them to the foundation and tear down the structure they have spent so much time cobbling together. They either grit their teeth, curse their luck and try and re-build or worst of all they yield to despair and go where that often leads.
The Christian has the same habitual tendencies and often reacts in the same ways. Little faith sees the boat sinking and cries out in fear and “despairs of life”.
Christ teaches us that this world is not all that there is and that there are worse things than death. He calls upon us to turn to him and make him our most precious possession and our spiritual health more important than our physical health. Faith in Him is a light held aloft in our darkest hour and a soothing touch in our greatest pain.
Let us pray that many come to him and seek the grace and salvation of Jesus Christ that makes life worthwhile and makes men and women, boys and girls, citizens of heaven in the midst of a fading world.
During the Second World War, governments to boost their war efforts, engaged in propaganda to persuade the citizens of their nations to behave and act in certain ways. The Germans, through Joseph Goebbels were ceaseless in their propaganda efforts.
In the U.S. the might of” Hollywood” and “Star’ power were used to convince people that the war against the “axis “powers was just and a fight against true evil.
Men were encouraged to enlist in the services. People were told to recycle, save money, buy war bonds and be careful what they said in case “loose lips” sank a ship.
They were told that despite their suffering, deprivations and loss of loved ones, victory was certain and the world would be a better and more peaceful place because of their sacrifices.
Anything which went against the picture they were trying to paint was hushed up or minimized.
Regardless of the rights and wrongs of propaganda, it is something which is still being peddled by the powers that be. Look at advertising which persuade you to buy their product and the spin merchants who try to influence public opinion.
There is no doubt Satan is the great “propagandist”. He has the world believing that there is no God. He tells them that this world is all there is and they must live life to the full even if they spend more than they earn to achieve it. If other people get in the way or suffer because of their efforts, that’s too bad. They can indulge themselves to the full in sin and self-pleasing and need never fear the consequences.
I fear the church and Christians try propaganda of their own in trying to bring people within the doors of the church. They know they are selling an unpopular message so they use means to accomplish their ends which savour more of an “ad” agency than the body of Christ.
To be convincing propaganda must have a kernel of truth or the ring of truth to be believable.
Christianity and the proclamation of Jesus Christ however, must be the truth, whole truth and nothing but the truth because Jesus himself proclaimed “I am the truth”.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
God sweetens outward pain with inward peace.