The Wages of Sin Continue
A December 10, 2015 article in Science News online by Bruce Bower titled “6,000-year-old skeletons in French pit came from victims of violence” caught my eye. It was particularly interesting to me given that we are now fully engaged in a war with Islamic extremists who are bent on the destruction of anyone and anything that offends their 7th century sensibilities. Not only are they incredibly thin-skinned about any form of criticism of their religion or its violent founder, Muhammad (a sure sign of insecurity), their response to these perceived insults is the decapitation of those who offend them.
Do not be deceived, these miscreants are offended by the Bible, the Gospels and especially those who have placed their faith in the risen Savior, Jesus of Nazareth. While they pay lip service to him in the Koran (the Muslim holy book) and the Hadiths (the alleged sayings of Muhammad), the reality of what they teach concerning the Savior is blasphemous nonsense. This is what Muhammad said about Jesus and his inability to intercede for anyone.
The Prophet said, "Allah will gather the believers on the Day of Resurrection in the same way (as they are gathered in this life), and they will say, 'Let us ask someone to intercede for us with our Lord that He may relieve us from this place of ours.' ...They will go to Abraham who will reply, 'I am not fit for this undertaking,' and mention to them the mistakes he made, and add, 'But you'd better go to Moses, a slave whom Allah gave the Torah and to whom He spoke directly' They will go to Moses who will reply, 'I am not fit for this undertaking,' and mention to them the mistakes he made, and add, 'You'd better go to Jesus, Allah's slave and His Apostle and His Word (Be: And it was) and a soul created by Him.' They will go to Jesus who will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking, but you'd better go to Muhammad whose sins of the past and the future had been forgiven (by Allah).' So they will come to me and I will ask the permission of my Lord, and I will be permitted (to present myself) before Him," Volume 9, Book 93, Number 507. Narrated Anas. Also, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 236.
Can you imagine the amount of pride involved to see yourself as greater than Abraham, Moses and Jesus? This is only a sample of the musings of the founder of Islam.
So I took notice that approximately 5 to 6 thousand years ago an entire family was brutally massacred by being hacked to death, piled up and buried in a carefully dug circular pit. As these anthropologists speculated about the reason for this family’s violent end, I thought about the first recorded case of murder in the Bible. To be more specific, it was the first case of fratricide when Cain slew his brother Abel in a jealous rage, Gen. 4:1-16. If you doubt that sin leavens, take note that several generations later, a direct descendant of Cain, Lamech, would commit the same heinous sin, Gen. 4:23-24.
There is only one solution for this violence. The Messiah is called the Prince of Peace, the Sar Shalom, by the prophet Isaiah, Is. 9:6. Jesus is the One who is the source of true peace, peace between sinful man and the Holy God in whose image we have been created. Only in Christ, can there be peace between the Israelis and their Arab cousins. Only in Christ, will a racist bigot be able to love those of a different culture or ethnicity. When you experience God’s peace, you will be set free.
It is the year 5775 according to the Hebrew calendar. The ancient Jewish sages believed that the creation week reflected the period for God’s plan for His people.
“The world will exist for 6,000 years, for 2,000 there will be desolation, for 2,000 Torah, and for 2,000 the Days of the Messiah” (Sanh. 97a-b). After this, the 7,000th year will be a year of renewal (Sanh. 97b). This Great Sabbath Week of 7,000 years is patterned after the six days of creation (6 = 6,000 years) and the rest on the seventh day (the last day = the last 1,000 years). God is said to hide behind the ‘olam ha-zeh (this present world of the 6,000 years), for the three Hebrew root letters that make up the word “world” – ayin, lamed, mem – indicate a vanishing, though not of God, but of God from the world. In the last 1,000 years, the olam ha-ba (the world to come), He will not be in the background, but will appear and transform the natural order into one that is spiritual. It is in this context that the prophecy of Isaiah concerning the restored natural order (Isaiah 11:6-9, ‘The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard lie down with the goat…’
While we see that humanity has been suffering violence since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, God has always had a plan to reverse the curse of the Fall and restore us to His image. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is the only solution for what ails mankind. In Him, we can enter God’s Kingdom and become ambassadors for Messiah, ministers of the gospel of reconciliation. That is the solution to the wages of sin. It has and will always will be the gospel, because,
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Rom. 6:23.