To me, some of the greatest stories are the stories of redemption. Not much pleases me more than when I see a troubled person find their way to the right path. It is even better when that person finds their way to God. There are different types of redemption, but all who persevere through rough phases, even if they are self-inflicted, lay the ground work for the greatest of the redemptions. The stories of Michael Vick and Robert Downey Jr. I find particularly heartening. Michael Vick did some really horrific things earlier in his life. He abused and killed dogs and cats. After he served his punishment, he was still a bit defiant as to fully humbling himself. His first press conference made me wonder if he learned anything, but sometimes the road to redemption can have stumblingblocks. It can be a process. I’ve been real impressed at how he has handled himself the last few years though. I wish him luck and will pray for him after I’m done writing this. Robert Downey Jr. was as down and out as we have seen publicly in quite a long time. Time after time he was caught doing something addicts do. He even found himself sleeping in a strange girl’s bed after getting high. He was sadly the butt of many jokes, but I had heard pretty early on during his ordeal with drugs that his father introduced him to drugs when he was very young. Sure, like all addicts he was trying to escape from something, but this was all he knew. I was really rooting for him to find his way to sobriety. When he did, I doubt there were many people who were more happy about it than I was. The strength to fight and win against poor life choices shows the capability to do so much more than just straightening out their lives, and I think they know that. It shouldn’t end with just becoming sober or stop making the wrong decisions. Now they have a responsibility to do more because God gave them a second chance.
People who battle through things they couldn’t help also hearten me. I am one of them. People with diseases, those who have been abused, and the poor many times show the greatest of human strengths. Even those who lose out to their battle to deadly diseases show the strength of a winner. Perhaps life isn’t their great prize. Those three women who were kidnapped for so many years in Cleveland couldn’t impress me more. To come out of that alive is a miracle. One of them is mentally challenged, but you wouldn’t know it when you hear her speak. She spoke eloquently with unimaginable strength to the man who had abused her for a decade at his sentencing hearing. Who couldn’t be impressed with her, or even all three of them? I hope they can move on as best as they can. This monster who abused them is no longer with us, because he took his own life. Don’t think we somehow got cheated out of imprisoning him for many years. What device of man compares to the device of God that He has for those who do such things? Nobody is cheated from this monster’s suicide.
At the heart of this age and the existence of humanity is redemption of the Lord. This is why we are here. Some are here to light the path, and the rest are here to hopefully find it. If you have come here before and are familiar with what I’ve taught many times, you will know that there have been some, albeit very, very few who have already been judged innocent before this life in a permanent way. They are called God’s elect, or the election of grace. Some might say this defines Calvinism, but it really does not. Calvinism means everything has been pre-ordained when it comes to who becomes a Christian. This is foolish. If it was so, then this life means nothing and redemption is just a hollow word. At the same time, I cannot ignore what clearly is written about some who have been predestined to do certain things for the Lord. Romans 8, Romans 11, Jeremiah 1:5— it doesn’t get much more clear than these. God calls many, but has only chosen a few. The few are not glamorous people to be, for they are the Lord’s bondsmen and go through things most do not to ready them for their burden. For your sake we are killed all the day long, and we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Their lives are nothing but sacrifice. They work for the Lord by working for you. The elect cannot give redemption, but they can light the path.
Once Christ died and rose from the dead, true redemption from God’s point of view was etched in stone. In Christ, we are all invited to be partakers in victory because Satan failed at keeping Him from dying. If Christ at anytime said “Sorry Father, I cannot take anymore of this”, there would be no redemption. At this present time, there might not even be us. Where would we be right now? Considering each one of our souls are much older than our bodies, and yet only several thousand were judged innocent after the last life, would God give us another chance when the Best of us failed? Or would He just cut His losses to ensure that future Satans don’t arise for us to once again follow? Christ’s death carries the greatest of all weights and meanings. Without His sinless death for sin, there would be no breath to even utter the word “redemption”.
Who dares to mock one who takes advantage of Christ’s death? Your ability to mock is as the sand in an hourglass with no ability to turn it upside down. How can you put off your time? No matter how educated you might think you are, or how uneducated you think we are, there is one thing no thought of yours can change: we will be proven right. Generation after generation have come and gone, and some thought they really knew things, and generation after generation proof of their foolishness meets them at the gate. It was written millennia ago that God will make fools of the wise (those who think they know so much). How many souls that have passed by Him said,”I’m the smart one. You are but a fool.”? I’d reckon none. It’s a completely different posture when they are in His presence, I assure you.
To those who take advantage and hold true to Jesus’ sacrifice, you cannot even imagine how beneficial that decision is. You avoid eternal damnation filled with pain that is beyond human tolerance, but your reward will be redeemed. How much greater are the rewards He creates and gives than are the punishments He creates and gives? Think about it. Is His punishment more vast than His gift? Not a chance. For those who wonder why did He make a hell for us, just take to heart we have already failed Him after the gift of existence. God bless.