Friday, September 19, 2014

The Downfall of the Dark Side

A half-century ago, an army occupied the Southern United States, bringing about a revolution that changed our country forever.  Only this wasn’t an ordinary army; they took their battle plan straight from the words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.  If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to Him the other also…Love your enemies and pray for those who hate you.  We know this army today as the civil rights movement.  It seems like a long time ago, but some who are reading this can remember when a black American couldn’t vote in many parts of the South; when they were forced to eat at different restaurants and send their children to different schools and use separate restrooms. Most people in these parts, both white and black, didn't necessarily support that system, but they didn't actively oppose it either.  It's just the way things were; but the way things were was evil, pure and simple…and evil dies hard.  Courageously obeying the words of Jesus, this army marched peacefully while bystanders called them hateful names.  When they were assaulted with police dogs and fire hoses, they didn’t run away.  When mobs dragged them out of lunch counters and beat them, they didn’t fight back.  When a church was bombed, killing four little girls, and when other civil rights workers were  abducted and murdered in the dead of night, they cried out for justice, but they did not bomb, murder or riot in return. The fight isn’t over yet; racial inequality is still a problem today.  But we all owe them so much.  Today, people of my generation and my children’s generation can’t help but look back and wonder, “If I had been alive then, would I have marched alongside them?  Would I have spoken out against injustice?  Or would I have kept quiet, clinging to an evil institution that was destined to die?”

            As we continue in our study of Revelation this Sunday, we get to the good part today; the end, when evil is conquered.  This book is actually a letter written to seven churches who were representing Christ in difficult times.  Like those civil rights workers in our own country, they were facing hatred and violence. But they weren’t just trying to change this world; they had eternal transformation in mind.  Keep them in mind as we look at Revelation 16-18.  Then we'll talk about what this all means for us.

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