Friday, July 8, 2016

In keeping with recent events...

Dividing Lines

by Pastor Mike Dana

About 25 years ago I sat with a small group of men and listened to a self-proclaimed “Historian”. I believed what he was predicting/prophesying for the future. He spoke of a definite time coming when there would be a revolution in the United States. He referred to, “birth pains” as it were, of the looming time. History is a great teacher, and does, in a sense, repeat itself. Likely because of the predictability of human nature.

I saw the two recent slayings of citizens by police in this country as well as former ones, and I was quickly reminded of this meeting with the Historian. I knew in light of the recent events in this country’s history that there would be reactions. I mentioned to my wife that police everywhere had better start watching their backs as I knew the emotions of the people feeling injustice could not be controlled indefinitely.

Before you react and think I have generalized all police in the same category you can dismiss that Idea! I have worked with police on a few occasions where they were compassionate for terminally ill children and had a very good cause. I have been in trainings for public service chaplaincy learning all about the “blue humor” and coping mechanisms police have for dealing with their work environment. Like the reactions we are seeing in this country right now, these police can get over-emotional about issues, which can lead to the coping mechanisms getting out of balance.

I mentioned this to my wife knowing that the justice department appears to have not reacted equally with these injustices that have occurred. People in our society have come to expect swift and sure results, which has not happened with these situations of citizens being brutally killed. Therefore there was coming a reaction from the public trying to achieve a justice, in the hands of the people, i.e. vigilante justice.

I find my ability to have overall peace about this in knowing there will be a day of reckoning. It is called the White Throne justice. The difference of what we see and perceive now, and that day, being people will be judged by their hearts not by what we see, and by a Judge that truly knows the heart.

I further predict that the people who want gun control will over-react, and keep trying to take away the checks and balances of this country. There is a right to form a militia in our country, yet when it happens the government “of the people” overreact and punish those forming it, rather than investigating the cause or cleaning of their own house. I do not believe those acting in Texas against police officers acted correctly. They too were carried away by emotions and took the life of people.

There are a whole slew of “what ifs”, but I believe if this one escalation of injustice by a few police would have not happened, the government of the people would still have those trying to implement gun control. The lack of self-control of some individuals with guns in Texas has escalated the whole problem making it a more tangled web now than before. The thing that is drawing Dividing Lines is that behind the scenes there are those trying to defend the rights given them and others who are trying to take back rights already given.

Easy for me to correct the problem on a keyboard, but it is far beyond the time for the justice department to clean their house, and the representatives of this government of the people to respect the rights of we the rest of the people. If there needs to be some lines drawn, they need to be highlighted between the branches of government. We now have a court system making laws, our intelligence agencies trying to judge peoples intentions (refer back to White throne judgement) the justice department mixing lines by having trials and sentencing on the street leaving out the jury by peers.

An election coming up in our Country draws a very thick line as we see emotions getting taxed.

I must say that generally the press has escalated the tactics of promoting fear as their paying subscribers sit on the edge of their chairs biting their nails like they paid for a suspense filled thriller. News, just the facts please.

The most important thing regarding Dividing Lines has a much greater impact than these things. America is not alone when it comes to drawing lines. The whole globe is covered with it. We see Russia slipping back into the Cold war and isolating itself. A union of countries breaking alliance with the recent Brexit. Hatred around the globe…


     But, in a place, maybe not too far from your heart, is a sense that this can’t go on much longer, it must be coming to a head. That sense is correct, it won’t go on much longer. It is coming to a climax. Is peace coming? Not yet, in fact it will wax worse, and the Dividing Lines will be etched even more profound, the things we see have already been known. Emotions will make it humanly impossible to sway someone from one side of the line to the other. We must not be swayed by emotions in such a critical time as this. The times coming will cause people to want to retreat to a comfort zone and not take a stand, as the opposition may very well become fierce. I believe the times will not allow a comfort zone, as people will need to choose a side. I have already seen emotions on two opposing sides cause people to act irrationally. There will be a time, and that time is now, to make a decision as to what you believe in. To make this decision based on emotions only can cause dire consequences. Like any cause or option, you will find those in that group who do not represent the group’s beliefs very well. Don’t base your future on other people’s mistakes, base it on the truth. Jesus said I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No matter where you stand today He is wanting you to accept Him. He isn’t biased, and doesn’t ask a resume’. He came for the whole world, and He knows your heart.

Romans 2:16 (NKJV)
16  in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Jesus goes on to say that no man comes to the Father except by Him.

There comes a time, very soon I believe, that if we have not professed Jesus as our Lord and Savior that all of our sins, all of our failures will be judged by God. You say well that sounds like preferential treatment, how can that be justice? It sounds like what is happening in our country. You know someone so you get off without a penalty, but it is not like that, our fine needs to be paid.

Let me try to explain, from the beginning of time God has wanted a relationship with his creation. His laws are the laws written on everyone’s heart. You and I have sinned and failed and broken His laws. We should be judged, after all these are Gods laws, and a penalty must be paid.

Well, a penalty has been paid! He set the penalty of death as the sentence in the book of Genesis. The paid penalty is being offered to you, Jesus being beaten and mocked and crucified in our place is that offer. The payment of death has been offered already for our sin by Jesus. That’s how much God wants a relationship with us, but a Holy God cannot have a relationship with unholy people so our sins have to be removed. It is being held out to you right now with His nail scarred hand. You only need to step across a dividing line of a life with sin, and take hold of it. The law of God will not change, if the fine Jesus offers to pay is not accepted, there will still be death required. That death being eternal separation from God.

So there is the line. There is the offer. I encourage you to step over the line and take hold of it.

 Matthew 10:32-33 (NKJV)
32  "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33  But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

If you want to accept this offer you only need to pray (talk) to God and ask him for it. Just tell Him you realize you have sinned and ask Him to forgive you. That you accept the sacrifice Jesus made in your place and want to follow Him and serve Him from now on.

I accepted that offer and realize it was the most important decision in my life and am so thankful I made it.

If you accepted His offer you can profess Jesus before men by contacting us at The Meeting Place in Billings, MT.

We are here to help you get on the path of knowing God better. Let us help, call or email us tell us about your decision.