Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Monday, 13 February 2017

1 Corinthians Day 43 - Coming Chaos

7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no command of the Lord, but I give an opinion as one who by the mercy of the Lord is trustworthy. 26 I think then that this is good in view of the present distress, that it is good for a man to remain as he is. 27 Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be released. Are you released from a wife? Do not seek a wife. 28 But if you marry, you have not sinned; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. Yet such will have trouble in this life, and I am trying to spare you. 29 But this I say, brethren, the time has been shortened, so that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none; 30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away.

The most important thing to note in much of this chapter is that Paul is giving advice based on his own opinion/wisdom. These are not direct instructions from God. The second point to understand is that Paul expected Jesus to return soon. 

The rise of the Christian church threw the Roman Empire out of balance. For a long time everything on the religious side had gone along as normal. The Jews minded their own business and the Romans understood, tolerated and even supported them. The rest of the Empire was a mixture of age old pagan ideas and religions. Christianity was brand new. It was different and different is always suspicious. On top of being different it hated by and a threat to the Jews from the start and the Jews had the ear of the ruling Romans. 

Remember that Paul was once Saul and was running around rounding up Christians and killing them or putting them in prison and things have not gotten better. On top of all that Jesus Himself said even the Jewish temple would be destroyed so Christians knew trouble was coming on a massive scale. Because of this Paul is giving pastoral counsel. He felt in trouble ahead it would be better to be single but he wanted it clear that marriage was not then nor would it be a sin in the future. Then he goes on to give some seemingly bizarre counsel about pretending you have no spouse and pretending you aren't sad if you are and are not happy if you are and act poor even if you aren't. All this advice can be summed up by saying "Lay low and do not draw attention to yourself."

The bigger question is what if anything can we draw from this in our day?

Simply this: Live according to the times. Be wise. Ecclesiastes 3 was made into a song by the Byrds in the 1960's. "For everything turn turn turn. There is a season turn turn turn. And a time for every purpose under heaven..."

When it is spring you plant. When it is fall you harvest. 

When it comes to the signs of the times there are no hard and fast rules. Paul admitted such. His general advice for when trouble is coming is to live as simply as possible. Today I would say the same. The economy is fragile at best. Trump has taken taken the spotlight which has caused many to forget that the United States has three times raised their debt ceiling in the past few years. The Bible predicted chaos in Paul's time and it predicts massive economic collapse in our time. Live simply. Learn to work with your hands. Become as self-sufficient as possible. Don't build a bunker. Don't become a prepper but think like a minimalist. Don't follow the crowd in the latest fads. 

Most of all trust God. There is no way to know exactly how he future will unfold but there is a way to know Who holds you.   

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